The Olaniyan (Oh-LAWN-eee-yawn) Scholars Program promotes the development of undergraduate research in the Humanities and Social Sciences (or the School of Liberal Arts) facilitated through the interdisciplinary lens of African Studies, or the study of African peoples still living in Africa and those populations scattered around the globe since slavery and colonization. 

The Scholarship Offers:

  • The value of full in-state tuition (renewable for up to four years) to be used for tuition, fees, housing, or other costs associated with and up to the Cost of Attendance (may also be used to cover educational expenses that might otherwise be covered by student loans)
  • A $2,000 stipend per year
  • The opportunity to engage in research work with a full-time faculty member

International and out-of-state students must make special arrangements to cover the difference between in-state and out-of-state costs; students should discuss options with the Office of Student Financial Aid Services (317-274-4162) and the Office of Student Scholarships (317-274-5516).

***Special priority consideration will be given to underrepresented, first-generation students seeking to pursue a major within the Humanities and Social Sciences (or the School of Liberal Arts).  This can include dual-degree students who may also be pursuing a second major in another school.  

Students admitted to the program enter into a highly structured course of study focusing on the lives, history, traditions, interests, and communities of people of African descent.  Working with a faculty mentor, scholars conduct research that benefits communities of color, enroll in specially designed academic courses, and have the opportunity to participate in study abroad experiences that expand their studies beyond the boundaries of the classroom.


The Olaniyan Scholars Program is highly selective and yet very supportive of student goals.  Once each student's interests and major are identified, the program is customized to enable each scholar to optimize their academic, professional, and educational goals.  Throughout their years of eligibility, each scholar is not only mentored and supported within the program, but also works under the guidance and mentoring of a faculty member engaged in research that benefits populations of color.  Scholars also gain valuable experience, not only as researchers, but in presenting their work at conferences and/or student research forums.