Available Scholarships

To help cover the cost of tuition and fees, the following scholarships are available.

Key Executive MPA Scholarship

The Key Executive MPA Scholarship provides financial support to incoming and continuing Key MPA students.

Eligible Key Executive Leadership MPA admitted and continuing students will meet the minimum GPA requirement, demonstrate a passion for public service, leadership potential, and a commitment to apply classroom principles and techniques.

Number of available awards: 4 scholarships in the Fall for new Key students
2020-2021 Awards: Each award is up to $6,670 for the Fall and Spring semesters for up to two years.
Application Deadline: June 1

ANITA F. ALPERN SCHOLARSHIP

The Anita F. Alpern Scholarship was established through a gift from the estate of the late Anita F. Alpern. Professor Alpern served for twenty years as a Distinguished Adjunct in Residence at SPA. She taught courses in public administration and administrative ethics in the graduate MPA and Key Executive Leadership MPA programs, and was instrumental in raising the visibility of SPA in the federal government. Awardees are selected based upon merit, financial need, and commitment to public service.

Applicants must submit an essay describing their major strengths and how their participation in the Key Executive Leadership Program has enhanced their leadership potential and the public service (essay limited to 500 words). In addition to the essay, applicants must submit recommendation letters from three individuals, including one Key faculty member. The scholarship is awarded in late spring.

Contact Key MPA advisor, Char Ploetz at cploetz@american.edu, for more information.

Number of available awards: 1
2018-2019 Award: $2,500
Application Deadline: January 31, 2020

DONALD G. ZAUDERER SCHOLARSHIP

Funded by donations from former students, family, friends and colleagues, the Donald G. Zauderer Key Executive Leadership Programs Scholarship provides a scholarship to partially support selected students' costs associated with obtaining a MPA degree in the Key Executive Leadership program.

Applicants for the scholarship must be admitted into the Key Executive Leadership MPA Program and not be receiving financial support from their employer . Applicants must submit an essay describing their major strengths and how their participation in the Key Executive Leadership Program has enhanced their leadership potential and the public service (essay limited to 500 words). In addition to the essay, applicants must submit recommendation letters from three individuals, including one Key faculty member. The scholarship is awarded in late spring.

As a faculty member at American University for over thirty-two years , Dr. Zauderer co-founded and directed the Key Executive Leadership Program. He continually worked to improve the program out of a profound sense of obligation to students and their sponsoring organizations. Dr. Zauderer was known as a caring teacher who brings out the best in his students. His knowledge, wry sense of humor and emphasis on colleagueship, intelligent discourse, and respectful sharing of diverse ideas, helped create a relaxed and focused atmosphere for deep learning in the classroom. His students honored his contributions by establishing this scholarship, and placing a tree and monument next to the Woods-Brown Amphitheater on the AU campus.

Contact Key MPA advisor, Char Ploetz at cploetz@american.edu, for more information.

Number of available awards: 1
2018-2019 Award: $5,000
Application Deadline: January 31, 2020

Meet the 2020 Scholarship Recipients

Christine Antony Donald G. Zauderer Scholarship Recipient

I am fortunate to be a part of Cohort 54, the most diverse in Key MPA’s history. My first semester in the Key MPA transformed my life. Through each weekend class, I learned different concepts and theories that made intangible organizational and interpersonal dynamics I had experienced into tangible topics for discussion and analysis. The classes also exposed me to many practical tools and skills to develop my organizations and teams. Through interactions with Key Faculty and Cohort 54, I discovered deep-seated beliefs that were holding the prism through which I saw the world. I can now reframe experiences and my life so that I feel more empowered moving forward, professionally and personally.

My intention to positively affect policy and operations at Veterans Affairs led me to apply to the Key MPA; it was the logical steppingstone, transitioning from my 10+ year career in DoD project management and engineering. I also aspire to lead organizational change in federal agencies. I have a vision of being a part of the movement that shifts (revolutionizes) the federal government’s administrative practices from its current bureaucratic functions towards agility to better serve our country’s present and future needs. 

I feel alive when facilitating meetings in diverse environments. More specifically, I enjoy identifying strengths in individuals and harnessing their unique talents, skills, and mindsets to create strong teams. 

At present, I am applying the knowledge and tools from my Key MPA education at Arundel Lodge. I lead (as a volunteer) the “Veterans Healing” committee in developing a holistic, person-centered, program for addressing the emotional, psychological, social, physical and environmental needs of military veterans and their families. Arundel Lodge is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located outside Annapolis, Maryland that works towards improving the lives of children, adults, and families impacted by mental health and substance use disorders. 

The Key MPA with Cohort 54 transformed my life in a short time. My journey getting here was incredible. I do not know what my future holds, but considering where I want to go and what the Key MPA offers, I feel there is no better place for me to be right now. Receiving the Donald G. Zauderer Scholarship inspires and excites me to continue this journey. I humbly thank everyone who has been and will be part of my adventure.

Joshua Collins Anita F. Alpern Scholarship Recipient

I currently serve as an Education Services Specialist at the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS), a DC government agency.

My time in the Key Executive Leadership Program has been extremely beneficial for my professional growth. The program has caused me to shift my perspective on what leadership looks like within my agency and has also enabled me to recognize that transformative change can start at any level, not just the top of the organization. This scholarship will allow me to focus more on my coursework requirements as I approach graduation next Spring, and much less about offsetting the cost of attendance. 

I am truly grateful!