Obama Foundation Scholars Program for U.S. and Foreign Students

Whether you are a high school student preparing for your future, or you are already attending college, you are likely familiar with scholarships. Often seen as an underrated financial resource, scholarships can help you pay for some or all of your attendance fees, including this Obama Foundation Scholars Program.

If you’re getting ready to start a new semester, or you’re enjoying your summer vacation from school, it’s always a good time to apply for scholarships, be it local or national scholarships.

Apart from earning free money to save thousands of dollars on your tuition, one of the best benefits of scholarships is that you will be able to access the best possible education.

Furthermore, if you have impressive academic abilities, then you will be able to gain access to the best universities and colleges in the world, and leave with no debt or much less debt than you would otherwise.

For instance, by applying to the Obama Foundation Scholars Program, you will have the opportunity to take your education to the next level through an inclusive curriculum that brings together academic, skills-based, hands-on learning. The program will also empower scholars with the tools they need to achieve success.

In this article, we’ve gathered all the important information you’ll need to apply to the Obama Foundation Scholars Program. Keep reading to learn how it works, what you need to meet the requirements, and how to apply to the program.

Obama Foundation Scholars
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About the Obama Foundation Scholars Program

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program empowers individuals with a proven commitment to service with the tools they need to make their efforts more effective. Plus, it aims to identify innovative solutions to complex global problems and promote change through values-based leadership.

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The program will build lasting relationships among emerging leaders who are committed to working together to solve the most pressing challenges of our time. Thus, it will create a global network that reaches across issues and borders.

After completing the program, Obama Foundation Scholars will return to implement their personalized action plan to accelerate positive change within their community. Also, they’ll have the opportunity to inspire, empower, and connect rising leaders from around the globe.

The program is hosted at two universities: UChicago and Columbia University.

Program Benefits

The Obama Foundation provides all the support Obama Scholars need throughout the academic year to help them acquire the real-world skills, tools, and experiences they need to expand the impact of their work when they return home.

These experiences also enable scholars to gain input from high-level leaders across sectors and from a wealth of knowledge across the program’s network of participants. In addition, they have the opportunity to plan their preferred way of reinvesting their skills, networks, and knowledge after they graduate from the program.

Foundation-led activities include both cohorts of scholars, based at UChicago and Columbia, intending to create a broader global community of practice for shared learning to both inform scholars’ approaches to their own work and accelerate that work as they return to their communities after graduation.

Each cohort’s experience is tailored to tap into the rich research ecosystems of these two world-class institutions and the cities where they are based, providing unique and immersive learning opportunities for scholars in Chicago and New York City.

Plus, each host university provides additional benefits, including:

Columbia University

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University covers the following costs:

  • Monthly stipend to assist with living expenses in New York City
  • A furnished studio apartment within walking distance of Columbia University, if the program can convene in person
  • All tuition and fees for up to four courses at Columbia University
  • Basic medical, dental, and life insurance for the duration of the program in New York City, if the program can convene in person
  • Air travel to and from home country and any program-related activities, if the program can convene in person
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University of Chicago

Each participating student will receive $10,000 of financial support in the form of a stipend to defray tuition costs and living expenses in their final year. Participating students also complete this program with a certificate from the Obama Foundation and matriculate into the Obama Foundation’s Alumni Network.

Eligibility Requirements

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program seeks emerging leaders from the United States and around the world, who are focused on an issue of global importance, have a track record and commitment to advancing the public good, and want to accelerate their impact through an intensive program.

Furthermore, it seeks diverse cohorts who represent a cross-section of backgrounds, including those working in government, the private sector, NGOs, and civil society organizations.

Columbia University

For those applying to the Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University, they must meet the following criteria:

  • Are emerging leaders who have made meaningful contributions to their field and are now at a “breakthrough moment” in their careers.
  • Have a proven commitment to service and leadership within a community, region, or country, coupled with a demonstrated commitment to return to these communities following their completion of the program and apply their enhanced training, skills, and connections on a long-term basis for the benefit of these communities.
  • Are fluent in English (verbal, written, and spoken).
  • Have the ability and inclination to positively shape the future of their community.
  • Have a demonstrated commitment to the Obama Foundation’s values: humility, integrity, inclusivity, stewardship, fearlessness, imagination, and teamwork.
  • Will not be engaging in an electoral campaign for political office during the program term.

University of Chicago

On the other hand, those applying to the Obama Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Chicago will be required to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Are entering their final year of study at the Harris School of Public Policy; Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice; and/or the Booth School of Business;
  • Have at least three years of demonstrated leadership experience with clear traction tackling a particular social challenge and are now at a “breakthrough moment” in their careers;
  • Have a demonstrated commitment, following their completion of the program, to apply their enhanced training, skills, and connections to tackling this social challenge in their community;
  • Are seeking to refine their approach to tackling this challenge by including feedback and ideas from a variety of contexts around the world;
  • Have demonstrated academic success;
  • Have a demonstrated commitment to humility, integrity, inclusivity, stewardship, fearlessness, imagination, and teamwork; and
  • Will not be engaging in an electoral campaign for political office during the program term.
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How to Apply for the Obama Foundation Scholars Program

Interested applicants must complete and submit an application through the Obama Foundation Scholars Program online application system. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee.

Closing Date

Applications for the Obama Foundation Scholars Program usually become available in the spring. However, you may wish to sign up for the newsletters of each host university to stay updated with the openings of the program.

Contact Details

Have any questions regarding this program? Visit the Obama Foundation Scholars’ Contact Us webpage at www.obama.org/contact-us/ and write for them your inquiries.

Official Website of the Obama Foundation Scholars Program

For more information about the Obama Foundation Scholars Program, visit the official website at www.obama.org.

While we try to keep the information up to date and accurate, information is subject to change without prior notice. Thus, please always refer to the official website of the scholarship provider for complete and update information.

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