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Abele Scholars

Abele Scholars at Ursinus College are high-achieving students who are residents of PA, DE, NJ, or MD with demonstrated financial need (EFC of $20,000 or below).
2018 Abele Scholars

The Abele Family Foundation was established by Joan and Will Abele to support the visions of young leaders to impact their communities through the provision of comprehensive scholarships that increase access and affordability of a college education. As an alum and Trustee of Ursinus College, Will Abele believes in paying-it-forward and so he and his wife, Joan, have established the Abele Scholars Program.

Launched in 2018 at Ursinus College, the Abele Scholars Program offers a success plan to students who desire the benefits of a quality residential liberal arts education and who come from low- and middle-income families in Pennsylvania and adjacent states (DE/MD/NJ). Abele Scholars demonstrate academic potential, financial need and a commitment to community. The foundation provides financial and programmatic support to Scholars throughout their undergraduate experience; thus, it invests in students who will be:
     • Able to perform at a high academic level and complete               their degree at Ursinus in four years
     • Able to make a positive difference in their own lives as               well as their family and community

In recognition of scholastic achievement, extracurricular activities and personal character, winners will receive an annual Abele Scholar Award of $10,000, in addition to:

  • Up to $2,000 in “startup” funds to reimburse approved first-year expenses related to starting college, e.g., purchase of a laptop computer, travel to campus, etc.
  • Up to $3,000 in “enrichment” funds to assist in covering expenses for academic activities that contribute to the student’s progress throughout the four years of undergraduate study and that support degree completion. These activities may include completion of an internship on an unpaid basis or in a location away from home, summer courses, and/or professional development activities such as attending an academic conference.
  • Up to $8,000 to be paid directly to the student’s Federal loan servicer in satisfaction of the unsubsidized Stafford Loans taken by the student upon completion of the Bachelor’s degree and other requirements of the program.
  • An on-campus adviser who will be available to Abele Scholars to support and advise them on academic and other issues and who will act as a liaison to other college programs, as well as to the Abele Family Foundation.
  • Programming that supports successful and positive approaches to socialization and learning in college, and that provides opportunities to develop practical skills that prepare students for success in their academic, civic and professional lives after graduation. Any expenses associated with content or travel required for these programs will be paid by the Abele Family Foundation.

Qualities of an Abele Scholar

  • Positive self-concept: Knows who they are and comfortable with self
  • Realistic self-assessment: Knows own strengths and weaknesses
  • Goal aware: Shows a preference for longer-term goals and has a clear vision
  • Leadership: Knows how to motivate others and get things done
  • Sense of community: Sees themselves as an important part of a larger group
  • Copes with adversity: Sees obstacles as challenges and as opportunities to make a difference
  • Mentor/role model: Is a cheerleader/coach to support others
  • Curious: Demonstrates a variety of interests and likes to learn, not just in school

Abele Participation

The Abele Family Foundation provides scholarship and programming support to Scholars regardless of planned academic major or career plans. Abele Scholars prepare to be the leaders of the future. They engage in the life of the campus and community, appreciate the US Constitution, the system of free enterprise and are motivated to become informed about the economy, history government of the United States.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, Abele Scholars have participated in the following programs:

  • The first-year advising program that assigns the Scholars to a faculty advisor who guides them through the first weeks and months as an Ursinus student
  • A variety of workshops on topics such as understanding your financial aid package, goal-setting, grit and growth mindset, budgeting and building credit.
  • Social events sponsored by the Foundation: A welcome dinner and an end-of-semester celebration.
  • Lunch and Learn events with guest speakers who informally chat about their career paths.
  • Backstage tour and attendance at the Walnut Street Theater’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.

Future Scholars programs include a trip to a significant historical site such as Washington, D.C., a summer “Launch Weekend” that brings current and incoming Scholars together for programs and social interaction prior to the start of the fall semester, a mentoring program, and career-related activities.


January 1: Deadline for Abele Scholars applications               

January 12 – February 12: Selection Committee reviews applications         

February 14: Invitations extended to finalists to choose in-person interviews on March 6 OR March 7

March 6: On campus interview time slots with Selection Committee 

March 7: Philadelphia (Center City) interview slots with Selection Committee

March 14: Finalists notified                                 

How to Apply

Apply to the College. We recommend that you apply at least a week prior to the deadline for your application round to allow ample time for scholarship application completion.

Complete the online application: To apply students will login with the username and password sent to them upon application submission to Ursinus. Please check the email address associated with your application.  

Applications are due by January 1. Students selected for interviews will be notified by February 16. For additional information please refer to our FAQ’s.    

To apply for the Abele Scholar Award, you must satisfy these requirements:

  • Be a resident of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware or Maryland
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of no more than $20,000 based on your current FAFSA
  • High school (unweighted) GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Record of leadership and contribution to your school or community