Center for Public Democracy Scholarship

Center for Public Democracy Scholarship

Drake University’s Center for Public Democracy is for entering first-year students of any major (scientists and artists are as important to democratic practice as lawyers and legislators!) who care about the world, who want to invest in making their communities better, and who are excited to grow as leaders.  Democratic practices challenge conventional wisdom and offer new and creative energy to the project of living together in society.  At the Center for Public Democracy, we know that democracy is messy, inspiring, and energizing!

Drake’s Public Democracy Scholars will each receive a $5,000 tuition scholarship for each year of their Drake undergraduate degree program.  They will also have the opportunity to apply for an additional $2,500 summer support for work in otherwise-unpaid internships or research opportunities with Center for Public Democracy faculty and practitioners-in-residence.

Drake University Public Democracy Scholars will do and learn the following:

  • Sequenced programming and courses, all focused on democratic engagement: from social movements to legislative policymaking, from campaigns/elections to non-profit leadership.
  • Fully-funded travel opportunities to study current issues, and the communities they impact.
  • Close engagement with Center for Public Democracy faculty alongside a Practitioner-in-Residence.
  • Leadership opportunities during our intensive summer experience bringing together civic leaders, journalists, scientists, activists, scholars and citizens.
  • Additional opportunities for post-graduate awards pursue education, internships, or work in public democracy.  

Application Process

The deadline to apply is February 1, 2023. The following criteria is required for a complete application:

  • Entering first-year students must apply for admission and submit all required application materials to the Drake University by February 1, 2023.
  • Eligible candidates must have a minimum of 3.5 high school GPA on a 4.0 scale. Official school transcripts must be postmarked or submitted with your application for admission by February 1, 2023.
  • In addition, applicants must apply and submit the separate Public Democracy Scholar application by February 1, 2023.
  • Applicants must show demonstrated interest in Drake University through participation in an Office of Admission visit program/event between January 1, 2022 and February 8, 2023. Students may choose from either an Office of Admission virtual program or an Office of Admission on-campus visit. See virtual and on-campus opportunities here.

Preference will be given to students with some demonstratable financial need.

Recipients will be notified by late March. Students who are selected must enroll at Drake by May 1, 2023 in order to hold their place in this program.

Please log in using your Office of Admission application credentials. (If you have not yet started your admission application, you must start it before you can set up a scholarship/special program application.

PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL SCHOLARSHIPS ARE RENEWABLE (UP TO 4 YEARS TOTAL OR UNTIL A BACHELOR’S DEGREE IS EARNED) IF REQUIRED ACADEMIC STANDING AND GRADE POINT AVERAGE ARE MAINTAINED. For students entering one of Drake’s joint undergraduate/graduate degree paths, refer to the table below to see how undergraduate awards (including Fine Arts Scholarships) are impacted.


Scholarship Availability

Law 3 + 3

Undergraduate awards available for 3 years or until first year of Law Program (L1).

Doctor of Pharmacy

Undergraduate awards available for 4 years or through the 2nd year of the Pharmacy Program (P2).

Masters in Athletic Training

Undergraduate awards available for 3 years or until the first year of the Athletic Training Program (AT1). There is a one-time, $5000 scholarship for AT1.

Occupational Therapy Doctorate 3+3

Undergraduate awards available for 3 years or until the first year of the OTD program (O1). There is a one-time, $5000 scholarship for O1.