Honors College Scholarships

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How Do You Get Honors College Scholarships?

If you receive admissions into an honors college, you may qualify for a scholarship. Honors college scholarship recipients are usually incoming first year students and eligible transfer students.

Honors colleges tend to pick students based on academic achievement. So you might have a high grade point average and SAT / ACT scores or be in the top 5% of your class. Besides grades, applicants need to show they are eager to learn, grow, contribute and work hard.

Publicly funded state schools may set up honors programs to enhance their prestige. They also want to attract bright students who might otherwise attend a private or liberal arts college. 

Is Honors College Worth It?

Yes, honors college is worth it even though you need to work harder than other students. While enrolled as an honors student, you may enjoy smaller class sizes, networking opportunities, research opportunities, extracurricular and academic opportunities. These vary in each college but more benefits include:

  • Smaller classes: Many of your classes may be honors courses. These tend to be smaller in size and more intensive. As a result, you may have more time with faculty members. This may help you master the material and learn from a mentor.
  • Format: Honors programs may have more discussion vs lectures. Then spend time in class on analysis and debate. In some schools, honors students take extra modules in specific areas of interest. Other honors courses may focus on writing and research skills which set them apart from regular college classes.
  • Conferences: Honors students often take part in conferences. They may present material in their region, state or around the United States. There also could be an extra research project to undertake and these events may help you showcase your talent. 
  • Reserved housing: As a rule, honors college offer housing for students in the honors program. It may be nicer and more spacious. Plus, many students find it brings a feeling of community since you see these peers in class on a daily basis too
  • More affordable rates: Honors programs could be an affordable option if you attend an expensive private college. Per the NCES, the average cost of (tuition, fees, room and board) at a public college was $17,9797 per year. Total cost at private nonprofit schools is more expensive at $46,014 and $26,261 at private for profit schools. 

10 Scholarships for Honors College You Should Apply for Now

Here are 10 honors college scholarships you should apply for now.

  1. Park University McAffee Honors Scholarship
  2. Valparaiso University Honors Scholarship
  3. Aquinas College Transfer Honors Scholarship
  4. Regents High Honors Tuition Scholarship (AIMS)
  5. Union College Academic Honors Scholarship 
  6. Grace College Honors Scholarship 
  7. Hope College Alumni Honors Scholarship
  8. Wyoming Hathaway Honors Scholarship
  9. Stevenson University Honors Scholarship for Transfer Students
  10. SNHU Honors Scholarship

Merit Based Scholarships 

A merit scholarship is for high achievers. Many merit scholarship awards look at various factors such as above average GPA and strong SAT and ACT scores. Also, leadership skills and a record of giving back may play a deciding role too. 

Those accepted into Dordt College’s Kuyper Honors Program receive a $2,500 Kuyper Scholarship. To qualify, one needs a 3.50 high school GPA and a 28 ACT (or 1300 SAT) composite score. Finalists also need a solid entrance essay and letters of recommendation. The awards renew for three more academic years if a student keeps up a 3.25 GPA and actively takes part in the program. 

Need Based Scholarships

A need based scholarship looks at financial need. To qualify for this kind of financial aid you must fill out and file a FAFSA. It’s important do this in on time so that a college can figure out how much unmet need you have.

Smith College is one of the largest women’s colleges in the United States. Their undergraduate program only has female students. Students majoring in any field may apply to the honors program. To do so, one needs to speak with a Department director. The college tries to meet the unmet need of all incoming freshman. Last year, about 1,500 students received financial aid. The average scholarship award amount was more than $48,000. 

What Universities Offer Honors College Scholarships?

Many colleges offer honors college scholarships to new honors students. Rutgers University, Penn State, Arizona State University and others award students merit and need based awards. Some invite students to apply if their grades qualify for the program. There may also be an automatic entry with no formal application process.

Rutgers Honors College 

Rutgers is a four year public college with over 36,000 students. The Honors College unites students from all majors to live and work together. All first year students live in a community and take part in specific activities from honors courses to scholarly forums. 

They offer competitive scholarships which new students may receive one. If eligible, you must apply to Rutgers New Brunswick by December 1. But you do not need a separate application for merit honors awards. 

These are for undergraduate study and only for new full time students. There are several honors college merit scholarships and grants. Awards are renewable with good standing for up to four years. The Honors College Changemaker Award recognizes eligible students who have demonstrated exceptional awareness and commitment to service. The award amounts range from $500 to $1000.

NJIT Albert Doorman Honors College 

New Jersey Institute of Technology is a four year public research university. They serve over 11,500 undergrads. The Albert Doorman Honors College was set up in 1985 and has over 700 students. 

100% of NJIT honors students receive merit scholarships. These range from $2500 to full tuition and room.  All newly admitted first year students may also apply for additional scholarships. 

Current students may apply for one time awards through the Honors Dean’s Fund. It may help offset costs (not tuition). It could help cover costs for research, study abroad and to present at conferences. 

Transfer students may receive an award towards tuition and fees. The award amount is up to $4000 per year ($2000 for fall and $2000 for spring semester).

Penn State Schreyer Honors College 

Penn State is a four year public college with over 76,000 undergrads. To apply to the Schreyer Honor College, you need to fill out two applications . Students must submit the Penn State undergraduate studyand the SHC applications. Both take essays, short answers, letters and transcripts. Instead of standardized test scores, they assess high school course load.

A $5000 Academic Excellence Scholarship is available for all first year honors college students. It is an annual and merit based award. Honors students who maintain good standing may renew the scholarship for 8 semesters. There are also need based awards. But criteria depends on the FAFSA, filed through the Student Aid Office. 

Arizona State University, Barrett Honors College

Arizona State University is a four year public college with many campuses that serve over 8,500 undergrads. Barrett, is the Honors College at ASU. It is a selective, on campus college that recruits bright students across the nation. 

Many of their scholarships are need based. So, you must have your current FAFSA on file. There are awards for both new and current students. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $6,000.

To apply, you must submit a Barrett General Scholarship Application. This enters you for multiple awards which you may qualify for. The committee looks at your GPA, leadership, community service, major, class level, need and residency class. 

University of Florida Honors College

University of Florida is a four year public college. With many campuses (and online), they serve over 35,000 undergrads.  

The Honors Program recruits high achievers from all over the world. It has the Freshman Honors Program (FHP) for first year students. The University Honors Program (UHP) is for upper division students.  

The Albert G. Raybun Scholarship is a need based award for juniors in pre med. The award ranges from $500 to $1,000.Applicants need a 3.0 GPA and must submit a letter of request as well as have a FAFSA on file. 

Honors Scholarships for Transfer Students

Transfer students from accredited schools may qualify for scholarships. Each school follows a certain process. For example, you may need a minimum number of credits to apply. To make the transfer seamless, make sure to apply  by the due dates. 

Union College Transfer Honors Scholarship is open to U.S. and international students. You must plan to transfer to Union College’s Honors Program in Nebraska. If interested, you must have 24 or more credit hours and a GPA of 3.5 or above. The scholarship pays $5,000 each year for up to five more semesters for a total value of $15,000.

Transfer Trustee Honors Scholarship is open to undergrads who plan to transfer to McMurray University in Texas. And, who’ve been accepted into the Honors Program. Applicants must be in the top 5% of their class to be eligible. That translates to a 27 or higher on the ACT, or at least 1220 on the SAT. Scholars receive $1,000 per year for up to 4 years ($4,000).

Study Abroad Scholarships for Honors Students

One of the potential perks for honors students is the opportunity to receive aid to study abroad. On a simple level, traveling exposes you to new cultures, food and people. Studying abroad may also broaden your understanding of your college major. You may gain fresh perspectives, learn a new language, or take part in community service. 

Rutgers Honors College Scholarship for Alternative International Experiences is for those who want to take part in a non credit international experience like a service learning trip. Priority goes to Honors College students who show both need and merit who make a strong case for why they deserve to go. One time awards range from $1,000 to $2,000 given availability of funds. The school suggests applicants apply early but accepts applications on a rolling basis. 

Why Honors College Students Should Apply for Scholarships?

Honors College scholarships could be useful for students who need financial assistance. This vital aid may decrease the number of student loans you may need to complete higher education. Some awards may also offset tuition and fees. Also, smaller amounts might fund your research thesis which many honors colleges require.

For first year students, an honors program may also provides valuable tools such as academic advising and mentorship. Plus, the opportunity to grow leadership skills, especially if you participate in on campus organizations. 

While you strive to keep up a competitive GPA, you may maximize your college experience through internships, externships and research opportunities. Many students attend conferences where they have the chance to present their findings to peers, potential employers and grad schools. 

Having a scholarship and being an honors student may boost your resume too. Honors college scholarships may be viewed as an accomplishment to future employers. This credential shows you are a high achiever, and have exceptional ability in academics. After graduating from college, the network and support system you build may set you up for continued success.

List of Scholarships

There are several other honors scholarships that college students should consider such as Dean’s List, Valedictorian, and National Honor Society awards. Check out our list of scholarships below.

Dean's List Scholarship

A dean's scholarship is financial aid based on academic achievement. These prestigious merit awards tend to go to first year undergraduate students in the top 1 to 5% of their high school class. Sometimes, with no extra application form to fill out. That said, you may need to commit to that college by their early action deadline when specified. If a current matriculated undergraduate student, you may qualify. In most colleges, a Dean's List is a list of all students that received A's and B's for the semester. While the President's List is a list of all student that received all A's for the semester.

AWARDS: 434
TOTAL: $2M

National Honor Society Scholarships

The National Honor Society (NHS) is a volunteer based club for high school students. It started in 1921 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). Their goal was to elevate students' and schools' academics as well as create involved leaders in communities nationwide. Today over 1 million students in grades 9 to 12 take part in their activities. On average, each chapter contributes 1,000 hours of school / community service and $26,000 in charitable donations.

AWARDS: 297
TOTAL: $354K

Valedictorian Scholarships

You ranked #1 in your class and many colleges set scholarships aside to reward high school valedictorians like you for your hard work. These awards base decisions on academic performance including grade point average, SAT and ACT scores. Having an above average GPA might also open doors to other sources of financial aid just for high achievers.

AWARDS: 534
TOTAL: $4M

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