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Andrew F. & Deanna D. Puzder Scholarship Program

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In Partnership with Young America's Foundation (YAF) to Prepare Leaders in Economic Policy

In an era when America’s vaunted free-market principles are increasingly under attack, Andrew “Andy” Puzder has become one of the nation’s most thoughtful voices in defense of public policies supporting entrepreneurs and broad-based economic opportunity. Puzder became a senior fellow of the Pepperdine School of Public Policy (SPP) in 2019. 

He is the former chief executive of CKE Restaurants, where he helped turn Hardee's and Carl's Jr. into globally known fast food powerhouses. Starting as founder Carl Karcher's personal attorney in 1986, Puzder became CEO in 2000 and led the company out of serious financial difficulties. Under his leadership, CKE expanded to more than 3,800 restaurants.

Puzder is a frequent lecturer on economics and politics for various groups and associations as well as at colleges and universities where he speaks frequently for Young America’s Foundation (YAF). Puzder is a prolific author, contributor, and thought leader on economic and legal issues in top-tier media outlets such as The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News Opinion, and CNBC, among others. 

In partnership with YAF, a gift from Puzder has created the Andrew F. & Deanna D. Puzder Scholarship Program supporting YAF alumni who possess a demonstrated interest and academic talent in the diverse fields of economics. Each year, up to five YAF alumni will be selected to become “Puzder Scholars” for their respective class. On top of existing P4 scholarship support, YAF alumni can receive scholarship awards of 75% of graduate tuition along with the title of “Puzder Scholar.”


To be considered for this scholarship, applicants must possess:

  • Affiliation with YAF as an undergraduate student
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher with a major or minor in economics or related field (ie, international economics, data analytics, labor economics, public finance, etc.)

About SPP’s Program in Applied Economic Policy

The School of Public Policy’s distinctive “One Degree/Five Specializations” curriculum prepares future leaders across a variety of public policy career paths. The School’s “Applied Economic Policy” specialization is designed for graduate students considering careers in policy analysis (i.e., think tanks and policy-related business sector) and policy advisory roles (i.e., Capitol Hill staff, state policy roles, etc.). SPP students graduating with this specialization also qualify for application to top PhD programs in economics and related fields. 

Application Process

The School of Public Policy accepts applications for the following academic year beginning in October and admits students on a rolling beginning in January of the enrollment year through July 15th. Students should note their interest in applying for the Puzder Scholarship in their application essay. While acceptance and initial scholarship award may be awarded earlier, Puzder Scholarships will be awarded to students who have been accepted and deposited by May 1st.