Merit Scholarships

The Brandeis-Genesis Institute Undergraduate Fellowship

The Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry (BGI) strives to prepare Russan-speaking students from around the world to become effective community leaders fortified by Jewish knowledge, a systematic understanding of Russian Jewry, and a commitment to the future of Jewish people. 

The BGI undergraduate fellowship program integrates academic study at Brandeis with BGI extracurricular programming designed to enhance connections to the Russian-speaking Jewish world.  Students participate in specially- designed programming that includes an overseas educational trip, community-based volunteer projects, a speaker series and cultural events, group retreats and leadership development seminars.  Students participate in a two-year undergraduate fellowship program during their sophomore and junior years  and receive a $5,000 merit scholarship for these two years.  (Students should contact Student Financial Services for more information on how this merit scholarship may affect their financial aid package.)

The fellowship program is intended for domestic and international undergraduate Brandeis students from Russian-speaking households who have the knowledge and motivation to be of service to the Jewish community.  Brandeis students interested in joining the fellowship should apply during their first year.  Specific instructions and application forms will be posted to the BGI website in November 2012.  Student are encouraged to contact BGI either before or after submitting their applications.  The BGI Fellowship is highly selective and all candidates go through a rigorous screening process.  Fellows are selected by the Admissions Committee, which is comprised of BGI staff, faculty and alumni. Selection criteria include academic achievements, extracurricular and community involvement, and leadership potential. 

For further information about the BGI, and about the current BGI undergraduate fellows, please go to , or contact the office at or 781-736-8410.


Brandeis-Sponsored Merit Scholarships

These scholarships are awarded to the most academically outstanding students in our pool. The top admitted students will be offered a Dean, Trustee, Presidential, or Justice Brandeis Scholarship, awards ranging from $10,000 to $17,500 annually. These scholarships recognize the potential impact of a student’s contributions in the classroom here at Brandeis.

Students do not need to apply for merit funding. All applicants, regardless of application method, will be considered during the admissions review period. Recipients will be notified of their awards shortly after the admission decision release date. All merit offers are final, and will be determined based on a holistic evaluation of academic accomplishments. If you have any questions about the merit scholarship process, please contact Tim Hickey-LeClair, Assistant Director, at


Brandeis-Sponsored National Merit Scholarship

This scholarship is available to entering first-year students who have attained National Merit Finalist status and have designated Brandeis as their first choice through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). 

Recipients of this scholarship are chosen by the NMSC. The amount of this scholarship ranges from $500 to $2,000, based on financial need.


JFEW Scholarship

The JFEW scholarship program at Brandeis has been made possible through the generosity of the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women (JFEW).  The program supports outstanding students from the greater New York City area who have an interest in Jewish life and the role of women in it.  Scholars receive a special scholarship throughout their four years of study at Brandeis contingent on meeting academic and financial need standards. This award makes it possible for the university to reduce the amount of loan in a financial aid package while continuing to meet full calculated need.  In addition, JFEW Scholars will receive a $3,500 summer stipend to support an unpaid internship at an organization related to Jewish life and values.

The JFEW Scholars form a cohort on campus with access to special mentorship and programmatic opportunities.  Monthly programming and special events will include team-building, guest speakers, group discussions, and a mandatory meeting in New York City with trustees of the JFEW. There is no additional application for this award. Scholars will be selected after a holistic academic, financial, and extracurricular review.  If you have any questions about the JFEW Scholarship, please contact Assistant Director of Admissions, Tim Hickey-LeClair.


Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to entering first-year students on the basis of academic performance and extracurricular participation in secondary school, outstanding community involvement and demonstrated financial need. 

There is no application for this scholarship beyond the admission application and the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.  (Please note that the FAFSA and parent and student taxes will also be required upon payment of the deposit.)

The amount of this scholarship is equal to the student's calculated institutional financial need, based on the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, the FAFSA and student and parent tax returns, and is renewable for up to eight semesters of study at Brandeis.


Fannie Penikoff Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to one outstanding entering first-year student from the Chicago area. This scholarship was created through a gift from the Fannie Penikoff Charitable Trust to the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. 

There is no application for this scholarship beyond the admission application and the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE. 

The amount of this scholarship is equal to full tuition and is renewable for up to eight continuous semesters of study at Brandeis, beginning with the semester in which the recipient was initially offered admission.

Recipients of this scholarship will be required to provide information about their campus activities to the Office of Donor Relations at Brandeis at least once each year and will also be required to write a letter of thanks to Ms. Donna Kahan, who oversees the Fannie Penikoff Fund at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, twice each year that details the recipient’s campus involvement.   


Stroum Family Waltham Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to four top graduating seniors from Waltham High School in Massachusetts. 

There is no application for this scholarship beyond the admission application and the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE. 

The amount of this scholarship is equal to full tuition and is renewable for up to eight semesters of study at Brandeis.