Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program

Make a difference in your local community as a Paul D. Coverdell Fellow.

As a returned Peace Corps volunteer, you possess a commitment to humanity, an open mind and an adventurous spirit. You’ve experienced firsthand the most pressing social, cultural, economic and environmental issues of our day and, as a result, possess a deep understanding of the critical challenges facing developing and developed nations alike.

You’re looking for the opportunity to harness your knowledge and passion to make a difference in the local community during your time at Lerner. The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program for Peace Corps alumni will help you achieve this goal.

The Lerner College, named a Coverdell Fellows partner in 2018, offers two scholarships to incoming M.S. International Business students who meet the eligibility requirements of a returned Peace Corps volunteer. While pursuing a graduate degree, Coverdell Fellows participate in a meaningful internship in an underserved community in the Delaware area.

As a Coverdell Fellow in the Lerner College you will receive the following benefits:

  • Financial assistance: Financial aid will include a full or partial tuition scholarship and a stipend.
  • Professional experience: Your internship will allow you to combine what you learned in the field with what you’re learning in the classroom to make a difference in a professional non-profit setting.
  • Helping others: As part of the program requirement, you’ll provide much-needed assistance to an underserved community in Delaware.
  • Furthering the Peace Corps mission: By sharing your experiences in classrooms and in communities, you will help fulfill the Peace Corps Third Goal: to promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
  • Federal jobs: If you enroll at Lerner soon after Peace Corps service, your one-year noncompetitive eligibility status for federal jobs applications may, at the hiring agency’s discretion, be extended up to three years from your close of service date.


Peace Corps volunteers earn lifetime eligibility for the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program if they fall into one of the following categories:

  • Peace Corps volunteers who complete the full two-year tour of Peace Corps service or are otherwise given “completion of service” (COS) status
  • Peace Corps volunteers who are medically separated
  • Peace Corps volunteers who are given “interrupted service” status because of circumstances beyond their control
  • Peace Corps Response or Global Health Services Partnership volunteers who complete 12 months of service within a 24-month period
  • Exception: The 12 month requirement was waived for all Peace Corps Response Volunteers evacuated in March 2020 due to COVID-19.

Note that two-year volunteers who resign or are administratively separated are not eligible for Coverdell Fellows unless they had already earned eligibility through a previous Peace Corps tour.

If you have questions about your eligibility status, you may contact the Peace Corps’ Office of University Programs at

How to Apply

Prospective Coverdell Fellows should submit their official Peace Corps Description of Service to the Faculty Director of the MS-IB program.

Prospective Fellows are subject to the admissions requirements and deadlines for the Master of Science in International Business.


You will be notified of your acceptance as a Coverdell Fellow at the same time you receive your offer of admission from Lerner, provided you apply by February 1 for fall semester admission. Specifically, you will be notified on or before March 1.


Dr. Jennifer Gregan, Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program Coordinator