This scholarship awards $7,000 to sophomores or juniors committed to a career related to the environment or to Native American sophomores or juniors interested in Tribal policy or health care. Students must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or U.S. permanent residents.

Udall Information Events

Thursday, November 9, 2023 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in 514 IUB  Information session & discussion with former Udall Scholar.

Friday, November 10, 2023 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. ONLINE Udall Information Session: register here.

Friday, November 10, 2023 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. in 514 IUB  Udall Workshop on how to craft a competitive Udall application 

What They're Looking For

The Udall Foundation is looking for students with an interest in pursuing a career related to the environment or to Native American students interested in Tribal affairs. A successful applicant will have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and demonstrate leadership and a commitment to service.

Getting Started

In order to access the online application, students must receive login credentials from the Illinois faculty representative, David Schug. To receive an application, please email him the following information:

  1. Full legal name
  2. Permanent address
  3. Phone number
  4. Preferred email address
  5. Field of study—environment, health care, or Tribal public policy
  6. Nationality—U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident
  7. Grade level—junior or sophomore.
  8. UIN (University Identification Number)

Students are encouraged to submit drafts of their Udall Scholarship application online well in advance of the campus deadline in order to receive feedback from us. When submitted, the application comes directly to our office, and you will still be able to make changes after we review it. After submitting the application online, send an email to our office with a few potential meeting times no earlier than 2 business days after your submission to receive feedback. We are willing to work with students through numerous revisions.

Required Campus Deadline

January 29, 2024 at 12:00 p.m. (noon)

A complete Udall application including 3 letters of recommendation must be submitted to us in order to be considered for University of Illinois endorsement (a requirement to move forward in the competition). Based on your submittal and grade reports, which we will add, the committee will determine whether or not you are one of the up to 8 endorsed candidates from Illinois (4 in the environment category and 4 in the Tribal category). The following documents are required:

Required information includes:

  1. A signed Scholarship Waiver (either scanned or in hardcopy).
  2. Three letters of recommendation focused on your leadership, public service, and commitment to your career. None of these letters are required to come from faculty (though they may). Letters should be sent as attachments directly to us at topscholars@illinois.edu.
  3. A completed application form, submitted online.
  4. Students may also send, as an attachment directly to us at topscholars@illinois.edu, a half-page document discussing the impact of COVID-19 on your work (optional).
Endorsed Applicant Deadline

March 1, 2023 at 12:00 noon

Those students who have been endorsed will submit their final application packet online by this date. The Scholarships Program will attach your academic grade reports and final letters of recommendation.

The Final Stages

Winners and honorable mentions are posted on the Udall site in early May.

Application Tips

Visit our Canvas page for additional tips and samples of winning applications.

The Udall Foundation is looking for students who will be change agents in their fields. Here are some tips to consider when writing your essays and filling out the application:

  1. Make sure to give each essay question its full weight (especially "What else would you like us to know?").
  2. Your interest in the environment or Native American affairs has to be more than a cursory interest; the reviewers are looking for students who are going to make a career (the next 30 to 40 years) in their field of study.
  3. Do not mix your academic focus. You have to be committed to the environment, Tribal policy, or Tribal health care.
  4. Focus on your leadership role within groups and organizations. How did you make an impact, how did you create consensus within a group, and how is the organization or group different because of your actions?
  5. Make sure to connect your career plans to your coursework.
  6. Demonstrate that you have taken some actions regarding the issues raised in the essays.
  7. Previous research experience is not required, but you need to demonstrate that you have an actionable plan for your project(s).
  8. If possible, demonstrate that you can see both sides of the issues at the center of your studies.
  9. Your commitment to community and public service is more important than your academic history.
Udall Website

For official information on the Udall Scholarship (which supersedes any information provided here), please visit their website.