A'Lelia Bundles Community Scholars

A'Lelia Bundles Community Scholars at Columbia University are members of the Upper Manhattan community who receive a three-year affiliation with Columbia and access to campus resources while they work on a project or skill that relates to or benefits their community. Bundles Scholars join an intellectual community with the other participants in the program and can connect with the university's intellectual life.

Applications for the 11th Cohort of Bundles Scholars are currently open. Please consult the application information and apply online. Applications will close on May 5 at 11:59 pm.

Scholars and Projects

Scholars typically work on a specific project or skill that they can improve or build out with the resources available at Columbia through the Bundles Scholars program, often with a connection to the community. Past and current scholars have worked on a wide variety of topics, including developing and expanding nonprofits that serve the neighborhood or the city, working on a biography of a historical figure or family member, answering a specific academic research question, and developing community outreach projects. See all past and current scholars and projects.


Bundles Scholars can access a variety of academic and campus resources. These include:

  • Access to Libraries, including special collections and online access.
  • Ability to audit a wide selection of courses
  • University ID card
  • University email address
  • Access to university events and programs
  • Annual stipend of $500
  • Platforms to share their work, including the School of Professional Studies' Bundles Scholars Speaker Series
  • Opportunities to build relationships within the program and across the university

Bundles Scholars do not receive a degree or credit towards a degree for the courses they take. To be eligible to be a Bundles Scholar, you must have a high school diploma, GED/TASC, or equivalent experience, and live in Manhattan north of 96th Street.

Program History

The Bundles Scholars program resulted from discussions with the West Harlem community, as part of Columbia University’s community benefits and services related to the Manhattanville Campus Expansion. Its goal is to allow independent scholars and community members with scholarly interests to pursue their goals and benefit from a formal relationship with Columbia. The program is a joint initiative of Columbia’s Office of Government and Community Affairs, the Office of the Provost, and the School of Professional Studies.

The first cohort, consisting of five scholars selected from a competitive field of applicants, began the program in the fall of 2013. Since then, four to five new scholars have been selected annually.

In June 2020, the program was renamed to honor Columbia University Trustee and program supporter A'Lelia Bundles.