Eligibility/How to Apply

"The directors, Kevin and Randi, were the perfect examples of having a true passion about their craft. It was contagious because everyone wanted to participate and learn. They unified our diverse group." 2019 Summer Scholar

Am I eligible to apply?

Forever Wild seeks a diverse group of full and part-time educators from a variety of humanities disciplines; full-time or part-time teachers and librarians in public, charter, independent, and religiously affiliated schools, as well as home schooling parents. Museum educators and other K-12 school system personnel, such as administrators, substitute teachers, and curriculum developers, are also eligible to participate. While the content focus might be more appropriate to the middle and high school student, all K-12 educators are invited to apply. 

Applicants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline. Foreign nationals teaching abroad are not eligible to apply.

Individuals may not apply to an NEH Summer Seminar or Institute whose director is a family member, is affiliated with the prospective applicant’s institution, or is someone with whom the prospective applicant has previously studied.

Please consult the NEH Eligibility StatementNEH Participant Expectations, and NEH Principles of Civility before applying. 

To be considered eligible, applicants must submit a complete application as indicated in the "How do I Apply?" section below.

Endowment programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sexual
orientation, disability, or age. For further information, write to the Equal Opportunity Officer, National
Endowment for the Humanities, 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024. TDD: 202 606 8282 (this is a special telephone device for the Deaf).

How much is the stipend and what does it cover?

The NEH  stipend of $1300 will defray expenses associated with your participation in the Forever Wild program, such as travel, housing, and books. All participants will receive their stipend at the end of the program, less $550 for the  all-inclusive room and board at Camp Huntington on Raquette Lake. Participants are responsible for reserving/paying for their own hotel lodging in Cortland (see Housing & Transportation page). Please note: all stipends are taxable as income. 

May I earn graduate credit?

SUNY Cortland provides participants with certificates attesting to professional development hours completed during this summer institute. Participants may submit these certificates to their school districts in support of their efforts to earn professional development hours. Participants may earn 3.0 graduate credits from SUNY Cortland by enrolling as a “non-matriculated” student in HIS 529 TP: Gilded Age & Progressive Era. Tuition and fees are approximately $1,517.60 in-state and $2993.60 for non-residents (2024 rates will be published when available.)

How do I apply?

All applicants are invited to submit materials by the NEH application deadline of Tuesday, March 5, 2024, 11:59pm Pacific. SUMMER 2024 APPLICATION PERIOD CLOSED.
Please consult the NEH Eligibility StatementNEH Participant Expectations, and NEH Principles of Civility before applying. 

Complete applications include the following four components: 

  1. Online Application Form 
  2. Résumé (2 pages maximum) uploaded within the online application form. 
  3. Application Essay (2 double-spaced pages maximum) uploaded within the online application form. Application essays should explain how Forever Wild will benefit you professionally. To create a strong essay, you should address the following:
    1. Your effectiveness and commitment as a teacher/educator;
    2. Your intellectual interests as they relate to the topic of the seminar or institute;
    3. Your special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the program; 
    4. Evidence that participation will have a long-term impact on your teaching.
  4. Letter of Recommendation from your school principal, department head, district administrator or home-schooling association president as appropriate. The letter of recommendation should be emailed directly to forever.wild@cortland.edu 

How are participants selected?

A selection committee, comprising of the project directors and an outside reviewer with prior NEH experience, will evaluate all complete applications to select a group of 30 Summer Scholars and alternates for each week. To foster creative discussions related to pedagogical approaches, they aim to create a cross-discipline and mixed grade-level cohort. 

Three seminar spaces and five institute spaces may be reserved for teachers who are new to the profession (those who have been teaching for five years or less). First consideration is given to those who have not previously attended an NEH Seminar or Institute.

Important Dates/Deadlines:

March 5, 2024: Application Deadline. All four components of the application must be received including the online application form, resume and application essay (uploaded within the online form), and a letter of recommendation (emailed to forever.wild@cortland.edu).

April 5, 2024: Applicants will be notified of acceptance or alternate status.

By April 19, 2024: Successful applicants must accept or decline their offer(s).

NOTE: Once you have accepted an offer to attend any NEH Summer Program (NEH Summer Seminar or Institute), you may not accept an additional offer or withdraw in order to accept a different offer.


Forever Wild has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Contact Us

Project Coordinator:
Gonda Gebhardt

History Department
Old Main, Room 212-B
SUNY Cortland
P.O. Box 2000
Cortland, NY 13045-0900

Phone: 607-753-5918

Email: forever.wild@cortland.edu