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Become a Fellow

Thank you for your interest in the Germination Project’s Fellowship Program.
2024 Fellowship Class Applications are due on Midnight, December 31, 2023.

The Germination Project is a demanding, exclusive program, and the admissions process for aspiring Fellows is correspondingly rigorous and competitive. Germination Project applicants comprise a self-selected cohort of their high schools’ most accomplished students. Of these highly qualified applicants, approximately 12% are admitted each year to the Germination Project.

The Germination Project’s Selection Committee seeks candidates who possess a demonstrable background of accomplishment. The Committee considers each applicant’s GPA, courseload rigor and other examples of achievement, both academic and civic. The Selection Committee is less focused on an applicant’s charitable or community service activities, than on his or her ability to excel in high-pressure, challenging environments.

A critical component of the Germination Project application process is the personal essay. A successful candidate’s written personal statement will illustrate not only the candidate’s aptitude as a writer and communicator, but his or her intellectual curiosity, self-awareness, vision and the presence of a unique perspective on the world.

Candidates who pass the written materials phase of the application process will be submitted to an interview, up to an hour in length, with members of the Selection Committee. Interviews are challenging, probing and fast-paced. Successful candidates will demonstrate a keen ability to think quickly and critically, to remain cool under fire, and to articulate and defend their positions on any number of subjects.

The Germination Project invites 10th graders in good standing at high schools in Philadelphia and the surrounding region to apply by submitting the following items:

  • Personal statement describing your interest in the Germination Project and summarizing your view of civic commitment/leadership*
  • Summary of any extracurricular activities in which you participate
  • Two letters of recommendation from non-family members**
  • Academic report card or transcript
  • Completed copy of the application (available for download below)
  • Any additional information that you would like the Selection Committee to consider

* Either essay or video submissions are acceptable; applicants will be limited only by their creativity. Include a written statement or a URL address to your video with the application materials.

** Candidates may submit their letters of recommendation (i) by instructing the authors to email or (ii) by including the letters with the application

The Germination Project Selection Committee will inform all candidates of the outcome of their applications prior to the end of the current academic year. For specific questions and other information, please direct inquires to the Germination Project at

Please send the contents of your application along with all of your materials in a single PDF file to with the subject line: APPLICATION: ‘Last Name’, ‘First Name’

A Germination Project representative will respond and confirm receipt of your application.

Download Fellowship Application (PDF)