Dental Scholars Overview

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. Support also comes from a partnership with GEHA Solutions through the “GEHA Solutions Diversity in Dentistry Pre-Dental Fellowships”.

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 May 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 May. As a DAT Prep Scholar, students will participate in a 10-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 10-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

Dental Scholars Sample Week:

Academic Year Details ∇

After the summer is over, students continue their development throughout the academic year. From August through May, students receive continued support and opportunities 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.

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

  • Receive continued coaching and mentorship from the STAHR Team, current STAHR Ambassadors, and other professionals
  • Participate in exclusive opportunities for community service volunteering or health shadowing
  • 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


Program Benefits

In addition to the knowledge gained from participating, students who meet program expectations receive many benefits, including:

  • Financial support as a stipend or scholarship
  • Special consideration for applicants to the UMKC School of Dentistry’s DDS program
  • Workshops with UMKC’s admissions professionals
  • Networking with UMKC faculty, researchers, and practicing health professionals
  • Mentorship and guidance for your unique educational path and goals



All students in the Dental Scholars track must meet the following criteria:

  • Personal interest in pursuing a health profession*
  • Availability to participate Monday through Friday, 8:30am – 4:00pm CST for the duration of the summer experience
    • The 2023 Scholars Program summer dates are: Monday, May 22, 2023 – Friday, July 28, 2023
    • 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 24, – Friday, July 28. In-person activities subject to change based on COVID-19 restrictions
  • Commitment to take the DAT in July (at student’s own expense; cost may be offset by the scholarship or stipend received for successful participation in the program)
  • Availability to invest 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
    • Dental Scholars from outside the Kansas City area may be eligible for reimbursement of travel costs to and from campus
    • All Dental Scholars will be required to stay in the provided campus housing, even if you are already located in Kansas City
  • Must have completed the following college courses prior to the summer program start:
    • 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

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.

The application cycle for the 2023 STAHR Scholars Program is currently closed.
Notify me about the next STAHR Scholars Program application cycle.


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

  • A completed 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.
    • To see an overview of what is included in the application, review the first page of the Online Application.
  • A copy of your most up-to-date academic transcript(s)
    • You may attach your academic document(s) through the upload spaces in the Online Application or by uploading directly to the STAHR Application File Upload.
    • Official documents preferred, but unofficial will also be accepted.
    • 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.
    • Your documentation must contain the following:
      • Student’s name
      • Name of school
      • All classes taken and grades received
      • Classes currently enrolled in (if applicable)
      • Cumulative unweighted GPA (out of 4.00)
  • One professional recommendation submitted through the STAHR Scholars Online Reference Form
    • Recommendations can come from a counselor/advisor, teacher/instructor, or other professional who is able to speak on your personal and professional attributes.
    • Recommenders must complete the online form. Letters of recommendation will not be considered.
    • Recommenders can complete the Online Reference Form before or after you submit the Online Application.
    • *Students who have previously participated in the STAHR Scholars Program do not need to have a recommender complete the form.*
  • 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 Online Application or by uploading directly to the STAHR Application File Upload.
    • *U.S. Citizens do not need to upload any form of government ID.*


ALL application materials must be submitted by February 15, 2023 at 11:59 PM 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 Dental Scholars

Students will be notified of their acceptance by March 15.