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USDA Announces 1890 National Scholars Program Funding Opportunity

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the opening of the 2019 scholarship application cycle for the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program. The program aims to increase the number of minority students studying agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, and other agriculture-related disciplines. The program is available through the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE).

The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is a partnership between USDA and the 1890 historically black land-grant colleges and universities (PDF, 1.2 MB). The program provides full tuition, fees, books, room and board to students pursuing degrees in agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, or related academic disciplines. When the student has completed the academic and summer work requirements of the scholarship, USDA may at its discretion convert the student to a permanent employee without further competition. Since 2014, USDA has provided opportunities for nearly 140 scholars.

“The Scholars Program is a multifaceted approach to strengthen the pipeline of talented agriculture professionals while strengthening our relationship with USDA-supported institutions,” said Mike Beatty, Acting Director of the Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement.

This program is among several USDA efforts to build the capacity of historically black land-grant universities. Since the passage of the Second Morrill Act of 1890, USDA has supported scholarships, research, education, extension activities, and grants for facilities and equipment at these institutions.

The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is available to high school seniors entering their freshman year of college, and rising college sophomores and juniors. General requirements include U.S. citizenship, a cumulative year-end GPA of 3.0 or higher, and have been accepted to, or currently attending an 1890s institution to study agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, and related academic disciplines. The scholarship is renewable each year and is contingent on satisfactory academic performance and normal progress toward the bachelor’s degree. Additional requirements are listed in the application package.

All application materials must be postmarked by Tuesday, April 30, 2019. See the 2019 high school application (PDF, 1.8 MB) and the 2019 college application (PDF, 956 KB) for details.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.