Students invited to apply to Washington University’s free Rural Scholars Academy

Washington University in St. Louis invites talented high school students from rural communities in Missouri and southern Illinois to apply to the WashU Rural Scholars Academy. This is a free summer program that strengthens academic and leadership skills, demystifies the college application process, and introduces students to Washington University, a global leader in teaching and research.

The program runs from July 16-22 and includes tuition, accommodation, meals, materials and field trips. Travel grants to St. Louis are available.

Students can apply online from November 1 to March 1 by submitting a high school diploma, a short essay, and a reference.

The WashU Rural Scholars Academy is part of the university’s Heartland Initiative, which aims to recruit and support students from rural communities in Missouri and southern Illinois. This is an opportunity to prepare students for success in fields ranging from medicine to business to architecture.

“WashU Rural Scholars Academy will be a great way to meet other rural students, discover what it’s like to live and learn on a college campus, and explore all that St. Louis has to offer,” said Washington University admissions officer Dacoda Scarlett, a graduate of a rural high school outside of Springfield, Mo. “WashU has a lot to offer rural students. And I know they have a lot to offer us.”

Academy grantees will live in college dormitories, participate in academic programs with faculty, learn about the college application process, and tour St. Louis attractions. The week concludes with a luncheon for scholars and their families with Washington University Chancellor Andrew D. Martin.

The WashU Rural Scholars Academy is one way Washington University strives to support talented students from diverse backgrounds. Recently, the university introduced Make Way, an initiative to expand financial aid and resources for all students. In 2021, Washington University announced a $1 billion investment in financial aid. And in 2019, the university launched the WashU Pledge, which provides free education to admitted students from Missouri and southern Illinois who are eligible for Pell Grants or from families with annual incomes of $75,000 or less. The WashU Pledge covers the full cost of a WashU education, including tuition, room, board, and fees.

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Recognized as one of the top universities in the country, Washington University is a selective private research university located on 450 acres of green space in St. Louis. The school has a student-faculty ratio of 7:1, approximately 100 majors and more than 400 student clubs. The university’s 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students come from every state and approximately 100 countries.

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