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Rural Renewal Initiative

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Rural Scholars


The Rural Scholars program aims to benefit both rural communities and Oklahoma State University students. OSU students conduct research on the leading issues and grand challenges facing rural communities in Oklahoma and beyond, receiving firsthand research and service experience. For 10 weeks in the summer, pairs of students live in a rural community and work with community leaders to carry out research projects and provide assistance, support and solutions for community issues. Before that, students are trained in community-based research approaches and gather background information on their assigned community.


Are you a student interested in becoming a Rural Scholar, but you don't attend OSU? You can still apply! Check out the REEU Program  for more information. Applications for 2025 Rural Scholars and REEU Scholars will open in August.


Could your rural community benefit from Rural Scholars? Communities, or community members/organizations, interested in hosting Rural Scholars should complete the Rural Scholar Community Application. This application allows the Rural Renewal Initiative to better understand the issues affecting your community, the possible community service opportunities available and any specific skill students must possess. Communities are encouraged to apply early to allow program directors adequate time to prepare students for your specific community!

Former Rural Scholars

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