Baker Scholars Program
Baker Scholars are ambassadors of the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology. The Baker Scholars Program includes up to forty of some of the best students in our school across our ten programs and across all years of study. The students selected to join this program participate in opportunities that enhance skills such as problem solving, public speaking, leadership, and event and project management. Activities range from cultural outings and team building exercises, to volunteer and community service initiatives. Events for the Baker Scholars include bringing invited guests to campus for the Dean’s Forum, connecting with Baker Scholar alumni, cultural outings ranging from arts to sports, volunteer and service activities, and of course spending some time on campus with our favorite visitors – Jay and Patty Baker. Through the Baker Scholars program, students gain knowledge beyond the classroom, develop fluency in the arts and philanthropic topics, and build a network for professional purposes.
Jay and Patty Baker
Jay Baker is an expert in the retail industry, a philanthropist, an avid sports fan, and a lover of the arts. After completing his undergraduate degree in management and marketing from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, he built his career first in buying and management positions, then as Merchandising Manager and Director, and ultimately Chairman and President at companies including Macy’s, Ohrbach’s, Famous Barr, BATUS Retail, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, and Thimbles. In 1986, Jay Baker became the President of Kohl’s. Working with the CEO and Executive Vice President, along with outside investors, Jay and his partners led a management buyout of Kohl’s from BATUS. Jay was the lead merchant and, under his leadership, the company grew from 40 to 350 stores, with revenue growing from $280million to over $6billion. Before he retired in 2000, Jay ensured ongoing success of Kohl’s by mentoring and the next President. As the second-largest department store by retail sales in the US, Kohl’s now operates 1,162 stores in 49 states.
Patty Baker studied theater and art history at Hunter College, worked at Tiffany & Co., and is now a Broadway producer. She credits a theatre course for sparking an interest that led to a new vocation, Tony honors, and, most recently, the musical Beautiful, a Broadway show about singer/composer Carole King. Patty also serves on the boards of the Naples Players in Florida and the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.
Jay and Patty Baker believe in education and the future of the retail industry. Jay actively draws on his career to create opportunities for promising business school students to become successful leaders in the retail industry. Jay and Patty have sponsored significant infrastructure updates for founding what is now known as the Patty and Jay Baker School of Business and Technology at FIT, and continue to support annual scholarships for forty Baker Scholars.
Jay and Patty Baker are active community members in Naples, Florida, where they reside much of the year. Jay serves as the Chairman of The Patty & Jay Baker Naples Museum of Art, a Trustee of the Naples Philharmonic, and is a part owner and member of the Board of Directors for the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs (a Single A, Tampa Bay baseball team.) In 1999, Jay and Patty Baker established the Pat and Jay Baker Foundation to support their charitable interests. Jay and Patty visit New York City on a regular basis, and enjoy time on FIT's campus meeting with Baker Scholars each semester.
As a Baker Scholar, students:
- Receive an annual endowed scholarship to cover a portion of tuition costs
- Enjoy priority status for course registration
- Gain priority status for on-campus housing
- Participate in exclusive Baker Scholar events: receptions with Jay and Patty and networking with Baker Scholar alumni
- Join cultural events in New York City: Broadway performances, professional sporting events, guided museum tours, etc.
Baker Scholars Program requirements include:
- Maintain a full-time matriculation in a Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology degree program
- Maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average
- Exhibit a commitment to community service through participation in college and non-profit organization activities
- Demonstrate financial need each year via a Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) filing, due January 15 for continuing and February 1 for new students.
- Commit to a non-smoking lifestyle
- Attend and participate in required meetings and activities outlined in the Baker Scholars Program At-A-Glance calendars for each semester
Maintain productive Committee activity (all Baker Scholars must participate in at least one committee for planning events, initiatives, and outings)
Eligibility to Apply
- Enrolled in a degree program in the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology.
- Be in semesters 1-4 of study at FIT (i.e., freshmen, sophomores, and rising juniors).
- Hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5.
- Demonstrate financial need via FAFSA.
- Meet Baker Scholars Program requirements (see above).
- Complete a Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) filing, by January 15 for continuing and February 1 for new students.
Review information on the Baker Scholars program page to learn about the goals, benefits, requirements, and benefactors of the program.
- The FIT Financial Aid Services team sends an invitation to apply to all eligible students via email starting in late February (this invitation includes a link to the web-based application system).
- Complete application by the deadline (typically by late March or early April).
- Early completion of the application is recommended since candidate selection decisions are made in phases leading up to the deadline.
- Selected freshmen candidates are typically notified in April, and all other candidates by late May (when financial aid award notifications are released yet before tuition bills are sent).
Decision Making Process
- Applications typically open in late February each year. Timing is tied to the FAFSA process since the first step in determining eligibility requirements is assessing financial need.
- All applicants that meet eligibility requirements are reviewed in the Spring semester for consideration of a Fall entry into the program.
- The screening for financial need is completed by FIT’s Financial Aid Services team based on FAFSA and related information supplied by students in the FIT financial aid system.
- The application requires background information, a few questions with brief answers, and an essay (500 words max) to articulate professional aspirations, interests and background, and what makes you a strong candidate.
- The review process to consider eligible applicants includes input from a committee with representation from the Office of the Dean, current Baker Scholars, and alumni from the program.
First Steps as a Baker Scholar
- Candidates selected to receive an invitation to the Baker Scholars program are notified by the Financial Aid Services team at FIT, and then more details are shared from the Office of the Dean. Candidates must confirm their decision to accept the invitation with the Office of the Dean.
- A New Baker Scholar orientation meeting is held early in the Fall semester, after which the new members of the program join continuing members in meetings, activities, etc.
Continuing in the Baker Scholars Program
- In order to remain in good standing in the Baker Scholars program, including being eligible to receive and participate in the benefits offered, students must adhere to all requirements outlined at the Baker Scholars program page and demonstrate financial need via FAFSA each year.
For additional information about the Baker Scholars program:
- If you have questions regarding eligibility as it relates to financial aid and financial need, please contact Sharon Naftaliahu, Scholarship Coordinator, at 212-217-3560 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you have questions regarding the Baker Scholar program in general, please contact the Office of the Dean at (212) 217-4330 or email@example.com, or visit B423.