Arthritis Champions Scholarship

An annual college scholarship awarded to students with arthritis or a related rheumatic disease.

Generously funded by Dr. & Mrs. Walter J. Winterhoff and Dr. Smriti Bardhan.

The 2020 Arthritis Champions Scholarship application is closed; please check back in January 2021 for the next application process. 

The Arthritis Champions Scholarship is awarded annually to deserving students with arthritis or a related rheumatic disease who 

  • Impact the arthritis community, serving as positive role models and leaders 
  • Live their best life, while empowering others to do the same

Our Funders: 

Dr. Smriti Bardhan 
In 2018, Dr. Smriti Bardhan College Scholarship Fund was created to help the next generation with arthritis achieve their goals.  Dr. Bardhan lived with boundless energy and a zest for life.  She did not let her rheumatoid arthritis curb her independence, drive and positive energy. Those that knew her best were inspired by her perseverance through the debilitating state of her arthritis.  She was dedicated to her community and as a scientist to cracking the genetic code to revolutionize treatments for future generations. Dr. Bardhan, like millions of others living with arthritis strived each day to live her best life.  

Dr. & Mrs. Walter J. Winterhoff 
In 2007, Walter J. and Kathryn M. Winterhoff Endowed Scholarship Fund was created to provide an educational scholarship program for students with rheumatic diseases. Walter and Kay Winterhoff were Tucson residents and had passion for the work of the Arthritis Foundation. This passion evolved because Kay had arthritis and refused to let it get in the way of her love for tennis and golf. This scholarship commenced in fall 2010 at three public universities in Arizona: Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University. In 2017, the Winterhoff Arthritis Scholarship evolved into a nationwide college scholarship opportunity. Since then, the Arthritis Foundation has received nearly 800 applications. 

Eligible Applicants: 

  • Have doctor-diagnosed arthritis or related rheumatic disease 
  • Have and maintain a 2.5 or higher GPA (unweighted)  
  • United States citizen or legal and permanent resident of the U.S. 
  • Accepted to an accredited undergraduate program, graduate program or medical school in the U.S.  
  • Enrolled full-time each semester 
  • Engaged Arthritis Foundation advocate, fundraiser, participant, volunteer and/or supporter    

Additional Arthritis Champions Scholarship details and application here.

Not all eligible applicants will be selected as scholarship recipients.

There are no guarantees that this scholarship program will be available in subsequent academic years, or that a given recipient will receive the award in subsequent academic years.  

No member of Arthritis Foundation staff, national board of directors or Arthritis Champions Scholarship Committee, or their immediate family, shall be eligible for a scholarship award. 

For more information, please contact [email protected].

I Want to Contribute
I Need Help
  • Donate


    Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life.

  • Volunteer


    Join us and become a Champion of Yes. There are many volunteer opportunities available.

  • Live Yes! INSIGHTS

    Live Yes! INSIGHTS

    Take part to be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis.

  • Partner


    Proud Partners of the Arthritis Foundation make an annual commitment to directly support the Foundation’s mission.


Ways to Give

Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life. Whether it is supporting cutting-edge research, 24/7 access to one-on-one support, resources and tools for daily living, and more, your gift will be life-changing.

Make a Donation

Help millions of people live with less pain and fund groundbreaking research to discover a cure for this devastating disease. Please, make your urgently-needed donation to the Arthritis Foundation now!

Become a Member

Become an Arthritis Foundation member today for just $20. You'll receive a year's worth of Arthritis Today magazine, access to helpful tools, resources, and more.

Make a Honor or Memorial Gift

Honor a loved one with a meaningful donation to the Arthritis Foundation. We'll send a handwritten card to the honoree or their family notifying them of your thoughtful gift.

Gift Planning

I want information on ways to remember the AF in my will, trust or other financial planning vehicles.


Volunteer Opportunities

The Arthritis Foundation is focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis with life-changing information, advocacy, science and community. We can only achieve these goals with your help. Strong, outspoken and engaged volunteers will help us conquer arthritis. By getting involved, you become a leader in our organization and help make a difference in the lives of millions. Join us and become a Champion of Yes.

More About Volunteering


Give Just 10 Minutes.

Tell us what matters most to you. Change the future of arthritis.

By taking part in the Live Yes! INSIGHTS assessment, you’ll be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis, for yourself and for 54 million others. And all it takes is just 10 minutes.

Your shared experiences will help:

- Lead to more effective treatments and outcomes
- Develop programs to meet the needs of you and your community
- Shape a powerful agenda that fights for you

Now is the time to make your voice count, for yourself and the entire arthritis community. 

Currently this program is for the adult arthritis community.  Since the needs of the juvenile arthritis (JA) community are unique, we are currently working with experts to develop a customized experience for JA families. 

How are you changing the future?

By sharing your experience, you’re showing decision-makers the realities of living with arthritis, paving the way for change. You’re helping break down barriers to care, inform research and create resources that make a difference in people’s lives, including your own.

Get Started


Meet Our Partners

As a partner, you will help the Arthritis Foundation provide life-changing resources, science, advocacy and community connections for people with arthritis, the nations leading cause of disability. Join us today and help lead the way as a Champion of Yes.


Our Trailblazers are committed partners ready to lead the way, take action and fight for everyday victories. They contribute $2,000,000 to $2,749,000


Our Visionary partners help us plan for a future that includes a cure for arthritis. These inspired and inventive champions have contributed $1,500,00 to $1,999,999.


Our Pioneers are always ready to explore and find new weapons in the fight against arthritis. They contribute $1,000,000 to $1,499,999.


Our Pacesetters ensure that we can chart the course for a cure for those who live with arthritis. They contribute $500,000 to $999,000.


Our Signature partners make their mark by helping us identify new and meaningful resources for people with arthritis. They contribute $250,000 to $499,999.


Our Supporting partners are active champions who provide encouragement and assistance to the arthritis community. They contribute $100,000 to $249,999.