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Photo courtesy of Peace Corps

About

The NYU Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship Program offers a select group of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) a financial scholarship while pursuing a master's degree at one of six participating NYU graduate schools. Fellows must intern, work, or volunteer with a non-profit organization or governmental agency that serves high need communities in the United States. Additionally, they participate in a cohort-based career development program in their first year of study and take advantage of individualized career coaching sessions.

The partnership with the Wasserman Center creates a unique opportunity for Fellows to identify the skills they developed during their Peace Corps service and consider how to leverage their skills in new academic and professional contexts. The partnership also aims to help RPCVs manage the transition into graduate school and future careers with support from peers in their cohort who may share similarities in their experience.

Eligibility Requirements

The Coverdell Fellowship is only available to returned Peace Corps volunteers who have satisfactorily completed their service. Admission to an NYU graduate program does not guarantee funding or a position in the NYU Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship. You cannot receive the fellowship if you have yet to join the Peace Corps, nor can you begin your studies while still serving as a volunteer.

Peace Corps Volunteers earn lifetime eligibility for the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program if they fall into one of the following categories:

  • Peace Corps Volunteers who complete the full two-year tour of Peace Corps service or are otherwise given “completion of service” (COS) status
  • Peace Corps Volunteers who are medically separated
  • Peace Corps Volunteers who are given "interrupted service" status because of circumstances beyond their control
  • Peace Corps Response or Global Health Services Partnership Volunteers who complete twelve months of service within a twenty-four month period* (The twelve month service requirement is waived for those Response Volunteers evacuated due to COVID-19.)

Two-year Volunteers who resign or are administratively separated are not eligible for Coverdell Fellowships unless they had already earned eligibility through a previous Peace Corps tour.
If you have questions about your eligibility status, you may contact the Peace Corps’ Office of University Programs at fellows@peacecorps.gov.  

How To Apply

The Coverdell Fellowship selection process is competitive. A limited number of fellowships are available each year, and availability varies. Admission to an NYU graduate program does not guarantee funding or a position in the NYU Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship. There is no separate application for the Coverdell Fellowship. If you wish to be considered for fellowship, you must apply directly to your school and program of interest and submit your application by the school deadline or by January 15th, whichever is first.

You will be asked to upload a copy of your official Peace Corps Description of Service (DOS) to your application. PCVs currently serving should submit a signed letter from their Peace Corps Country Director indicating their status as a current PCV, with the expected completion date. These applicants will be asked to submit their DOS as soon as it becomes available.

Applicants who are interested in part-time or online programs will not be accepted as Coverdell Fellows, though NYU will fully consider in-person programs being temporarily completed virtually due to COVID-19. NYU Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship recipients are required to be full-time master’s students for at least the first year of the fellowship appointment. All Fellows must begin their program during the Fall semester.

For general inquiries about the NYU Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship, please email PeaceCorpsAdmissions-group@nyu.edu. For school-specific questions, please send inquiries to the PeaceCorpsAdmissions-group@nyu.edu email and address it to the relevant party listed below:

  • Gallatin School of Individualized Study - Frances Levin
  • School of Global Public Health - Zachary Maggio
  • Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service - Kristy Kline
  • School of Professional Studies - Cynthia Perez
  • Silver School of Social Work - Nancy Rentel
  • Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development - Yvette Brown

Benefits

Financial Benefits

  • NYU offers all Coverdell Fellows a 50% tuition scholarship for full time enrollment, provided by your school of study. Individual schools may have additional financial support available, which will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • Applicants to the Program will receive an Application Fee Waiver.
  • In addition, Fellows enrolled at the NYU School of Professional Studies receive a book stipend of $750 per semester ($1500 per year). NYU Steinhardt offers health insurance to Fellows. Please reach out to the individual program contacts for more information on these benefits.
  • We strongly encourage all applicants to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for need-based aid, including federal loans. Please refer to the Financial Aid website of the school to which you are applying for further guidance.
  • The Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program considers Peace Corps service, in addition to non-profit and government agency work to qualify students for loan forgiveness after completing 10 years of loan payments. See the Federal Student Aid website for more information.

Professional Benefits

  • With the partnership between the Coverdell Fellowship and the Wasserman Center for Career Development, Fellows receive individualized career coaching sessions with coaches who specialize in working with graduate students.
  • Fellows also take part in tailored career development workshops that focus on many areas of the job search, including an emphasis on leveraging their Peace Corps service in their careers.
  • Fellows also participate in a 160 hour service learning program working with high need communities in the US.
  • Coverdell Fellows will have additional opportunities to learn about career and leadership events that may be of interest to them.

More Information

Learn more by watching our previous webinars:

Profiles of Current Coverdell Fellows

Arshdeep

Peace Corps Service: The Republic of Moldova, 2018-2020

Danielle

Peace Corps Service: Comoros, 2018-2020

Mikaela

Peace Corps Service: Tanzania, 2016-2018

Katie

Peace Corps Service: Guyana, 2018-2020

Annie

Peace Corps Service: Uganda, 2014-2016; China, 2019-2020

Jack Morrow

Peace Corps Service: Zambia, 2018-2020

Kayla

Peace Corps Service: Colombia, 2019-2020

Reilly

Peace Corps Service: Zambia, 2017-2019

Becca Leaman

Peace Corps Service: Botswana, 2019-2020

Diamond

Peace Corps Service: Ghana, 2016-2018

Mariam

Peace Corps Service: Georgia, 2018-2020