USDA 1890 National Scholars Program: Secure a Bright Future Now

Last Updated on October 5, 2023

A USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) employee working on a project supporting farm land owners.

The USDA 1890 National Scholars Program is more than just another scholarship—it's your passport to success in highly sought-after fields like agriculture, food sciences, and natural resource management. In a world desperate for innovative solutions to complex challenges, this program provides not just financial aid, but mentorship, work experience, and a robust network. By joining this exclusive group, you're setting yourself up for life-long benefits. Here's why you should pay attention to this golden opportunity.

What is the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program?

Managed by the USDA's Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement, this prestigious program exists to empower students like you from rural or underserved communities. With the objective of fostering the next generation of leaders in food, agriculture, and natural resource sciences, the program offers unmatched benefits for eligible students.

Why You Can’t Afford to Miss It

  • Full Scholarship: Tuition, fees, books, room and board are covered.
  • Diverse Fields of Study: From Agriculture to Botany, the options are limitless.
  • Professional Experience: Gain real-world experience through potential USDA internships.
  • Renewable Awards: Continue receiving the award by maintaining good academic standing.

Don’t miss the next scholarship application deadline!

📩 Sign up to receive updates on the next 1890 National Scholars Program application opening, along with information about other higher education opportunities for minority students. The 2024 application cycle opens in December 2023.

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

To be part of this transformative USDA 1890 National Scholars Program, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Be accepted or currently attend one of the nineteen 1890 land-grant universities
  • Demonstrate leadership and community service
  • Meet standardized test score requirements (21 ACT, 1080 SAT)

🔗 To submit your USDA 1890 scholarship application, go here.

1890 Land-Grant Universities: The Core of the Program

The program aims to populate the faculties and professional ranks of 1890 land-grant universities, strengthening institutions crucial to our nation's agricultural future. These universities, which include esteemed HBCUs like Alabama A&M and Alcorn State, were established under the Second Morrill Act of 1890 with the intent of educating students in agriculture, science, military science, and engineering. Over the years, these institutions have evolved into leading educational and research hubs, making them ideal settings for scholars looking to make an impact in related fields.

The 1890 land-grant universities are a group of 19 HBCUs that focus on creating educational opportunities in food, agriculture, and natural sciences. Being a part of this prestigious list opens doors to countless opportunities:

  • Alabama A&M University
  • Alcorn State University, Mississippi
  • 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

Disciplines of Study: Your Pathway to Success

The USDA 1890 scholarship application requires students to major in one of the following disciplines:

  • Agriculture
  • Agricultural Business/Management
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Agricultural Engineering/Mechanics
  • Agronomy or Crop Science
  • Animal Sciences
  • Botany
  • Food Sciences/Technology
  • Forestry and Related Sciences
  • Home Economics/Nutrition
  • Horticulture
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Soil Conservation/Soil Science
  • Farm and Range Management

Timing Matters: When to Apply and Expect Awards

Mark your calendars because the 2024 USDA 1890 scholarship application cycle opens in December 2023. Award notifications typically happen in the spring, giving you ample time to prepare for your transformative journey.

Real-Life Success: Meet Deborah

Deborah Shows became the first-ever 1890 National Scholar at the Risk Management Agency within the Department of Agriculture USDA. A native of Mississippi, Deborah pursued Agricultural Economics at Alcorn State University, one of the 1890 land-grant universities. She was selected for an internship and eventually got a permanent position at USDA. Truly, the program is a stepping stone for splendid career opportunities. Read More.

Frquently Asked Questions

What is the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program?

A full-ride scholarship for students attending 1890 land-grant institutions national program universities in specified disciplines.

What are the main qualifications for the USDA 1890 land-grant scholarship?

U.S. citizenship, 3.0 GPA, 21 ACT, or 1080 SAT scores, among other criteria.

How many 1890 land-grant universities are there?

There are 19 land-grant colleges and universities that participate in the program.

What are the scholarships for students at 1890 institutions?

Full tuition, room and board, books, and potential work experience at US Department of Agriculture.

For any questions regarding the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program, please contact:

  • Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement, USDA/1890 Programs
  • 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Stop 0601, Washington, DC 20250
  • Telephone Number: (202) 720-6350
  • Email: or

For more resources, check out this map of 1890 land-grant universities.

Source: USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement

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