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The Donald A. Strauss Scholarship Foundation makes annual awards of $15,000 to no fewer than 10 and no more than 15 California college sophomores or juniors from 23 pre-selected institutions. 

The Foundation promotes the value of public service in the education and preparation of our future leaders by financing innovative student-generated projects.  A central part of the application package is a proposal for a project to be carried out between the end of the sophomore or junior year, and the spring of the following year; these proposals shall become a major focus of the selection process. Please see Projects We Have Funded

In response to the rising costs in education, up to $7,000 of this award is now designated as a Scholarship to be applied to the student’s educational support. $8,000 is designated as a project grant to fund the student’s service project expenses. Students may choose to add to their service project funds from the Scholarship funds. For example, a student may request $1,000 less in Scholarship funds and have that $1,000 added to their project.


In 2017, the foundation increased the award to $15,000--it previously had been $10,000 -which is why some interviewees in video clips, and budgets in Sample Proposals on this website refer to the $10,000 figure.

Students from 9 New Campuses (CSU Fullerton, CSU Chico, Cal Poly SLO, SDSU, SJSU, Santa Clara University, the University of San Diego, the  University of San Francisco and the University of Southern California) have been invited to apply starting in 2022. Their application process is different from students from the original 14 Schools. Please click here for instructions. 


Applicants from the original 14 schools do not apply directly to the Strauss Foundation. A Campus Representatives at  their college or university may submit up to three applications.  Click here for instructions.


The campus representatives and deadlines for the 14 Original Schools can be found below:

THE $15,000 AWARD

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