Samvid Scholars

A new scholarship for future leaders and changemakers, Samvid Scholars was established in 2021 by Samvid Ventures to invest in the graduate education of future leaders who are committed to effecting positive change in society.

The application for the 2022 Samvid Scholars cohort is now closed.

About the Program

  • Offerings
    • Samvid Scholars will empower future leaders and changemakers by providing financial support for graduate study and leadership development. Scholars receive:
      • Up to $50K for tuition and fees each year for two years of study in an eligible graduate program
      • Two years of leadership development programming to support them to continue to fulfill their extraordinary potential 
      • Access to robust ongoing programming and an alumni community of mentorship, collaboration, and lifelong relationships 
  • Eligibility Requirements

    An eligible candidate will:

    • Pursue a full-time graduate program of 2 years or longer at a university in the United States, in one of the following eligible programs:
      • MD
      • MBA
      • JD
      • MPP/MPA
      • MPH
      • EdD
      • MS/MA in the social sciences or STEM
    • Be a first-year graduate student for the 2022-2023 academic year
    • Have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.5
    • Be a U.S. citizen or DACA recipient
    • Maintain good academic standing in order to remain eligible for the second year of the scholarship
  • Application Timeline
    • February 14th – Application Opens
    • April 10th – Application Closes
    • May 2022 – Finalists Notified
  • How to Apply
    • The application will consist of: 
      • Personal contact information 
      • Academic information 
      • Transcripts from all degree-granting higher education institutions 
      • Standardized test scores 
      • Information about planned graduate study 
      • Short essays 
      • Two recommendations 
    • Finalists will be contacted for a virtual interview with the scholarship selection committee  
    • Candidates selected for the scholarship will be notified shortly afterward. All other applicants will be notified of their status as well 
    • Awardees will be asked to provide confirmation of enrollment in a qualifying graduate program 
  • 2022 Essay Prompts

    All applicants will be required to complete the following three essay prompts:

    • Describe your experience as a leader. In your response, be sure to describe an obstacle you faced and how you overcame it. (500 Words Max.)
    • What are your reasons for pursuing graduate study and what do you hope to achieve with this degree? (500 Words Max.)
    • How have you demonstrated your commitment to driving positive impact for society, and how do you envision doing so in the future? (500 Words Max.)

    Applicants will also have the opportunity to complete an optional, additional essay prompt:

    • We seek a cohort of future leaders, representing diverse perspectives. What unique perspective would you contribute to the Samvid Scholars community? (250 Words Max)
  • Selection Criteria

    We will evaluate candidates on their:

    • Academic excellence: You have an excellent academic record, reflecting your critical thinking ability, your drive, and your interest in your academic field
    • Leadership: You have an outstanding track record of leading people and projects that deliver results. You have a leader’s mindset; you are optimistic and self-reliant but open to, and interested in, diverse perspectives and approaches
    • Service focus: You are committed to driving change for society through your leadership; you are focused on the impact of your achievements principally on others
    • Bias towards action: You not only think about big questions with nuance and clarity but also, and critically, act to address them
    • Grit: You have demonstrated leadership over the long term on the issues, which matter to you, even despite setbacks

FAQ

  • If I haven’t decided which graduate school to attend or haven’t yet received an admission decision, can I apply for this scholarship?
    • Yes, you are eligible to apply. In the online application, you will be asked to list the institutions where your application is still under consideration
    • If you submit your application prior to your receiving admissions decisions from all the graduate programs to which you’ve applied, you will need to send an admissions decisions update, an update listing to which schools you have been admitted, to gradscholarship@samvid.ventures by April 5, 2022. This update is required for your application to be reviewed. 
    • If you are selected as a scholar, you will be asked to provide enrollment confirmation in a graduate program.
  • Which graduate programs are eligible for this scholarship?

    We accept applications from candidates applying to US universities in the following programs that are two (2) years or longer:

    • MD
    • MBA
    • JD
    • MPP/MPA
    • MPH
    • EdD
    • MS/MA in the social sciences or STEM program

     

  • Is my master’s program in STEM or social sciences a good fit for the scholarship?

    We will prioritize candidates who are using their master’s program in STEM or social sciences to develop solutions to real-world problems with the opportunity for broad and deep social impact. This year, we expect to focus on candidates pursuing master’s degrees in programs like: 

    • Economics  
    • Political science  
    • International relations  
    • Development studies  
    • Statistics 
    • Public policy  
    • Earth and climate sciences  
    • Data science  
    • Computer science  
    • Engineering  
    • Epidemiology  
    • Biomedical engineering  
  • If I will be in a Master’s/PhD program, am I eligible for this scholarship?

    Yes, if the Master’s degree portion of the program will require at least 2 years and is in the social sciences or STEM.

  • If I receive another scholarship, can I apply for this program?

    Yes, you can apply. The program will work with the limits of other awards to give scholars the maximum benefit from all sources of funding. Note that the Samvid Scholars funding applies only to tuition and fees.

  • What transcripts do I need to provide?

    Transcripts from all higher education institutions that provided or will provide you with a degree are required. This means your undergraduate transcript and, if applicable, transcripts from graduate schools. Transcripts from summer abroad courses or non-degree programs are not required.

  • Do I have to submit an official transcript?

    For the application, you may submit a school-issued unofficial transcript. If you are selected as a scholar, you will be required to submit official transcripts.

  • Are there minimum requirements for standardized test scores?

    No, there are no minimum test score requirements. The selection committee will weigh the strength of applicants’ test scores, in combination with other qualifications, when selecting finalists and scholars.

     

    2021 Samvid Scholars finalists scored within the following ranges across standardized tests:
    LSAT: 165-179
    MCAT: 517-527
    GMAT: 740-770
    GRE: Verbal: 162 – 170, Quantitative Reasoning: 156 – 169

  • What standardized test scores are required? What if my graduate program did not require a standardized test score?
    • If any university you applied to for your graduate program required the submission of a standardized test score, please provide your relevant standardized test score 
    •  If none of the universities you applied to for your graduate program required the submission of a standardized test score, then we will waive the test score requirement for the scholarship application. In the application fields asking for test score information, please select “Standardized test not required for program admission”
    • If you are a joint-degree candidate (e.g., JD/MBA) who submitted more than one test for graduate program admissions, please provide information on both tests 
  • Who should be my recommenders?

    You should choose recommenders who can give a candid and thorough assessment as to how you meet the scholarship’s selection criteria.

  • How many recommendations should I submit?

    You are required to submit the names and contact details for two people who will provide your recommendations.

  • How is GPA factored into the selection committee process?

    Applicants must have at least a 3.5 undergraduate GPA to be eligible for the Samvid Scholarship. Typically, competitive candidates have GPAs well above that minimum; 95% of our finalists in 2021 had a GPA above 3.7. However, the selection committee will weigh the strength of an applicant’s GPA, in combination with other qualifications, when selecting finalists and scholars.

  • What does the leadership development programming entail? / What is the commitment for the leadership development programming?

    Samvid Scholars will be invited to an annual retreat and have regular opportunities to convene with other scholars and Samvid Ventures staff. Scholars will attend leadership development trainings and have access to networking opportunities across the Samvid Scholars community.

  • When will I be notified of a decision?

    Samvid Scholars finalists will be notified in early/mid-May. Applicants who do not qualify for the finalist round will also be notified of a decision in early/mid-May.

  • If selected as a finalist, will there be any supplemental materials I will be expected to provide?

    Upon being notified of your selection as a finalist, the program team will reach out to you with a request for additional materials as needed.

  • What are the citizenship requirements for Samvid Scholars?

    You must be either a U.S. citizen or DACA recipient to be eligible to apply for the Samvid Scholars program.

  • What personal qualities, traits, or values is Samvid Scholars searching for?
    • Academic excellence: You have an excellent academic record, reflecting your critical thinking ability, your drive, and your interest in your academic field
    • Leadership: You have an outstanding track record of leading people and projects that deliver results. You have a leader’s mindset; you are optimistic and self-reliant
    • Service focus: You are committed to driving change for society through your leadership
    • Bias towards action: You not only think about big questions with nuance and clarity but also, and critically, act to address them
    • Grit: You have demonstrated leadership over the long term on the issues, which matter to you, even despite setbacks

Samvid Scholars Information Session

Check out a recorded general information session for the 2022 Samvid Scholars cohort below. If you have a question that wasn’t answered, please reach out here.

Samvid Scholars Inaugural Cohort

We have announced the names of the twenty young Americans selected as the inaugural class of Samvid Scholars!

Read More
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Applications for the 2022-2023 academic year are now closed.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

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