Campus Deadline: February 2

Official Strauss Website  


The Donald A. Strauss Scholarship provides a $15,000 scholarship to sophomores and juniors who will pursue a self-initiated public service project during their senior year. ($8,000 is designated as a project grant and $7,000 as a scholarship to support the student’s educational expenses.) The project may be a new undertaking or an extension of an existing project. The Strauss Foundation annually awards at least fourteen scholarships to students from fifteen eligible California institutions. Each participating institution (including UCLA) can nominate three students for the award.

Eligibility requirements

  • Full-time sophomore or junior
  • In the upper third of class
  • Plan to devote significant part of life to public service

The Strauss Foundation defines public service as work, whether paid or as a volunteer, in government at any level; organizations serving the public interest; national, regional, or local health organizations; and service-oriented, nonprofit organizations such as those whose primary purposes are to help disadvantaged persons or protect the environment.

Fields of study that can lead to public service careers include (but are not limited to) the biological and physical sciences, engineering, agriculture, environmental management, economics, political science and other social sciences, English, history and the other liberal arts and humanities, public health, public administration, government, and education.

Selection criteria

The public service project proposal is a major focus of the selection process. The project must be realistic in scope, and the foundation prefers projects that are designed to continue after initial implementation. Selectors look for candidates who are passionate about their project and who have a demonstrated interest in public service, outstanding leadership potential, effective communication skills, and who “wish to make a difference” in local, regional, or national communities.

Application requirements

Applicants must submit the following to the Scholarship Resource Center by the stated UCLA campus deadline:

  •  Completed application summary form
  •  One-page resume that includes current and past community service experience
  •  One-page personal statement
  •  Proposal for a community service project (establishing the need for the program and outlining a specific plan) – limited to four pages double-spaced. See Strauss Foundation website   for guidelines and sample application)
  •  One to two letters of recommendation from individuals who are well-acquainted with the student’s academic and/or service work (note: three letters of recommendation will be required if selected as a UCLA Strauss Foundation nominee).
  •  Unofficial copies of all college transcripts

The Scholarship Resource Center offers advising on developing a public service project proposal. For more information, please contact the SRC at 310-206-2875 or stop by 233 Covel Commons.