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The Clara Carter Higgins Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship

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Category: Summer Environmental Study

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Application deadline: February 5


To encourage studies and careers in the environmental field, providing the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience beyond the regular course of study.

Level of Education

Open to undergraduate college students 


These awards offer students who have demonstrated a keen interest in the betterment of the environment an opportunity for further study at a site chosen by the student. Some of the summer programs students have completed recently include the study of hazardous waste, marine science, energy, plant resources in the tropics, barrier island ecology, and oil spill cleanup and control. Eligibility is open to U.S. Citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled in a U.S. - based institution. Due to IRS restrictions, GCA is unable to fund awards for international applicants.


Annually funds one Clara Carter Higgins scholar and one or more GCA Summer Environmental Studies scholars at $3000 per recipient in financial assistance for summer coursework in environmental studies. (Award amounts were increased from $1500 in 2007.)


Selection is by the GCA Scholarship Committee


Established in 1964 by Clara Carter Higgins (Mrs. John W.), of the Worcester (Massachusetts) Garden Club with a stock gift of approximately $15,000. According to Executive Committee minutes of November 15, 1966, the interest from the fund “was to be used to cover a summer scholarship in conservation, preferably at the college level.” Mrs. Higgins wrote Mrs. Erastus Corning, then president of the GCA, “The Garden Club of America has meant so much to me during my life and I am so deeply appreciative of all it has done. I shall be happy to help someone realize the importance of conservation, if I can."

In 1990, responsibility for the solicitation, screening, and selection of candidates passed from the GCA Conservation Committee to the GCA Scholarship Committee. In 1993, the Scholarship Committee responded to the increasing number of excellent applicants for the Higgins Scholarship by voting monies from the General Scholarship Fund to create and endow an additional summer environmental studies award.

To Apply

See application and information. Applications must be submitted electronically or sent by mail to be received at GCA Headquarters in New York City by February 5 preceding the summer of study. Note that applications for the Clara Carter Higgins Scholarship, GCA Awards for Summer Environmental Studies, Elizabeth Gardner Norweb Scholarship, and Mary T. Carothers Scholarship are considered together. Interested students should submit only one application. Selection: Selection is by members of the GCA Scholarship Committee. 



The Clara Carter Higgins Fund and the GCA Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship Fund are managed by the GCA.


 The Garden Club of America, attn: Scholarship Applications, 14 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022-1006. Phone: 212-753-8287 / email:


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