This is a scholarship designed to assist academically talented minority and underrepresented individuals pursuing a bachelor's or master's degree in an environmental course of study that will lead to employment in a field that is clearly environmentally related.

The Minority Environmental Literacy Advisory Committee selects recipients based on the degree to which applicants’ education, activities and career goals meet the goals of this program.  The committee is comprised of individuals from the following categories.

  • Department of Natural Resources
  • Three colleges and universities. These individuals are appointed by their affirmative action offices, and
  • Five at large individuals from across the state who are high school teachers and college professors. These individuals are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for assistance you must meet the requirements for Initial or Renewal students listed below.  Renewal students and members of the following severely underrepresented minority ethnic groups have award priority.

  • African Americans
  • Hispanic or Latino Americans
  • Native Americans and Alaska Natives
  • Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders

Initial Students

  • Be a United States citizen or permanent resident, or otherwise lawfully present in the United States.
  • Be a Missouri resident.
  • Be a graduate of an accredited high school.
  • Meet the following cumulative GPA requirements.
    • Maintained a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale while in high school, or
    • Have a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale if currently enrolled in college.
  • Be enrolled full-time in a participating Missouri school in one of the following areas of study.
    • Environmental engineering
    • Chemical engineering
    • Civil engineering
    • Mechanical engineering
    • Agricultural engineering
    • Biology
    • Geology
    • Wildlife management
    • Natural resource planning
    • Natural resources or a closely related field
    • Environmental chemistry, or
    • Environmental law enforcement
  • Submit an application by June 1.

Renewal Students

  • Submit a renewal application by June 1 of each year.
  • Continue to meet the eligibility requirements for initial students.
  • Maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade point average.
  • Be selected by the Minority Environmental Literacy Advisory Committee for renewal.

How much can I receive?

Award amounts are determined annually.

How can I apply?

Each year, you must complete and submit a Minority and Underrepresented Environmental Literacy Program application to: Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, Attn: Minority and Underrepresented Environmental Literacy Scholarship, P.O. Box 1469, Jefferson City, MO 65102-1469. The application deadline for the 2024-2025 academic year is June 1, 2024. Along with the application, initial applicants must submit the following items.

  • Three letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a counselor, principal, and/or college advisor,
  • A one page essay explaining your environmentally-related education and career goals,
  • A résumé of school and community activities, and
  • Transcripts, including ACT or SAT scores.

These application materials must demonstrate the alignment of your goals with the program’s goals.

Renewal students are not required to submit the letters of recommendation, essay, résumé, and transcripts.

The application is also available electronically through the State Financial Aid PortalInformation about the Student Portal is available here.


How will I know if I am eligible?

If you are selected for an award, you will receive an approval letter.

Final eligibility is determined by the school you are attending, usually in late August for the fall semester and mid-January for the spring semester. Contact the MDHEWD for your eligibility status.

How will I receive my award?

Each semester, the institution you are attending will certify your eligibility. The certification process will typically take about three weeks. If your school verifies you are eligible, the MDHEWD will send your award to your school and they will deliver it to you. Generally, you should receive your fall payment by mid-September and your spring payment by mid-February. However, please keep in mind delivery timeframes can vary from school to school.

How do I renew my award?

Complete a new application by June 1 each year to renew your award. Renewal is subject to approval by the Minority Environmental Literacy Advisory Committee. If your application is selected for renewal, you will receive an approval letter.

How do I transfer my award?

You may transfer your eligibility to any participating school. If you choose to transfer to a different participating Missouri school, either between academic years or semesters, you must contact the MDHEWD at (800) 473-6757, option 4.