Nomination Process

A Northeastern University national initiative to recruit and retain first-generation college students with promise.

Torch Nominations for Fall 2014 are now closed.

The nomination process will open again in early October 2014.

If you have any questions, please email or contact Shannon Pittman, Assistant Director, at 617.373.7204.

Torch Scholars Program Criteria: We are looking for students who:

  • Have persevered despite difficult family situations, cultural barriers, financial challenges, or education environments that were unable to prepare them to compete for admission to a highly selective school such as Northeastern.
  • Show leadership through community, school, and service work; Torch nominees are "game-changers" in their communities, working to make a difference.
  • Have not yet demonstrated academic success at the level of their true potential, though they have taken solid college preparatory course work, and can be successful with the academic and personal support provided by the Torch Program.
  • Represent a diversity of academic majors, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and geographic areas.
  • Are first-generation college students whose parent(s) have not earned a four-year degree in the United States.
  • Are U.S. citizens, or documented permanent residents from low-income households.

Who can nominate a student for the Torch Scholars Program?

Any Professional (guidance counselors, teachers, mentors, clergy, community workers) may nominate one or more students for the Torch Scholars Program. Students should not nominate themselves or their peers for Torch. If you are a student who is interested in the Torch Scholars Program, we encourage you to apply to Northeastern University and invite an education or community outreach professional to nominate you for Torch. If you have questions about the Torch Scholars Program Nomination process, contact Shannon Pittman, Assistant Director at 617.373.7204 or

The deadline for nominating a Torch Scholar for the Torch 9 class, entering Fall 2014, is midnight January 24, 2014. Nomination information will be treated confidentially and used only for the purposes of evaluating the applicant’s appropriateness for our program. Download the Torch nomination FAQs here for more information.

Nomination Deadlines

January 24: Torch Scholars nomination deadline.

January 24: Northeastern University Regular Decision application deadline (all Torch Scholar applicants must complete the Common Application and required NU supplement at All application materials, including your nomination form, will be considered by the Torch Scholars Selection Committee. We will waive the application fee for Torch nominees. To request a fee waiver, when submitting the Common Application and Northeastern Supplement select "Other" as the fee waiver type in the payment section. We will grant the fee waiver after verifying that you have been nominated for the Torch Scholars Program. If you have questions about having your application fee waived, please contact Shannon Pittman, Assistant Director at 617.373.7204 or

February 1: Priority deadline for financial aid paperwork. Students should complete the FAFSA ( in order to be considered for the Torch Scholars program as well as other federal and institutional financial assistance.

February: Finalists will be notified and asked to complete Northeastern’s Comprehensive Leadership Assessment prior to their interview day.

March: Torch Scholars Program decisions are announced. Due to the unique nature of this Program, students selected as Torch Finalists will not receive their admissions decisions from Northeastern until after Scholarship recipients are announced.