- How important are grades?
Grades are less important than community service and leadership records, but they are still significant. Nominees should generally be in the top quarter of their class and have at least a 3.0 GPA. To see the relative importance of grades in relation to leadership, public service, and demonstrated commitment, review the application rating form at Who Should Apply.
- Are any fields of study given priority?
No. Udall Scholars come from all majors and fields of study. Recent Udall Scholars have majored in environmental sciences and policy studies, agriculture, political science, natural resource management, sociology, anthropology, American Indian studies, tribal public policy, history, English, theater, landscape architecture, and public health, to name just a few areas.
- Are two-year college students eligible to apply?
Yes. Two year college students may apply as sophomores in the semester before receiving their associate's degree. You must have applied and/or been accepted to a four year university as a full-time student for the following year in order to receive the award.
- How does the Udall Foundation define American Indian?
For the purposes of the Scholarship or Internship Program, an American Indian or Alaska Native is any individual who is:
- An enrolled member of a state or federally recognized Indian tribe or band, including any tribe or band terminated since 1940;
- A descendant in first or second degree of an enrolled member of a state or federally recognized Indian tribe or band, who can demonstrate affiliation with the tribal community, according to criteria set by the Udall Foundation;
- Considered by the Secretary of the Interior to be an Indian for any purpose;
- An Eskimo, Aleut, or other Alaska Native;
- A permanent U.S. resident who is a member of the First Nations of Canada.
- What kind of documents are required to prove tribal enrollment or descendancy?
Applicants must submit copies of relevant enrollment forms, cards, and/or descent documentation such as a Certificate of Degree of Indian or Alaska Native Blood. Descendants of enrolled tribal members must provide proof of their parent's or grandparent's enrollment and birth certificates that demonstrate the applicant's relationship to the enrolled tribal member. Applicants who are members of the First Nations of Canada must submit proof of U.S. permanent residency. Applicants who cannot demonstrate tribal enrollment and do not have a CDIB should obtain a letter from a tribal leader to demonstrate their involvement in the tribal community.
- I am not an enrolled member of a state or federally recognized tribe. May I still apply as a tribal public policy or Native health care scholar?
That depends. If you are not currently on your tribal roll, and do not have a CDIB, you may provide proof of a parent or grandparent's enrollment and copies of birth certificates demonstrating your relationship. You should also obtain a letter from a tribal leader indicating your involvement in your tribal community The Udall Foundation will review the letter to determine if it provides sufficient proof of eligibility to meet our criteria.
- I am Native Hawaiian. Am I eligible to apply?
No, at this time Native Hawaiians are not eligible. The Foundation may revisit this issue in the future.
- I have enough credit hours to be a senior, but I don't plan to graduate for another full academic year. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes. The Udall Foundation considers you to be a junior if you will be a full-time undergraduate student for the following academic year. Students who intend to graduate the following December are not eligible. Students who have already applied twice for the scholarship are not eligible.
- I’m technically a junior, but I have enough credits to graduate in December of my senior year. Would I still eligible to apply?
No. Scholars must be enrolled full time during the year following their award.
- I’m in my first or second semester of college, but I have enough credits to be considered a sophomore. Am I eligible to apply?
No. You must have completed at least three semesters of college coursework, not including AP credits or college courses taken in high school.
- If selected as a Scholar, may I defer the award? I intend to do something impressive and/or scholarly.
No, the Udall Scholarship cannot be deferred. Scholars must be enrolled as full time undergraduates during the following academic year or decline the scholarship. All Scholars must also attend their Scholar Orientation, which is an integral part of becoming a Udall Scholar. If you cannot attend Orientation, the Udall Foundation will revoke your scholarship.
- I'm in a five-year combined bachelor's and master's program. May I apply?
Yes. Students in a five-year program that will lead to a combined bachelor's/master's degree may apply in their 2nd and 3rd years of study, but not in their fourth year. Students in a five-year program leading to a bachelor's degree may apply in two out of three of their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th years of study. Students may not apply more than three times.
- Are students who are pursuing a second undergraduate degree eligible?
Applicants who have returned to school for a 2nd undergraduate degree are eligible if:
- They are returning after an absence of at least 2 years;
- Their first undergraduate degree was in a field unrelated to the environment, tribal public policy, or health care;
- They have not previously been awarded a Udall Scholarship or Honorable Mention.
- Why can't I access the online application?
Your Udall faculty representative must register you in order to give you access to the online application. When you have been registered, you will receive an email with a link to the application and your username and password.
- My school doesn’t have a faculty representative. What should I do?
Discuss your interest in the Udall Scholarship with a professor, the dean of your academic college, or a faculty advisor. Direct them to the Udall Faculty Reps webpage to explain the importance of the faculty rep's role in the application process. In the meantime, use the sample application to begin thinking about your essays and letters of recommendation (you can request your letters even before you have a faculty rep). If one of your letter writers is affiliated with your undergraduate institution as faculty or staff, that person may also serve as your faculty rep. If you are having trouble recruiting a faculty rep, please contact the Udall Scholarship program manager for assistance.
- How do I determine my state of legal residence?
Typically, your state of legal residence is the state in which you are registered to vote or your family's primary residence. Your school address is not usually your legal residence unless you have a permanent address in that city (and are not there simply for the purpose of attending university).
- Which transcripts should I submit with my application?
You should submit transcripts from your current institution, transfer institutions, and any institutions where you took summer courses for college credit. If your transcript lists transfer credits, but no grades, we require transcripts from the transferring institution.
You do not need to submit transcripts for:
- College courses taken during high school;
- Summer courses that were not for college credit;
- Courses for which you did not receive credit at your current institution;
- College courses taken more than 10 years ago.