Do not apply directly to the Strauss Foundation. Each pre-selected school has its own deadline for applications in January or February. The Selection Committee from your campus will submit  up to three applications in early March; awards are announced by mid- April. $13,000 of the funds will be available May 1st. 

The final $2000 will be given at the April Presentations.

Am I Eligible?

Are you a full-time student at one of our pre-selected four-year California colleges or universities

Have one or two years remaining until graduation?

Have a GPA in the upper 1/3 of your class?

Have the desire to “make a difference” in local, regional, national or international communities?

Selection Criteria

Application Process

Check Internal Deadline (January or February) and contact Campus Representative

Complete Application Summary and submit, along with:​​​


  • One-page Resume - With current and past public service


  • One-page Personal Essay 


  • A Project Proposal - Limited to 4 pages, including Budget and Timeline, using, at least 1.2 spacing. For 2021, a 5th page may be used to describe a "Plan B".


  • 2 Recommendations - If working with a partner organization, also submit their Letter of Support .

  • Transcript -  A photocopy is okay.


Maintain satisfactory academic performance (upper 1/3 class).

Carry out the public service project, emailing short,

bi-monthly updates, and a 2-page final assessment in April.


Attend a Regional Meeting in November, in either Northern or Southern California.


Attend a mandatory meeting of all Strauss Award recipients at UC Irvine in April and make a short presentation.


Serve as a Strauss Ambassador at your school, reaching out to encourage others to apply.

Demonstrated interest in public service.

Outstanding leadership potential.

Submitted an innovative public service project proposal.

Responsibilities of Scholars


Encouraging young leaders from 14 pre-selected California Colleges and Universities to undertake a high-impact project in public service or social change in their junior or senior year.

  • Facebook Social Icon

The Donald A. Strauss Scholarship Foundation

5001 Birch Street, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Phone: 949.955.1930  



Copyright 2021 Strauss Foundation. All rights reserved.