USDA/1890 National Scholarship deadline Feb. 1

Carol Sanders | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences

PINE BLUFF, Ark. – While students are busy applying to colleges and universities, their parents are wondering about financing their children’s aspirations. College expenses paid, summer internships and a good chance for a professional position upon graduation may seem like a dream in today’s economy. But, this can be reality if a student is selected as an U.S. Department of Agriculture/1890 Scholar.

Feb. 1. is the application deadline to become USDA/1890 National Scholar. Scholars receive tuition, fees, books, room and board, use of a laptop, printer and software while on scholarship, and summer employment with employee benefits. As long as normal progress is made toward a bachelor’s degree, the scholarship continues for up to four years.

“With the national average cost of attending an institution of higher education hovering around $20,000 per year, the USDA National Scholars Program is a big help to parents and students looking to finance a college education,” says George Richardson, USDA/1890 program liaison.

“Another plus,” says Richardson, “is employment.” Students have a job with employee benefits with USDA during the summers while in college.

Applicants should be entering freshmen and college sophomores and juniors and majoring in agriculture or related sciences which include agriculture, agronomy or crop science, animal science, botany, food sciences/technology, forestry, home economics/nutrition, horticulture, natural resources management, soil science, farm and range management and other related disciplines such as pre-veterinary medicine, computer science or nonmedical biological sciences.

Scholars must attend one of nineteen 1890 land-grant institutions and submit an application packet by Feb. 1 to the university the applicant wishes to attend. Applicants can be considered by more than one 1890 university, but they must send an original packet to each school to be considered. Each packet must contain original signatures and transcripts or it will be disqualified.

During the upcoming breaks from school, Richardson suggests that students apply to one of nineteen 1890 universities throughout the nation and then go online to http://www.outreach.usda.gov/education/1890/index.htm, download the 2015 USDA/1890 National Scholars Program High School or College application and submit it to the 1890 institution of their choice.

“The payoff could be handsome,” says Richardson.

Recipients are not selected by the 1890 institutions. Each 1890 university can submit up to 10 packets of qualified candidates to the USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach, which contacts USDA agencies who make the final selections.

Students and parents can learn more about the 1890/USDA Scholars Program online or by contacting Richardson. Contact him at (870) 575-7241; (870) 541-0047 or richardsong@uapb.edu. He also has application packets as do some high school counselors.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Program offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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