The Undergraduate Public Service Scholarship supports female undergraduate students who are applying to or have secured an unpaid internship in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Internships in Maryland and Virginia qualify, as long as they are near Washington, D.C. Applicants must be rising juniors, seniors, or be recent college graduates (graduated no more than 10 months from the application deadline). There is no requirement regarding the applicant’s major or focus of study, as long as the internship focus requirements are met. We anticipate accepting four applicants each year as scholarship recipients, or “scholars.” This number may be adjusted according to the volume of applications received.
If you have been accepted to a graduate program but have not yet started, please apply to the Undergraduate Public Service Scholarship. However, if you have questions or specific circumstances that should be considered, please contact us.
Internships must focus on government, public service, nonprofit endeavors, and/or women’s rights. The intention of the scholarship is to cover the cost of living and some travel expenses for those who otherwise would not be able to afford such an opportunity. Applicants must therefore demonstrate financial need within their application.
The financial award consists of $1,600 per month (4 weeks) for the length of the individual’s internship, and will be calculated for each accepted scholar individually. Each scholar is assigned at least one mentor to lend guidance on entering and navigating her profession and Washington. Additionally, the Foundation is happy to informally connect the scholar with others that we feel would be useful contacts outside of the assigned mentor(s), as another opportunity for networking within her chosen profession or interest.
The B.A. Rudolph Foundation is committed to the principle of diversity in all areas. In that spirit, we are particularly dedicated to reaching applicants from a broad spectrum of qualified people. Applicants with diverse backgrounds, experiences, ability and perspectives are encouraged to apply.
- Female or identifies as female.
- Either a rising junior, rising senior, or recently completed her undergraduate degree (graduated no more than 10 months from the application deadline).
- Applied or accepted to an internship located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Internships in Maryland and Virginia qualify, as long as they are near Washington, D.C.
- Internship must be centered on public service: government, public service, nonprofit endeavors, and/or women’s rights. Due to our 501(c)3 nonprofit status, we cannot support internships for specific political campaigns, political action committees, the Democratic National Committee, or Republican National Committee.
- Commencing internship on or after May 1st, completing internship no later than September 30th of the same year, and lasting at least five weeks (applicants with internships starting shortly before May 1, or ending shortly after September 30 may apply, but to be considered it should be a summer internship, not spring or fall). The Foundation can fund a maximum of 12 weeks of the scholar’s internship.
- All internships must be full-time (at least 30 hours per week).
2018 Dates and Deadlines
- February 1: Begin accepting all applications
- April 11: Undergraduate Public Service Scholarship applications are due by Wednesday, April 11, 11:59 PM, EST
- May 5-6: Undergraduate Interviews (by phone)
- May 9: Undergraduate Notifications
Applications MUST be submitted by the posted deadline, or you will not be considered. Exceptions will not be made, including for any tardy letters of recommendation.
You will receive a notification that your application is complete, and whether or not you have been selected for an interview. If you do not hear from us, first check your spam/junk folder in your email in case our notification bypassed your inbox. You may also contact us at Info@BARudolphFoundation.org. This email address is monitored on a regular basis. Please do not call or email individual staff or Board of Directors members with application-related questions.
- Read through this webpage in its entirety.
- Click the Apply Now button below to access the Undergraduate Public Service Scholarship online application. When applying, please use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari*. The application will not run on Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer versions 8 and below, and while functioning, versions 9 and above are not yet completely supported. *Using Safari on a PC is not officially supported.
- Create a username and password. PLEASE NOTE: Each scholarship has its own application. If you are applying to more than one scholarship, please use the same username and password when accessing each.
- You will immediately see the application.
- Complete each required field, and click “Submit” at the bottom of the page.
- You may complete portions of the application, save the draft, logout, and return later to complete and submit the application.
- You will receive two confirmation emails: the first when your application form has been submitted, and the second when we have received your letter of recommendation.
The application consists of the following
- Online form: including basic information about you, your school, your internship, and your recommender (name, email address, phone number). Each scholarship has its own application, which can be found on that scholarship’s page. If you have already started graduated school, please only apply to the Graduate Public Service Scholarship. Otherwise apply to the Undergraduate Public Service Scholarship.
- Financial Information: specific questions on your financial situation:
- As an undergraduate student, were/are you eligible for need-based financial aid (such as Pell Grants) from your institution of higher education? Eligibility is defined as a gap between total college costs (including tuition, room, board, and reasonable expenses) and your family’s ability or willingness to pay. (Yes/No)
- In looking at your academic and living expenses during the academic year (not during the internship period), are you receiving financial support from your family? (Yes/No/Some)
- If you answered “Yes” or “Some,” how much?
- If you answered “No” or “Some,” how are you financing the gap?
- In looking at your expenses during the internship period (not the academic year), are you receiving financial support from your family? (Yes/No/Some)
- If you answered “Yes” or “Some,” how much?
- If you answered “No” or “Some,” how are you financing the gap?
- Other than the usual expenses (rent, food, transportation), are there any significant expenses that you are responsible for in order to participate in this internship (e.g. tuition, medical expenses, caring for parents or other family members, recent family unemployment, or some other circumstance that brought an unplanned and significant financial burden) that you would like to share to with the review committee? (Yes/No)
- If you answered “Yes,” please describe. 150 word max.
- In thinking about how to finance your expenses during the internship period, what are your alternatives to a B.A. Rudolph Foundation scholarship? If you do not receive a B.A. Rudolph Foundation scholarship, what will you do? 75 word max.
- We understand finances are complicated and each person’s situation is unique. Is there any additional information you’d like to share with the committee about your financial situation? 150 word max.
- Resume or CV (PDF, two-page maximum)
- Transcript (PDF, official or unofficial are accepted)
- Internship Essay: (PDF) In no more than 500 words, please discuss the internship for which you are applying/have been accepted:
- Please describe your internship and what population, issue, or cause your internship serves.
- What are your reasons for choosing this particular internship and what do you hope to gain personally and professionally through your experience?
- How do you believe your internship will move you toward your future goal(s)?
- Please share any additional personal or professional context about why you have selected this internship and/or field of study.
- Personal and Professional Statement: (PDF) This short essay provides an opportunity for you to share more about who you are — and want to be — personally and professionally. In no more than 500 words, please discuss the following:
- In addition to having a fabulous and impactful public service career, throughout her life, B.A. Rudolph showed by example what it meant to be a strong, generous, progressive, humorous, and independent woman. Please tell us which of these qualities you most identify with, who are you as a person, and who you strive to be.
- What impact would this small amount of support from the B.A. Rudolph Foundation have on you personally and/or professionally?
- How do you plan to make a difference to other people, communities or causes beyond the internship period?
- Is there anything else you’d like to share with the committee about why we should select you as a scholarship recipient?
- Proof of acceptance to the internship: (PDF, a copy of an acceptance email from your internship organization is acceptable). This is not required at the time you apply, since we know sometimes you have not heard back yet. This is only required prior to receiving funds, should you be awarded the scholarship.
- Letter of recommendation: It is your responsibility to provide your recommender with letter submission instructions, and ensure they follow through. All recommenders must email their letter to Recommendation@BARudolphFoundation.org. Please pick a recommender who will have the time and availability to submit a letter of recommendation by the deadline, and ask them in a timely fashion so that it is not a last minute request. Send them the following directions when requesting a letter of recommendation: Directions for recommenders: The B.A. Rudolph Foundation’s mission champions the educational and professional development of women for whom a small amount of support could make a significant difference. We are looking for scholarship applicants who are passionate about their field of study, possess clarity of purpose in their short and long-term goals, and who will give back to other people, communities, and causes. We also acknowledge that all applicants have both areas of strength and areas of development. Your candid, honest appraisal will assist in evaluation of the applicant. In one page or less, please:
- Share how you know the applicant, and speak to her qualities, especially in regard to the mission of the Foundation (to support women for whom a small amount of support could make a significant difference) and the qualities we are seeking in applicants (passionate about their field of study, possess clarity of purpose in their short and long-term goals, and who will give back to other people, communities, and causes).
- On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest, rate the candidate on how aligned she is with the description of what we are looking for in applicants (passionate about their field of study, possess clarity of purpose in their short and long-term goals, and who will give back to other people, communities, and causes) and briefly explain your rating.
- Is there anything else you would like us to know about the applicant?
- Email your letter as a pdf to Recommendation@BARudolphFoundation.org with the applicant’s name in the subject line and the scholarship to which she is applying no later than Wednesday, April 11, 11:59 pm, EST. Any applicant whose letter of recommendation is not received by this date will not be eligible to receive the award.
Your internship essay and personal statement are perhaps the most important pieces of your application. We want to see that you are working hard to figure out who you are and what you want out of your life and career. We want to see that you have a plan either to reach your goals or to figure out what they are. We do expect that our graduate applicants will have a firmer idea of what their goals are than our undergraduate applicants. Perhaps most importantly, we want to hear your passion, drive, and how you envision giving back down the road (to other people, communities, or causes). We want to know what your passion is, where it came from, and why it’s so important to you and your community. Remember what the name of the scholarship is and think about the language you are using: if the words “public service”, “community”, “help/helping” or their synonyms do not appear in your essay, you’ve probably missed the point. Lastly, for goodness sake please use spell check, don’t make up words, and at minimum read your essay out loud to yourself if you’re not letting anyone else read it.
Review Process and Interviews
Our Application Review Committee and Board of Directors will review all applications and will invite a small number of applicants to take part in phone interviews with the Board. We will schedule these interviews at the time of notification, and each will last about 30 minutes. The purpose of these interviews is to answer any remaining questions that we may have for you, to get to know you in a way we cannot through a written application, and to give you the opportunity to ask questions. The interview is your opportunity to show us how you stand out from the rest of the applicants. If you anticipate not having phone access during the interview, arrangements can be made in advance to hold the interview through a webinar/online meeting platform.
Expectations for Scholars
Immediately after acceptance, all scholars must complete a Travel and Emergency Contact Form, and submit a short (one paragraph) biography and photo. Events and professional development workshops will be scheduled throughout the summer, most of which are optional—but all of which are strongly encouraged. These outings require timely RSVPs, which will be requested soon after acceptance.
At the completion of the summer, scholars must submit 1) a brief reflection on their internship experience in the form of a final project, and 2) a feedback survey on the scholarship, the Foundation, and the events in which they participated. The final project should demonstrate how the goals outlined in the scholar’s application essay were reached and the milestones they met personally and professionally during their internship. Typically, this project is a three- to five-page essay, but other formats (photo essay, blog, PowerPoint) will also be accepted.
Additionally, former scholars are expected to assist in promoting the B.A. Rudolph Foundation (e.g., be available for brief interviews, be willing to send outreach materials to supervisor, employer or alma mater), and will be asked to complete a brief survey approximately once a year to update us on their professional status.
Please review our FAQs page for answers to commonly asked questions. Additional questions may be sent to Info@BARudolphFoundation.org. This email address is monitored on a regular basis. Please do not call or email individual staff or Board of Directors members with application-related questions.Apply Now to the Undergraduate Public Service Scholarship