Each year, the Udall Foundation awards approximately 60 scholarships to college sophomores and juniors. The awards are each worth $7,000. This scholarship was created in memory of Morris and Stewart Udall, who both had great impacts on health care and the self-governance of American Indians. As such, this award seeks to honor students who have demonstrated exceptional service, leadership, and commitment to working with American Indian nations or with the environment.
The online application for the Udall Scholarship is available beginning October 1st of each year. In order to get started, students should first review the following website: http://www.udall.gov/OurPrograms/Scholarship/HowToApply.aspx. Students should determine whether they are a good match for the Udall Scholarship. The second step is to choose the Udall faculty rep at your school. In order to do this, simply choose your state from the drop down list and select submit. After that, look for your school. Next to your school, there will be the name of a contact person who is the Udall faculty rep. This can be done at the following website: http://www.udall.gov/OurPrograms/Scholarship/Apply.aspx.
All Udall Scholarship applications must be received prior to the March 2nd deadline. A completed application includes three letters of recommendation, college transcripts, an application form, and a short essay. Students are able to peruse a sample application on the website in order to better understand what factors the judges are looking for in a strong application. Furthermore, the website offers application tips to students as well as tips on how to write great essays. In February, Question and Answer sessions are help in an effort to further support students who are interested in applying to the award.
Udall Scholars are chosen based on a combination of factors. This includes commitment to improving public policy among tribes, improving health care among indigenous populations, leadership ability, knowledge and application of the importance of the Udall scholarship, and academic merit. It is highly recommended that students look at the rating forms, which will be used to assess and rank their application. The form can be found here: http://www.udall.gov/Documents/pdf/RatingForm.pdf. Students may want to consider self-assessing themselves before turning in their application, as a way to make sure that they have covered all their bases.
In addition to the immediate financial benefits of the award, students are also connected with additional networking and professional development opportunities. This occurs through a variety of ways, such as an Alumni Association and Alumni Networks. There are also Udall Alumni Listservs to assist alums obtain jobs or secure internships. Furthermore, graduates of the program can stay connected by mentoring at an Orientation or by participating on the selection committee.
Students interested in applying for the award may want to explore the FAQ section of the website. The Foundation maintains an extensive listing of FAQs to help students determine if they are eligible, how to apply for the award, where to find advice on the application process, the benefits and conditions of the Udall Scholarship, and even FAQs for Faculty Representatives.