The application deadline for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/1890 National Scholars Program is Jan. 31, Belinda Demmings Bell, USDA liaison for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, said. The program awards scholarships to students attending one of 19 historically black land-grant universities. High school seniors entering their freshman year of college and rising college sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply.

USDA/1890 National Scholars receive full tuition towards a bachelor’s degree, books, and the cost of room and board, Bell said. During the summer months while in college, the students will receive an internship with a USDA agency, including employee benefits. After graduation, all USDA/1890 National Scholars are employed by their selected agency and must commit to at least one year of service to USDA for each year of financial assistance provided.

National scholars must major in agriculture or related sciences which include agronomy, animal sciences, botany, food sciences and technology, forestry, home economics and nutrition, horticulture, natural resources management, soil conservation, farm and range management, pre-veterinary medicine, and computer science.

Recipients are selected by both an 1890/National Scholars Program Committee and the USDA participating agencies. Recipients must apply for admission to the 1890 institution(s) of their choice and then submit a scholar’s program packet to the universities they select addressed to the USDA Liaison Office. The university submits the packet to the Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement, which contacts the USDA agencies that make the final selections. Applicants may apply to more than one institution, but each packet submitted must contain original signatures and transcripts. If not, then it will be disqualified, Bell said.

To learn more about eligibility and to access the application packet, visit