Scholarship Program

Scholarship Process

Replica of Shallop, Elizabeth Tilley

In an effort to preserve the history of our Mayflower Ancestors through genealogy, historical research, and education, the Society of Mayflower Descendants in Michigan has created a scholarship program. This program will provide educational assistance to both our Junior and General members up to age 26, who are planning to attend an accredited two or four-year degree, trade school, or certificate program.

Scholarship Awards

There will be a maximum of three awards per academic year: one $3,000 scholarship, one $2,000 scholarship, and one $1,000 scholarship -- all scholarships are payable directly to the institution of higher education. However, the Committee reserves the right to not award any scholarships if it is determined that there are no qualified entries. All decisions by the Committee are final.

Deadline for Submission

All application materials must be received by May 1 of the year of entry.

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Scholarship applicants must be no less than high school seniors at the time of application.
  2. Scholarship applicants must be either a General Member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in Michigan or a Junior Member of said Society. There are no restrictions regarding the state of residence of the applicant (i.e. the Junior Member or General Member).
  3. Scholarship applicants must have confirmed plans to attend a university, college or trade school (provide a copy of letter of acceptance). The applicant may not have a parent, grandparent, sibling, or sponsor serving on the committee that would evaluate the application.

Application Process

Download the fillable Scholarship Application form. Send the completed form with any attachments by email to Cindy Kaczmarczyk.

Scholarship Essay for 2024

The Applicant must write an original essay of 750-1000 words, in three parts:

  1. Who is/are your ancestor(s) on the Mayflower?
  2. What were some of your ancestor's known contributions to the early colony, or how do you imagine he/she may have contributed to the success of the colony? (You may focus on just one ancestor, or multiple.)
  3. How were the Mayflower Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony different from earlier colonies such as Jamestown, and why is that important in shaping early American history.

Suggestions for researching are to interview a relative who is also a Mayflower descendant; read a Mayflower history such as Nathaniel Philbrick’s ‘Mayflower…Voyage, Community, War,’ ‘Mourt’s Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims in Plymouth’ by Edward Winslow, or William Bradford’s ‘Of Plymouth Plantation’. Look up passenger profiles on the, or


Format: The essay must have a cover page with the title of the essay, the date, and the name of the applicant on it. The essay must include a bibliography of cited sources and which resources they consulted during their research; also, names of family members who they interviewed in writing this essay.


Important Note: This essay is to be in your own words. Do not incorporate text from secondary sources in your essay unless you properly cite them with footnotes and a bibliography. The Applicant must write at least one paragraph explaining how being awarded one of these scholarships will help him/her attain their career goals. Two letters from educators must be submitted along with the essay, stating they have read the essay and have given their critique of its contents. Judging Criteria for judging all Scholarship Applications equals 100 points with a minimum score of 60 points to qualify. Items and points, all information must be provided as specified and complete:

  1. Application Preparation and Submission: 5 points
  2. Essay: 95 points, allocated as follows:
    • How well the applicant has organized the content of their essay: 15 points
    • How correct and clear the facts and ideas presented in the essay are: 20 points
    • How good the applicant's grammar is: 15 points
    • How correct the applicant's spelling is: 15 points
    • The applicant's academic achievements: 15 points
    • How well the applicant has provided references: 10 points
    • How well the applicant has explained in a paragraph how the scholarship will help them to achieve their career goals: 5 points