HBCU Scholar Recognition Program

The 2024 application NOW LIVE, Submission Deadline, April 19, 2024!

Application materials and inquiries must be submitted electronically to: hbcuscholars@ed.gov*


The White House Initiative on Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Development through Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Initiative) is excited to announce our HBCU Scholar Recognition Program, a student recognition program designed to honor current HBCU students for their excellence, i.e., successfully preparing to compete for top opportunities that improve standards of living in their communities.

The HBCU Scholar Recognition Program will help form the next generation of leaders who exhibit and champion HBCU excellence. The Initiative will select HBCU Scholars for their:

  • Academic Achievement: established classroom performance.
  • Civic and Campus Engagement: proven leadership to make a positive difference at their institutions and in their communities; and                  
  • Entrepreneurial Ethos: demonstrated character to pursue new opportunities, despite limited resources. 

For the specified academic school year, students recognized through the HBCU Scholar Recognition Program will serve as representatives of their respective institutions, communities and to the Initiative. The Initiative will provide outreach and engagement opportunities for selected students as well as information and resources that can be disseminated to their campus and peers. Selected students will have the opportunity to participate in regional events, virtual convenings, and monthly master classes with the Initiative staff and other professionals from a wide range of disciplines. Most importantly, students selected through this program will be able to engage and partner with one another to showcase individual and collective talent across the HBCU spectrum.

To inform their experience, recognized students are expected to carefully assess their personal and career aspirations, as well as the needs of their institutions and communities. Students who are selected into the HBCU Scholar Program will also have the opportunity to meet with senior officials from both the White House and the U.S. Department of Education to further aid the Initiative and its partners on the best ways to support students.

HBCU Scholar Collaboration with NASA! 

The White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Excellence, Equity and Economic Opportunities through Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Initiative) today announces its collaboration with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the Initiative’s premier student program, HBCU Scholar Recognition Program!

Learn More!

HBCU Week National Annual Conference and other Perks

  1. All selected students will be invited to participate in the National Annual HBCU Week Conference. The Initiative will arrange and pay for of all lodging, airfare, and ground transportation associated with this event. HBCU Week Annual National Conference
  2. Student names and institutions will be mentioned in an official U.S. Department of Education and White House Press Release. Student names, institution and hometowns will also be provided to the U.S. Departments, Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs to inform U.S. and State Representatives.


The White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Development through Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Initiative) is excited to announce the release of our 2024 HBCU Scholar Recognition Program Application.

We are looking for the best and brightest HBCU student leaders to participate in this prestigious program! This highly competitive recognition program is open to current HBCU students of all majors and classifications. Students accepted into the program will work with the Initiative for one academic school year and be immersed in an intensive experience working closely with one another and Initiative partners from wide range of disciplines.


  1. ONLY complete applications will be reviewed. Complete application consists of all fields of the application filled and supporting documents to include: resume, personal interest statement, letter of recommending applicant, their HBCU President/Chancellor or a designated HBCU Faculty Member.
  2.  Application MUST be signed/endorsed by the student nominee, HBCU President/Chancellor or designated HBCU faculty member.
  3. If you serve as the designated faculty member and will be submitting the application on behalf of the HBCU Scholar and HBCU President, please make sure that both the nominated scholar and HBCU leadership is carbon copied to the submission email for situational awareness. 


  1. Professional résumé. Your resume should not exceed 2 pages.
  2. Personal Statement. In 300 words or less share your unique background and reason for wanting to participate in this program. Share how your experience in this recognition program will fit into your personal and professional career goals.
  3.  Letter of Recommendation. At least one academic letter of recommendation must be provided. Letters MUST be on official letterhead. Letters can come from HBCU Presidents, professors, advisers, internship supervisors, or job supervisors who can speak to your talents, academic work, capabilities and career potential.
  4. Unofficial Transcript. A copy of your transcript should be included. While there is no G.P.A. requirement a transcript provides the Initiative with an illustration of your academic journey.


  • All applications must be submitted to HBCUScholars@ed.gov. Application deadline is April 19, 2024. 
  • Only two students from each participating HBCU will be selected. If possible, please streamline candidates internally prior to submitting applications to the Initiative.
  • When submitting your final application, there should only be one attachment for each student candidate: all the supporting documents merged as one PDF file.


The nominated student must be a current undergraduate, graduate, or professional student at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). View HBCU Listing by State

What is the Initiative looking for?

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Résumé that is reflective of your career passions and interests.
  • HBCU Students who demonstrate strong campus and community leadership.
  • Ability to work independently with little supervision.
  • Strong critical thinking skills and good judgment.
  • Ability to take initiative and follow directions.
  • Ability to articulate ideas, think creatively and work on effectively in teams.
  • Highly motivated Individuals with integrity.

2024 HBCU Scholar Recognition Application

HBCU Scholar Recognition Program Description


Application deadline is April 19, 2024. If the Initiative can be of assistance in the nomination process, or if you have further questions, please contact us at HBCUScholars@ed.gov.