Program Description

The USC Dornsife Fisher Fellowship enables first generation students with financial need to participate more fully in the co-curricular opportunities that enrich one’s USC education and professional development. Students selected for this Fellowship are eligible to receive up to $10,000 over three years. They can put these funds toward international travel, field research, internships, and academic conferences in exchange for participation and leadership in service projects benefiting other first-generation USC students and underrepresented groups in the surrounding community. Standing projects include assembling care kits for Trojans experiencing housing and food insecurity; student-run professional development seminars; fundraisers for the Westminster Free Clinic’s Adopt-a-Family initiative; and a SplashSC enrichment event for South L.A. high schools. Fellows are welcome to propose collaborations with the Joint Educational Project (JEP), Homelessless Action Committee (HAC)/Trojan Shelter, and other first-gen student groups.

Fisher Fellows are encouraged to participate in the Problems Without Passports (PWP) program, Maymester programs and student-faculty research programs like the Student Opportunities for Academic Research (SOAR) and Summer Undergraduate Research Fund/Summer Humanities Undergraduate Research Experience programs (SURF/SHURE). Fellows may also be invited to participate in weekend retreats, leadership seminars, speaker engagements, and mentoring programs with esteemed faculty and alumni.  Attendance at bi-weekly meetings is mandatory.

Fisher Fellows will be recognized at graduation as campus leaders who are dedicated to improving quality of life for individuals within the communities they belong to, both at home and at USC.

Application Period: October 6th to November 3rd at 11:59 PM PST

Apply Here

Explore Other Scholarships


  • Declared major in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences (must maintain a declared Dornsife major for the entire tenure as a Fisher Fellow).

  • 3.0 cumulative GPA or better (student must maintain a 3.0+ GPA to stay in the program).

  • First-generation student (your parent(s) did not complete a 4-year college degree).

  • Demonstrated financial need.

  • First-year student, Sophomore, or Junior.

Funding Guidelines

  • Active Fellows can earn up to $10K toward undergraduate co-curricular opportunities like study abroad trips, Maymesters, select alternate winter/summer breaks, participation in SURF and SOAR programs, etc. Fellows may apply for funding toward digital learning tools; test prep courses and materials; transportation and other minor expenses incurred during participation in unpaid internship opportunities; and participation in academic conferences and professional development seminars.

  • Funding must be used within three years.

  • The disbursement of the funds could potentially have a negative impact on student financial aid packages.  We will work with Financial Aid on an individual basis to reduce any impact when possible.

Application Process

  • All required materials (STARS report, short answer responses, two letters of recommendation, and application form) are due by the application deadline.

  • Students begin their tenure as a Fisher Fellow in Spring.

Contact Fisher Fellows at

Engage with Fisher Fellows