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Pillars Scholarship


Applications for 2024 are now being accepted.
See below for details.  

The Pillars Scholarship is a partnership between NewSchool Foundation and the San Diego Architectural Foundation. The scholarship provides funding to NewSchool students who want to expand their academic and professional experience through independent research projects, educational opportunities, domestic and international workshops, travel, environmental advocacy, and local service initiatives. 

General Scholarship Timeline

•    Call For Applications is made at the end of Winter Quarter (March) each year
•    The deadline to apply is the end of May
•    Awards are given at the end of the Spring Quarter (June)
•    Students undertake scholarship activities during the Summer Quarter (July – September)
•    Scholarship recipients present reports in Winter Quarter (February)

About the Pillars


The Pillars which support NewSchool’s educational goals include:

  • Professional Practice

  • Human Welfare

  • Environmental Empathy

  • Community + Industry Engagement

  • Data + Technology

Who is Eligible 


The scholarship is available to all NewSchool students who meet the following:

For Undergraduate Students: Completion of a minimum of two years of collegiate work and a minimum grade average of 3.3;

For Graduate Students: Minimum grade average of 3.5.

All Applicants: 

  • Submit the completed Application Form (page 3)

  • Submit a maximum 2-page essay which MUST INCLUDE:

    • A title for your application

    • A description of how the ideals of one or more of the Pillars will be addressed

    • A detailed plan of activity for the summer term and budget breakdown summarizing how funds will be used

  • Submit the names of two references.  Do not send letters at this time.

Selection process

The qualifications, motivation and seriousness of an applicant must be demonstrated by the submission of a thoughtful, competent and well-written proposal.  Applicants pursue outside opportunities with the goal of supporting and furthering their academic experience. Be sure to address goals, rationale, and specific plans.

Scholarship recipients must provide a written reflection of their summer experience and give a public presentation on their study or research in Winter quarter. Recipients may also be required to give a PechaKucha style talk at an SDAF sponsored event.  $150 of awards will be retained until these requirements are met.

The NewSchool Foundation (NSF) and the San Diego Architectural Foundation (SDAF) reserve the right to ownership of all materials submitted and presented for the purpose of print and web publication.

Submission Deadline: Extended to June 14th Submit to Kaylee Drexel:

Selection:  The NewSchool Foundation Scholarship Committee will review and recommend scholarship awards based on available funds and the quality of applications. Applicants will be informed of Committee decisions. 


Comments or questions? Please contact Kaylee Drexel



The Pillars Scholarship was established in 2014 by the NewSchool Foundation through funding support and fundraising by Dr. Steve Altman who served as President of NewSchool from 2006-2013. This scholarship reflects Dr. Altman’s commitment to supporting students and enriching their educational experience.

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