Harriet Irsay Scholarship


Mrs. Harriet Irsay was an active member of the American Institute of Polish Culture in Miami, Florida, from its founding in 1972. Shortly thereafter, she assumed a position on the Board of Directors, where she served until 2008. In 1992, she founded the Harriet Irsay Scholarship Fund as a testament to the Institute’s dedication to advancing education and culture in the United States. Coming from a family that owned the Indianapolis Colts since the 1970s, Irsay generously supported numerous charitable endeavors. The establishment of this scholarship stands as a tribute to her deep Polish heritage.

Read: The Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship

The Harriet Irsay Scholarship Fund offers financial support to American students, particularly those with Polish heritage, who aspire to pursue higher education after completing high school and through college. Emphasizing the importance of promoting knowledge about Polish culture, history, and its people, the scholarships are available to students across various majors and academic fields. Since its beginning, the program has awarded over $275,000 to students from across the country.

Mrs. Irsay passed away in July 2008, leaving behind a lasting legacy through her generous contributions of over a quarter million dollars. Her memory continues to be cherished, and she is fondly remembered for her remarkable generosity.

Eligibility Criteria For Harriet Irsay Scholarship

Students must be enrolled full-time at a university in the United States. All of the following fields are eligible to apply for the Harriet Irsay Scholarship Program:

  • Communication
  • Education
  • Film
  • Music
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Journalism
  • Liberal Arts
  • Polish Studies
  • Public Relations

Graduate students enrolled in business programs are encouraged to apply, particularly if their thesis topic is directly related to Poland.

  • Students will get a scholarship reward based on merit.
  • Full-time undergraduate or graduate students who are American citizens or permanent residents, with a preference for those of Polish heritage are eligible for Harriet Irsay Scholarship.

How To Apply For Harriet Irsay Scholarship

To complete the application process, please ensure you have the following:

  •  A filled-out application form.
  •  Official transcripts are directly sent from your school (applicable to schools in the US only).
  •  A comprehensive resume or CV.
  •  An essay titled “Why I Should Receive the Scholarship,” with a word count between 200 and 400 words.
  • Three recommendation letters from teachers or individuals familiar with your academic background and plans.

 Note: Emailed letters must come from your recommender’s business email address, include their contact information, and signature, and be dated within the last two years.

  • A non-refundable processing fee of $10.00, payable either by check or money order to the American Institute of Polish Culture. Alternatively, you can also pay online.
  • Ensure all documents are submitted as per the guidelines for your application to be considered.

Read: Mike Rowe Scholarship

Deadline For Harriet Irsay Scholarship

All required materials must be submitted by mail or email to our offices no later than midnight on June 30, 2023.

In addition, the decision will be disclosed by late summer or early fall this year. All applicants will receive notification of the result through mail.


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