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James Baldwin Scholars Program

The James Baldwin Scholars Program provides scholarships to talented students from underserved communities who would benefit from a transition year before college in which to improve general academic skills and prepare for the rigor of college studies.

Baldwin Scholars receive a scholarship that fully meets the cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, books, supplies, housing, and meals.

Successful completion of the transition year prepares students to apply for acceptance to Hampshire College with coursework already completed credited toward Hampshire's academic requirements. Students may also choose to apply to other selective liberal arts colleges.

Apply online via

Application Deadlines

James Baldwin Scholars Application January 15, 2016 February 1, 2016

Required Application Materials

We do a holistic read of your application, meaning we look at everything. To apply, submit the following materials through the Common Application:

  • Common Application
  • James Baldwin Scholars application
  • An academic paper from a class
  • Interview with a Hampshire admissions counselor
  • Personal Statement
  • Current transcripts
  • School report, including guidance counselor recommendation
  • One academic letter of recommendation. If you are not currently enrolled in school, we will accept letters from employers, coaches, religious leaders, or other mentors.


An admissions interview is required before the January 15 application deadline. When you contact the admissions office to schedule an appointment, please let the receptionist know you are a Baldwin Scholar candidate.

To schedule an interview, call the admissions office at 877.937.4267 at least two weeks in advance. Interviews must be completed by the admissions deadline. If you are unable to travel to campus, please request to speak to the admissions counselor on the James Baldwin Scholars Committee so that arrangements can be made for a field or telephone interview.

Optional Application Materials

Some optional application materials can be submitted through the Common Application. You will also have the opportunity, after applying, to submit additional optional materials such as photos, videos, PDFs, Word documents, and music files through your online application portal with Hampshire College.

  • Tell us about a collaborative, group, or community-engaged activity that has been especially meaningful to you and why.
  • Video/media supplement. This could be music, dance, film, animation, monologue, etc.
  • Project sample: submit an example of your independent or collaborative project work. This project can be creative, scientific, or otherwise showcase the type of work you've done in high school. Provide a link if necessary.
  • Additional letters of recommendation, up to three.

*Supplemental Essay Questions

We like to geek out here at Hampshire, and our essay questions give you a chance to do the same. So here's a sneak peek at the questions you'll find on the Common App. We can't wait to read what you come up with.

  • Describe a proposal for a hypothetical research project that explores the connections between two or three different disciplines (for example: math, creative writing, and psychology). Which academic disciplines would you draw from and how would you utilize Hampshire's unique curricular structure to realize and enhance your project? (300 word minimum)
  • Students receive narrative evaluations at Hampshire instead of letter or number grades. At the end of each course, students also complete a self-evaluation reflecting on their goals and class performance. Write a self-evaluation of a favorite class or other learning activity in high school. What were your goals? Where did you succeed? What do you wish had gone differently? (300 word minimum)

After Submitting Your Application

Once we process your application, we will send an acknowledgment letter that includes a username and password for you to check the completeness of your admissions file online.


Still have questions? Check out our FAQ page, or contact us at

Common App Support

Prospective Applicants can get Common App online support through the Applicant Help Center. From the Help Center, click the "Ask a Question" tab to contact our support team and access a comprehensive FAQ resource covering different aspects of the application process.

Counselors/Recommenders with Common App questions or suggestions can contact them through the Recommender Help Center. You can also receive real-time support through the new chat program available now from 12-4 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.

"There are two reasons why Hampshire graduates achieve so much. One is the kind of person the college attracts. The other is what the college does for them by equipping them to become their own wide-ranging explorers and connection-seekers."

Loren Pope, Colleges that Change Lives (2006)

Hampshire College is a member of Colleges that Change Lives, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and support of a student-centered college search process.

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