Scholarship awards serve two equally valuable purposes: recognition of accomplishment and achievement and as provision of financial support. These purposes are not mutually exclusive. Many students are awarded scholarships due to both achievement and financial need.
As a general rule, scholarships of $500 are the minimum given when the most important goal is to award achievement rather than supply aid. Conversely, scholarships of $3,000 to $7,000 are generally given when the most important goal is to supply aid. Most scholarships fall in between these two poles.
As a general rule, the expectation is that students receiving scholarships should display strength in two or more of the below attributes.
- Academic Performance and Strength
For incoming first-year students, exceptional academic performance normally means that students rank at the top of their graduating class, or have a 3.8 minimum grade point average on a 4.0 scale, have composite ACT scores of at least 30 and/or SAT scores of 1400.
- Creative Accomplishment
Students must demonstrate originality and innovation in the arts, sciences, or social sciences. The committee considers the accomplishments of writers, artists, and musicians just as seriously as scientists.
- Financial Need
The committee considers how students are financing their education. Students should clearly state in their application how many hours a week they work, in addition to completing the FAFSA and disclosing any extenuating circumstances.
- Diversity of Background
All students and staff on our campus gain academically when we have a diverse student body. With this in mind, the committee considers diversity of race and sex, but also the connections between these and other sources of identity, such as rural background, first generation to attend college, religion, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, class, and ability.
- Unusual Force of Character
Letters and Science values students who have overcome obstacles related to health, family, social, educational, or economic disadvantages. Circumstances that show strength of character and potential for achievement are reviewed.
- Community Service
The committee considers volunteerism, service learning, field-work, or internships that show civic responsibility and engagement. Sustained involvement over a period of time versus participation in an event is valued.
Letters and Science values students who serve in leadership positions on teams or in organizations with significant duties or accomplishments who have motivated or advanced teams in their efforts.