The School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) offers various institutional scholarships to support our newly admitted and continuing students. Opportunities are available for undergraduates or graduates and are generally based on strong academic work, commitment to labor and public service, or financial need. SLU also connects students to a number of external scholarship offerings from esteemed organizations.

To view our complete portfolio, click Find Scholarships above. To apply, click Apply Now and login to SLU’s Scholarship Hub.

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SLU College Scholarships

Promoting Diversity and Excellence in Union Leadership and Labor Studies

Over the past 50 years, the demographics of the U.S. labor force have changed significantly, with dramatic increases in the number of women and people of color. The racial and gender composition of national union leadership, however, continues to trail behind the demographics of our workforce. The academic field of Labor Studies reflects a similar imbalance in the ratio of students to faculty and administrators, where women and people of color are considerably underrepresented. The Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor is dedicated to the purpose of fostering diverse and representative leadership in the labor movement and in the academic discipline of Labor Studies.

Each year since 2013, the City University of New York has supported the Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor program by providing an annual challenge-grant. The CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies raises matching funds annually with donations from generous individuals and organizations representing various sectors and professions, including labor unions, academia, non-profit organizations, and businesses. The scholarship was designed to create pipelines that will bring women and people of color to the forefront of the labor movement and labor education. Each year the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies will award up to $150,000 in scholarships to qualified applicants, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Award Amount

  • Up to 20k in tuition, fees, and other college costs for undergraduate students
  • Up to 30k in tuition, fees, and other college costs for graduate students


  • Admitted to the B.A. in Urban and Community Studies with a concentration in Labor with no less than 60 college credits from an accredited institution: minimum 2.5 GPA from prior undergraduate work
  • Admitted to the M.A. in Labor Studies; minimum 3.0 GPA from prior undergraduate work
  • Essay to demonstrate potential for leadership in social justice movements and/or the capacity for academic scholarship in the field of Labor Studies
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from academics and/or practitioners in social justice movements, unions, or labor education
  • One (1) writing sample
  • Virtual or in-person interview (if requested)

Empowering Students by Breaking Down Financial Barriers

The Tuition Scholarship provides a helping-hand to students who are committed to pursuing their educational goals. Since its inception in 2015, SLU has committed thousands of dollars to Tuition Scholarships, making college an affordable reality for individuals with imminent financial need.

Award Amount

  • Up to $1,700 per semester

Applications are opened once per academic year, however, awards are assessed prior to the start of the fall and spring semester.


  • New or continuing undergraduate or graduate students in a certificate or degree-seeking program.
  • Minimum 3-credits enrolled per semester
  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA for undergraduates; 3.0 for graduates
  • Completed FAFSA
  • Compelling essay that demonstrates financial need

Supporting Student Success by Improving Movement Towards Degree Completion

Persistence Grants provide a quick response to students with short-term economic hardship whose prior semester balance has impacted their enrollment eligibility.

Award Amount

Persistence is a one-time hardship grant to subsidizes up to 80% of past-due tuition and fees, or $1,500.00, whichever is less. Persistence only covers a portion of tuition and fees – so awardees will be required to pay whatever amount the scholarship does not. Non-payment will cause the grant to be canceled.


  • Continuing student in a certificate or degree-seeking program
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA for undergraduate applicants; 3.0 for graduate applicants
  • Overdue balance from a prior semester*
  • Demonstrate short-term economic hardship

*Prior term tuition with a balance of $0 will not be considered for a Persistence Grant regardless of hardship status. Tuition that is due for an upcoming semester will not be considered for a Persistence Grant.

Persistence Grants are opened for a limited time, so candidates will receive an e-invitation to apply when applications are available. The invitation will contain instructions to meet with an academic advisor first. Once the candidate has completed an enrollment plan, they can apply for the grant online.

Supporting Advancement and Career Mobility through Post-Secondary Education

The Solidarity Scholarship expands educational opportunities to new, non-traditional, or returning adult students. Candidates must demonstrate their desire to improve life in their communities, whether they be academic, professional, social, or political and demonstrate how their studies will put them in a better position to accomplish that.

Award Amount

  • Cost of tuition ONLY for two (2) courses at the NYS Resident rate of tuition


  • Newly admitted undergraduate or graduate student
  • Minimum 3-credits enrolled per semester
  • Financial need as demonstrated by the FAFSA
  • Compelling essay

Supporting Leaders of Tomorrow by Expanding Educational Opportunities Today

The Public Service and Social Justice Scholarship provides tuition support for students who are committed to social change through public service.

Award Amount

  • Up to $3,000 towards tuition and fees for 4-consecutive semesters


  • Newly admitted student
  • Matriculated BA or MA student
  • One (1) essay that focuses on the applicant’s commitment to public service or social justice
  • One (1) professional reference from an employer, supervisor, social justice leader or faculty member

Renewable Requirements

  • Minimum GPA 3.0 graduate students; 2.5 for undergraduates

*Enrollment of 6-credits or more is strongly recommended

Expanding Opportunities to Pursue Advanced Degrees at SLU

The Mayor’s Graduate Scholarship Program provides full-time New York City government employees the opportunity to continue their education through graduate study at accredited colleges and universities in the metropolitan area. The Department of Citywide Administrative Services administers this program. The School of Labor and Urban Studies participates in the Mayor’s Graduate Scholarship Program and will award partial  scholarships on a competitive basis.

Award Amount

MGSP pays up to $1,500 each term for the first and second semester of enrollment only


  • Employed by a New York City government agency
  • Newly matriculated graduate student in one of the following programs: MA in Labor Studies, MA in Urban Studies, Advanced Certificates in Health Care Policy and Administration, Labor Relations, Labor Studies, Community Leadership, Public Administration and Public Policy, or Workplace Democracy and Community Ownership
  • Minimum half-time enrollment
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (recurring)

Apply for MGSP

  • Apply for admission to the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
  • Complete the Mayor’s Graduate Scholarship Program application and submit to your personnel office by the deadline (do not submit to SLU)

Note: The completed application is screened by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and then forwarded to SLU for review.

To obtain further information or application materials, visit: or call (212) 669-4163

Tuition Support for Outstanding TWU Local 100 and ATU Local 1056 Members

The Dr. Robin Gillespie Scholarship for Labor Studies is named after Dr. Robin Gillespie, who was also a powerful advocate for improving the lives of working people.

About Dr. Robin Gillespie

Dr. Robin Gillespie earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Harvard University, and a master’s degree from UC Berkeley in Health Education. However, her academic journey did not stop there – she went on to obtain a Ph.D. from NYU in Ergonomics and Biometrics. Dr. Gillespie’s career is similarly impressive, serving as a Senior Program Director for Health and Safety, Principal Investigator, and Occupational Safety Consultant. SLU welcomed Dr. Gillespie onboard in 2015 where she would teach Occupational Health and Safety to transit workers. Her passion for public service and commitment to education inspired her students and those who had the privilege of working alongside her.

Dr. Gillespie made significant contributions to the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) and Transport Workers Union (TWU), most notably her work to make bus designs safer and healthier for operators and the public. Nationally, she led research and education projects at the National Science Foundation’s Transportation Research Board and its Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP). She was the lead author of the groundbreaking 2016 TCRP report, Bus Operator Workstation Design for Improving Occupational Health and Safety. This scholarship was designed to provide tuition support for TWU/ATU members who reflect share Dr. Gillespie’s commitment to education and union leadership.

Award Amount

The Dr. Robin Gillespie Scholarship provides up to $1,000.00 in tuition support for the first semester of enrollment


  • Must be a member of TWU Local 100 or ATU Local 1056
  • Admitted to Certificate in Labor Relations or Advanced Certificate in Labor Relations in the fall semester
  • One (1) letter of reference from a union nominating leader
  • Compelling essay
All scholarships are subject to financial availability and the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies reserves the right to reduce or rescind a scholarship if financial circumstances dictate. Scholarships may not be deferred. Recipients must use the scholarship during the period in which it is awarded.