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Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars

From Success to Significance

Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars (2010-2026)

The Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars (FDDS) program was developed to serve its exceptional students in 2010. The program admitted its last class of scholars in 2022 who will graduate from the program in 2026.  

The Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars (FDDS) program prepares its students and alumni for graduate/professional school, career management, and socially responsible leadership. We annually award one AU’s most selective, merit-based scholarships (tuition, housing, meal plan, books, mandatory fees, and public transportation) to five incoming first-year student leaders committed to the pursuit of multidimensional excellence. The FDDS program is one of the most selective, merit-based scholars programs for students interested in attending American University.

Why Become a FDDS?

We foster a collaborative community in which some of the most passionate, forward-thinking, and brightest students leverage the knowledge, experience, and network of distinguished alumni, faculty, and staff to effectively prepare for graduate/professional school, nurture their originality, and develop the specialized skills necessary for socially responsible leadership.

Who Were We Looking For?

We sought ambitious, introspective, and optimistic student leaders with curiosity, strong academic records, outstanding self-awareness, demonstrated leadership experience, creative ability, and interest in having a meaningful impact as servant leaders in whatever fields, industries and organizations in which they chose to apply their passions, skill sets and intellectual curiosity. We looked for individuals desirous of an opportunity to contribute to a collective, serve the AU and DC communities and beyond and who ascribed, philosophically, to a pay-it-forward mentality.