Dental Scholars Overview

From a summer-only program to now a year-round support, the STAHR Scholars Program provides students with the opportunities, resources, and knowledge to become competitive applicants to health professional programs. Students in the Scholars Program will undergo personal and professional development as they pursue and apply to health programs.

Participation in the Scholars Program is free. Students who meet program expectations will receive financial support as stipends and/or scholarships.

Collegiate-level students can participate as a DAT Prep Scholar so long as admission to a health professional program has not yet been achieved. From June through the following May, DAT Prep Scholars will increase their confidence and preparedness for pursing their educational goals.

To provide sustained support to students, the Scholars Program is composed of a summer experience and an academic year experience.

Summer Details ∇

Students in the Scholars Program begin by participating in the summer experience, which starts in June. As a DAT Prep Scholar, students will participate in a 9-week summer program focused on preparing students for taking the DAT admissions exam. From Monday through Friday for 30 hours each week, students immerse themselves in test preparation with supplemental programming focused on the application process to health professional school.

In the 9-week summer experience, DAT Prep students participate in the following opportunities:

  • Progress through a prescribed test preparation program for the DAT
  • Receive academic enrichment to supplement the DAT preparation
  • Connect with admissions staff, faculty, current students, and other professionals
  • Develop and improve portfolio materials and skills, like personal statements and interviewing

Academic Year Details ∇

After the summer is over, students continue their development throughout the academic year. From August through May, students receive individualized coaching to help them plan and prepare for their next steps in becoming a health professional student. Instead of rigorously structured activities like in the summer experience, students throughout the academic year primarily work on individual projects on their own time.

During the academic year, students will participate in regular one-on-one meetings with STAHR to create tailored support plans for each student. In addition to continuing to develop their portfolio materials, students will be guided to complete 10+ hours each semester of either community service volunteering or health shadowing and exploration experiences. Through these purposeful activities, students will elevate their preparation for health professional programs.

In the academic year experience, collegiate students participate in the following opportunities:

  • Receive individualized coaching as you advance along the path to becoming a health professional student
  • Establish goals and pathways to success
  • Develop and improve portfolio materials and skills, like personal statements and interviewing


Participant Expectations

Students in the Scholars Program must:

  • Attend all Scholars Program sessions and activities as an attentive and engaged learner
    • Includes both the summer and academic year experiences
  • Complete all tasks, assignments, projects, and surveys appropriately and on-time, designed to evaluate student development and the effectiveness of the program
  • Accept the challenges in developing personally, professionally, and academically
  • Promptly communicate any pertinent or relevant needs or concerns
  • Accept responsibility for reading and responding to correspondences related to the program
  • Maintain good academic standing
  • Foster a community of respect, trust, and support



All students in the Scholars Program must meet the following criteria:

  • Personal interest in pursuing a health profession*
  • Availability to participate Monday through Friday, 8:00am – 4:30pm for the duration of the summer experience
    • The 2022 Scholars Program summer dates are: Tuesday, May 31, 2022 – Friday, July 29, 2022
    • The program will be conducted both virtually and in-person. In-person activities are scheduled at the UMKC Health Sciences Campus on the last week of the program, from Monday, July 25, – Friday, July 29. In-person activities subject to change based on COVID-19 restrictions
  • Commitment to take the DAT in August (at student’s own expense; cost may be offset by the scholarship or stipend received for successful participation in the program)
  • Availability to invest 10+ hours in development activities each semester during the academic year (August – May)
  • Currently a college student or academically higher, but not yet admitted to a health professional education program
  • 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA
  • **Economically disadvantaged OR ***educationally disadvantaged
  • United States Citizen OR Permanent Resident
  • Availability and transportation to the UMKC Health Sciences Campus for in-person activities
  • Ideally have completed the following college courses with a grade B or higher prior to June:
    • Biology I
    • Chemistry I and II
    • Organic Chemistry I and II
    • Physics or Math
    • English I and II
  • Preference given to students in the Kansas City area and students interested in providing care to medically underserved communities

*Due to federal grant specifications, students interested in pursuing nursing careers are not eligible for this program because nursing is not designated in Section 739 of the Public Health Service Act, which funds this program.

**Per HRSA, “Economically Disadvantaged” is determined by having an annual family income that does not exceed 200% of the U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines.

***Per HRSA, “Educationally Disadvantaged” is determined by an environment that has inhibited students from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and/or abilities required to enroll in & graduate from a health professions school.

Questions About Eligibility

STAHR looks at several different criteria to determine eligibility. We encourage all interested students to apply to have their eligibility reviewed.


Application Process

The application cycle for the 2022 STAHR Scholars Program is currently closed.
Notify me about the next STAHR Scholars Program application cycle.

Students applying for the Scholars Program are applying for the entire 12-month program. Students must participate in both the summer and academic year experiences, and may not apply to a single experience.


To be considered for the program, the following must be completed prior to the deadline:

  • STAHR Scholars Online Application
    • Your progress on the application can be saved and returned to later using the Save & Return feature, which provides you with a return code.
    • The application is not considered “completed” until the final Submit button has been clicked. After successfully submitting, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address provided in the application.
  • One recommendation from a counselor/advisor, teacher/instructor, or other professional to speak on your personal and professional attributes, submitted through the STAHR Scholars Online Reference Form.
    • Recommenders must complete the online form. Letters of recommendation will not be considered.
  • A copy of your most up-to-date academic transcript(s). You may attach your academic document(s) through the upload spaces in the application, uploading directly to the STAHR Application Box, or emailed to
    • Official documents preferred, but unofficial will also be accepted.
    • Your documentation must show your school’s name, all classes taken and grades received, the classes you are currently enrolled in (if applicable), and your current cumulative unweighted GPA (out of 4.00).
    • If classes have been taken at multiple institutions, please submit documentation from each school.
    • Students currently or formerly enrolled in college must submit documentation for all college credits attempted and taken.
  • If not a United States Citizen – A copy of your Permanent Residence Card (Green Card). You may attach a copy of your card through the upload spaces in the application, uploading directly to the STAHR Application Box, or emailed to


ALL application materials must be submitted by February 15, 2022 at 11:59pm CST. Email confirmations will be sent to applicants when materials have been received.



Students who meet the eligibility requirements and complete all application materials will undergo a committee review for selection. This committee will review all information about the applicant and determine suitability for the program.

In general, successful applicants:

  • Understand and commit to fulfilling all expectations and program requirements
  • Indicate a personal interest in exploring more about what it means to be a health professional
  • Demonstrate academic persistence and a commitment to learning

To maximize the resources for each student, STAHR will be accepting a limited number of Scholars:

  • 15 collegiate-level DAT Prep

Students will be notified of their acceptance by March 1.