U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Bruce Knight has announced that the 2005 Asian Pacific Islander (API) Scholars Program and the new Tribal Scholars Program application period is April 4 through May 13, 2005.

"These scholarship opportunities strengthen the conservation partnership with state colleges and land-grant institutions and help attract outstanding students from underrepresented groups to pursue careers in agriculture and natural resource sciences," said Knight. "Workforce planning and scholarship programs help create a more effective government by providing the tools and experience these students need to perform at high levels and become quality employees."

This is the first year of the Tribal Scholars Program, which was created to help the agency accomplish its workforce diversity goals and improve interaction with tribal partners and customers. Five scholarships will be awarded to U.S. citizens who are seeking a degree in agriculture or related natural resource sciences at a 1994 tribal land-grant institution. There are 34 tribal colleges and universities nationwide.

The API Scholars Program awarded five scholarships last year and will offer five in 2005. The program is open to U.S. citizens at universities with high percentages of Asian and Pacific Islander students in California, Hawaii, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Pacific Basin.

Both scholarship programs provide full tuition, employment, employee benefits, fees, books, use of a personal computer and software while on scholarship and room and board each year for up to four years. In addition to general eligibility criteria, each scholarship may have unique features due to differences in the target institutions or communities.

Source: Government Release