Through a partnership between the U.S Department of Agriculture and 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities, the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program was set up in 1992. The program was set up to bring more students into agriculture, food, natural resources, and human sciences.
Each year, up to 36 awards that range from $20,000 to $60,000 are offered to high school seniors entering their freshman year of college. These freshmen are students who will be attending one of the nineteen 1890 historically black land-grant colleges and universities across the United States.
The fully-funded scholarship runs for up to four years and covers tuition, books, room and board, and other fees.
Key Information of USDA 1890 National Scholars Program
Area of Study
- Food Science
Country of Study
- Alabama A&M University
- Alcorn State University
- Central State University, Ohio
- Delaware State University
- Florida A&M University
- Fort Valley State University, Georgia
- Kentucky State University
- Langston University, Oklahoma
- Lincoln University, Missouri
- North Carolina A&T State University
- Prairie View A&M University, Texas
- South Carolina State University
- Southern University, Louisiana
- Tennessee State University
- Tuskegee University, Alabama
- University of Arkansas Pine Bluff
- University of Maryland Eastern Shore
- Virginia State University
- West Virginia State University
Intended Level of Study
Number of Awards
USDA 1890 National Scholars Program Timeline
Application opening date
Application for the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program in November.
February 15, 2023
The deadline for the submission of applications is February the following year.
February 28, 2023
Award announcement date
The names of successful candidates will be announced by the end of February.
To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet the following criteria.
- Eligible Grade: Undergraduate
- Age: 17 – 21
- Required GPA: 3
- Geographic Eligibility: United States
- Gender: Any
- Race/Ethnicity: Any
Here’s what you need to submits besides your application.
- Present Work Experiences
- Standardized Test Scores
- Grade transcript
- Recommendation letters
How to ace the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program
Possess and maintain high academic records
To stand a chance of winning the USDA 1890 National Scholars award, you should possess high academic records. While a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 is required, you should aim to have a higher GPA. Make sure that you have more than 1080 SAT scores (verbal and math combined) or more than 21 ACT scores. Study very hard to maintain outstanding academic records as it will qualify you to renew the scholarship every year until graduation.
Highlight your participation in your school
When writing your essay, mention areas where you showed leadership and volunteer work in your school and/or community. You may also include your present work experiences aside from volunteering if you have any. If you have not shown leadership or participated in community service, you may consider taking up a leadership role and offering volunteer services. You should only do this when you have a few years left before planning to apply for the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program.
Apply to the institution first before the scholarship
Endeavor to apply to any of the designated nineteen 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities first before submitting your scholarship application. The reason is that some institutions take a lot of time in processing entry applications and this may delay your scholarship when you win it.
Ensure that all application documents are endorsed
Before you submit your official transcript, make sure that the transcript bears the seal and official signature of your school. You should also ensure that all other application documents come with only the original signature.
How the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program is Judged
Candidates must be U.S. citizens that possess a high school diploma or a GED certificate and are incoming freshmen. Additionally, applicants should have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale. They should also be willing to pursue a bachelor's degree in agriculture, food science, natural resource science, or related fields at one of 19 designated 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities across the United States.
Why We Love the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program
Study at reputable institutions
The USDA 1890 National Scholars award is offered to students to pursue degrees at one of the Historically Black Land-Grant Universities in the United States. These historically black land-grant colleges and universities offer world-class education, hence ranking among the best institutions across the U.S and in the world.
Gain employment in USDA upon graduation
Once a recipient completes the academic and summer work requirements of the financial award, USDA may use its discretion to convert the recipient to a permanent employee.
The scholarship is renewable
The USDA 1890 National Scholars program is renewed for up to four (4) years of academic study. However, beneficiaries must maintain outstanding academic records to be eligible for the renewal.
5 Facts About the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program
Advancing agricultural education
The USDA scholars award aims to attract more students and offer high-quality education and research in order to produce skilled graduates in the field of agricultural sciences.
The USDA scholarship aims to empower and increase the number of students at minority-serving institutions to pursue careers in agriculture, food, natural resources, and human sciences.
Transforming America's food system
Today, USDA is transforming the food system of Americans by focusing on more resilient local and regional food production, providing fairer markets for all producers, and providing access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities.
The scholarship is restricted to specific areas
While the award is available to U.S. citizens, it is limited to students who are studying in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
USDA connects youths with the farm
The U.S. Department of Agriculture seeks to promote a connection between the U.S. youth and everyday links to the farm both in the classroom and in society.