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Below are frequently asked questions about eligibility, expectations and the application and selection process.

If you have questions about LAF Ignite that are not covered here or elsewhere on our website, email Program Manager Valerie Carter at vcarter [at] (vcarter[at]lafoundation[dot]org).

Contact us at least one week in advance of the deadline with any clarifying questions about your application.



The description says the Ignite program is for BIPOC students, but it is only open to Black students in 20234. Why is this?
The LAF Ignite program has been several years in the making with input from many different groups to ensure it responds to identified gaps and needs. By focusing first on Black/African American students, LAF can ensure that the appropriate networks and cultural competencies are in place. As the program builds, it will be expanded to other BIPOC groups. 

Can I participate in the program if I do not have a financial need at the time of my application?
Not at this time. In future years as the program grows, LAF may be able to accept additional students for the internship and mentorship components of Ignite. Please check back with us. 

If I have received other LAF scholarships or been named as an LAF Olmsted Scholar, can I apply to Ignite? Or conversely, can I apply to other LAF scholarships or be nominated as an LAF Olmsted Scholar if I am an Ignite student? 
Yes! Ignite students are encouraged to apply for other scholarships and awards. LAF understands that higher education is expensive and that additional financial assistance may be helpful to offset potential debt burden. 

If I applied in the past but was not selected, may I reapply?  
Yes, definitely.  If you were not selected in the past, please review the Ignite description, requirements, and selection process criteria to better understand what makes for a strong application. The applicant pool and jury change from year to year, and you will likely have new insights and experiences to add to your materials.



If I just want the scholarship do I have to participate in the mentorship and internship components of Ignite? 
Yes, full participation in Ignite — including the internship, mentorship, and monthly check-ins — is required to receive the financial award.  

What happens if I am not able to attend one of the virtual meetings or check-ins that occur throughout Ignite?
As much as possible, LAF will work with Ignite students to schedule meetings for mutually agreed upon times. If participants are unable to attend, they must notify LAF in advance. Missing one or two meetings due to a conflict or emergency is ok, but if it becomes an ongoing issue, LAF will meet with the student to discuss. If attendance cannot be resolved, the student may be dismissed from the Ignite program. 

What if I am an Ignite student and I change my major from landscape architecture to something else? 
Why would you want to do something like that?! We would hate to see you go, but realize that a change in majors can be part of the higher education journey. Ignite students are required to notify LAF immediately if a change in major is made, and the student will have to resign from the program. 

What if I am an Ignite student and my academic standing goes down? 
LAF holds regular check-ins with Ignite participants to understand any issues that may arise and provide support as applicable. A participant will not be automatically disqualified from Ignite if their academic standing goes down, but that student will be expected to actively work to get back to good academic standing.

I saw that LAF recognizes finalists in addition to the students selected for each cohort of LAF Ignite. What is a finalist?
Each year, during the Ignite selection process the jury may choose finalists in addition to the 3-5 students they select as full LAF Ignite participants. Finalists do not receive the annual scholarship, but are recognized and provided with access to LAF’s network and internship opportunities. Recognition as a finalist does not impact a student's eligibility to apply again in future years.


Application Materials

What if I don’t have professional experience to include in a resume? 
No problem. The resume should represent where you are at in your school and career journey. If you do not have work experience, focus on your education experience, any extra-curricular or non-school activities, and any honors and awards.

I don't have a professional portfolio yet. Do I have to submit work samples?  
Yes. The work samples are a way for us to get a sense of your creativity, design process, and potential. LAF understands that applicants may be new to design, and jurors will review the work samples with this in mind. Our intent is that you should not have to create anything new for the Ignite application, but instead can gather samples from school projects, artwork, videos, or anything else that demonstrates your creativity and design sense.  

Does each work sample need to be a separate project? Can I use the same project for multiple work samples?
The intent is that each file upload is a work sample from a different project. However, if a single project is multi-phased or complex, it can be used as two or more work samples. If you would like to submit multiple images from the same project (e.g. various photos of an exhibit or event),  these can be combined into one PDF instead of uploading them as individual jpgs.

The LAF Ignite program was launched in 2022 thanks to the generous multi-year support from donors to the Ignite and Fuel Campaign. In particular, LAF thanks the following top contributors to LAF's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) Fund.

Lead Supporters

  • CEO Roundtable
  • Robert Chipman
  • Landscape Forms logo
  • Sasaki Associates logo
  • Smithgroup logo
  • JACOBS logo
  • Bill and Kathy Main, Hon. ASLA
  • Landscape Structures logo
  • OLIN logo
  • SWA Group logo
  • Beth Wehrle
  • ANOVA logo
  • Oak leak with text: "Biohabitats"
  • Jeanne Lalli
  • Logo of Lamar Johnson Collaborative: white text on a purple textured background
  • OJB logo
  • Sherry & Brian Ramsay
  • TEXT: "Reed Hilderbrand
  • TBG logo