Caroline Scholars program accepts incoming freshmen


Photo by CARISSA IHM These 2012-13 Caroline Scholars are excited to continue their education at Mount Mary. The students are Jessica Benson, Kathryn Roell, Agnieszka Mosio, Olivia Stitch, Christine Kugler, Candice Block, Michaela Peterson, Alma Ramirez, Shameka Moore, Carissa Ihm, Catherine Dulan, Cynthia Esparza, Tiyara Townsend, Shantae Chapman, Carmen Douglas, Abbehi Medrano, Julia Luebke, Crystal Medrano, Basma Wadeea and Irma Nayeli Rondin-Valle. Not present are Jessica Cox, Cristina De La Torre and Bao Her.

Starting this fall, the Caroline Scholars program is open only to incoming freshmen and no longer admits current Mount Mary College students.

“Previously, Caroline Scholars could only participate in the program for a maximum of three years,” said Eileen Schwalbach, president of Mount Mary College. “We selected the scholars from the current student body. Now, we are recruiting students from high school so that they can participate in the program for four years.”

Another change to the program included a reduction of service learning hours from 350 to 300 hours. Mount Mary also eliminated the requirement related to financial need. This means there are fewer limitations to applicants, thus opening the door for more students to apply and possibly be accepted.

For those students who are currently Caroline Scholars, the program continues as originally planned.

“I think that the new changes to the scholarship are great,” said Catherine Dulan, a Caroline Scholar. “Starting the Caroline Scholars out as freshmen will be, firstly, a great incentive for academically gifted women to be interested in Mount Mary, knowing that there is such a great scholarship opportunity for them.”

The Caroline Scholars program started with a vision that would transform not only the community, but also the lives of the students. Dick Burke, founder and CEO of Trek Bikes, came to Mount Mary to develop the Caroline Scholars. The first order began in fall 2003, and Burke’s vision led to the beginning of a grand opportunity for countless women.

The Caroline Scholars program provides room and board, as well as full tuition, in exchange for attending a two-credit course each semester and completing a set number of service learning hours.

Service learning encompasses more than just an act of charity. Service learning provides long-term solutions to problems with lasting effects. It usually entails some form of education and individual growth or change. This evolvement should be apparent not only in those being served, but also in those providing the service, which creates a continuous two-way bridge of learning and growth.

To be eligible for the Caroline Scholars program, students must, as stated on the Mount Mary website, enter Mount Mary directly from high school, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher, be accepted to Mount Mary as a full-time student, without provisional conditions, and be involved in extracurricular and service-related activities in high school and in the community. Students then submit an application, letters of recommendation and go through an interview process.

According to Krista Moore, associate professor in the behavioral sciences department and director of the Caroline Scholars program, the new Caroline Scholars have the additional year of service learning where they can grow as service learners and leaders in the community.

Through participation in this program, Caroline Scholars can mature into young, educated women with the potential to transform the world.

A Caroline Scholar:

  • is a first-year, full-time undergraduate student
  • has a passion for social justice
  • will complete 300 hours of academic service learning
  • will receive a scholarship that covers full-time tuition, room and board.

For Caroline Scholars application deadlines and eligibilty requirements, visit

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