Higley Fellowship

The Higley Fellowship was established by the Higley Fund at the Cleveland Foundation to provide scholarship support to develop social work leaders in Northeast Ohio. The Higley Fund has a long standing commitment to expand knowledge and social work opportunities in the region. The fellowship honors Mildred Higley, a 1922 graduate of the Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) program. 

Higley Fellows are awarded a 75% scholarship for study in the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at Case Western Reserve University's Mandel School.

To be eligible, applicants must live in northeast Ohio in one of 16 counties: Ashland, Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, or Wayne. Students must also be applying to either the MSW On-campus Weekly program or the MSW Intensive Weekend program. 

Creating Impact

Just as Mildred Higley made a difference in the lives of countless northeast Ohioans, her scholarship recipients carry on her legacy of local impact. They do so during internships and field placements with area organizations. Nearly ⅔ of recent Mildred S. Higley Scholarship recipients remain in the area and establish their social work and nonprofit careers in northeast Ohio. Thus, the ongoing partnership between Case Western Reserve and the Higley Fund strengthens our ability to enroll dedicated students and to retain their talent within our region, helping to enhance the professionalism of agencies and nonprofit organizations across northeast Ohio.

Case Western Reserve and the Mandel School remain grateful for the annual tradition of scholarship support from the Higley Fund, which has allowed outstanding students to pursue graduate degrees in social work. Today, more than ever, Mandel School students and alumni are rising to meet emerging challenges and to serve the needs of our region and others. They do so with the same perseverance and depth of character exhibited by Mildred S. Higley. In honoring her, this award inspires generations who share her values of caring, compassion and commitment to social justice to powerfully impact communities in northeast Ohio and beyond. 

Students selected must demonstrate the personal qualities which Mrs. Higley embodied – and which are considered essential for the professional practice of social work: strong moral character; strong analytical and communications skills; a caring and compassionate nature; and a personal commitment to social justice, empowering individuals, and serving vulnerable and underrepresented groups.

About Mildred S. Higley

headshot of Mildred Schuch Higley

Mildred Schuch Higley embodied a pioneering and dedicated spirit. In 1920, she enrolled in one of the early cohorts of students at the new Western Reserve University School of Applied Social Sciences (now the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University). Earning her MSSA degree in 1922, she forged ahead with that same spirit into a career in social work and a life of civic involvement. In just one story recounting her perseverance, Mrs. Higley educated herself in the arts of plastering, plumbing and carpentry to better lead the Cleveland YWCA’s volunteer building services committee.

Almost a century after Mrs. Higley graduated, her family continues to honor her legacy of compassion and innovation through the Mildred S. Higley Scholarship Fund established at Case Western Reserve University’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. Sustained by annual gifts from the Higley Fund since 1995, the scholarship has provided partial tuition to students enrolled at the Mandel School. The Higley Fellowship is a new scholarship beyond the existing endowed Higley Scholarship Fund.

For more information, please contact Richard Sigg, Director for Recruitment and Enrollment, at richard.sigg@case.edu.