Arthritis Champions Scholarship
Arthritis Champions Scholarship applications are now closed. The 2023 – 2024 application process will open in January 2023.
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.
The 2022–2023 program is generously funded by Dr. and Mrs. Walter J. Winterhoff, Dr. Smriti Bardhan and Alpha Omicron Pi.
The application process for 2022–2023 academic year is now closed..
Here are answers to your most frequently asked questions about the Arthritis Champions Scholarship program.
What is the award amount?
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.
When does the application process open?
What is the application process?
Will all applicants receive a scholarship?
What are the eligibility criteria?
- Must be a U.S. citizen or a legal and permanent resident of the U.S.
- Have doctor-diagnosed arthritis or related rheumatic disease. A physician certification statement is required for scholarship recipients ONLY. Statement must be completed by the applicant’s rheumatologist, DO or Nurse Practitioner. The form will be provided by the Arthritis Foundation.
- Must be classified as a full-time undergraduate, graduate or medical student at an accredited college or university in the United States for the entire academic year.
- Enrolled full-time each semester and have completed the full-time units to reapply for the next academic year. The scholarship is only available for fall and spring semesters (not summer sessions). If applying to a master’s or doctoral program, must be full-time study.
- Have and maintain a 2.5 or higher GPA.
- Engaged as an Arthritis Foundation advocate, fundraiser, participant, volunteer and/or supporter and/or other service to benefit the arthritis community.
What if I don’t have any volunteer involvement with the Arthritis Foundation or arthritis community.
Can you receive the award more than once?
How do I access the application and what will I need to submit?
Will my information be saved or stored so I can return to complete my application?
What if I need to update my application or submit additional documentation after submission?
Do I need to submit a transcript with my application?
How will I know if my application has been received?
What is the review process?
The Arthritis Champions Scholarship program is administered by the Arthritis Foundation. Applications are anonymously reviewed by leadership volunteers on the Arthritis Foundation Scholarship committee and additional volunteer reviewers from across the country.
Are there limitations on course of study?
Is financial need taken into consideration?
Do I need a reference to be considered for this scholarship?
What if I don’t have an Arthritis Foundation staff member/leadership volunteer for a reference?
What is the deadline for submitting application?
When will award notifications be sent?
If I am selected, what are the next steps?
What if someone doesn’t accept their award?
Dr. and 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.
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 she committed 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.
Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII)
AOII’s International Philanthropy is arthritis and for more than 50 years they have been a proud partner of the Arthritis Foundation. In addition to Champions College Scholarship, AOII dollars support the National Juvenile Arthritis Conference, JA camps, JA Power Packs, Connect on Campus and arthritis research.
Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII) was founded in 1897 at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City. AOII has over 190,000 initiated members and 141 current installed collegiate chapters, with 158 active alumnae chapters across the United States and Canada. Alpha Omicron Pi is an international women’s fraternity promoting friendship for a lifetime, inspiring academic excellence and lifelong learning and developing leadership skills through service to the fraternity and community.
For specific details, please review the Frequently Asked Questions above. Contact [email protected] if you have questions.