What is a scholarship?
Like grants, scholarships are financial awards that don’t have to be repaid. Some are based on financial need, but scholarships also can be based on accomplishments, such as academic merit, athletic ability, leadership, extracurricular activities, service or even winning an essay contest.
Scholarship providers run the gamut, from SFA to businesses, foundations, religious organizations, nonprofits and community groups. That means there are hundreds of opportunities available for you to get scholarship funding to help you with your SFA expenses.
How to apply for a scholarship
SFA has hundreds of scholarships available to new and returning students. You can search all SFA scholarships using our Scholarship Search Engine.
When you’re ready to apply, you can do so through mySFA by following these steps:
- Log in to mySFA
- Select the Financial Aid tab
- Select SFA Scholarship Application
- Within the application, you can:
- Request references by submitting names and email addresses
- Complete essays, when required
You may also be eligible for outside scholarships (details below).
Do I need to complete the FAFSA?
You don’t have to complete the FAFSA to apply for scholarships, although we suggest you do — some scholarships require a FAFSA, and you could be eligible for other types of aid. Learn more about the FAFSA application requirements, process and deadlines here.
Scholarships provided by SFA
University Regents Scholarship
This award opportunity is for first-time incoming students at the freshman, sophomore or junior level. Each academic department selects 2 academically gifted undergraduates to receive $3,000 for the academic year, broken down into two $1,500 allocations, to help cover the cost of a room in an SFA residence hall. Commuter students can apply the money toward tuition and fees. You must be admitted to SFA to qualify.
Requirements and renewals
Entering freshmen must meet any one of the following requirements for the Regents Scholarship:
- Be in the top 15 percent of their high school graduating class (verified by transcript or letter from the appropriate high school official)
- Have an SAT combined verbal and quantitative score of at least 1220
- Have an ACT composite score of at least 27
- Students must submit writing scores on the SAT reasoning test or writing scores on the ACT
Transfer students must meet the same requirements as entering freshmen and must have maintained a 3.25 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) in all college work.
The Regents Scholarship is renewable for continuous fall and spring semesters — up to 8 semesters for freshmen, 6 semesters for sophomores and 4 semesters for juniors — as long as students meet all 3 of the conditions below.
- Complete at least 24 semester credit hours each academic year with an earned GPA of at least 3.25
- Make appropriate progress each semester on the degree requirements in the major from the awarding department
- Receive continuing approval from the department chair and/or faculty of the awarding department
Academic Excellence Scholarship Program
The Academic Excellence Scholarship awards $3,000 scholarships to entering freshmen for fall 2017 who meet the eligibility requirements. If specific criteria are met, the scholarship may be renewed for three additional years after the initial award while pursuing the first baccalaureate degree.
Requirements and renewals
- Meet scholarship requirements and receive the offer of admission by June 1 for fall 2017
- Rank in the top 10 percent of graduating class OR
- Rank in the top quarter of graduating class and earn a minimum score of 1100 on the SAT Reasoning Test (reading and math combined - not including writing score) OR
- Earn 1170 on the newly formatted SAT Test (Math and Evidenced based reading and writing) or 24 on the ACT (not including writing sample score)
Applying for the scholarship
A formal application for the scholarship is not required as students are considered and evaluated when officially admitted to the university. Scholarships will be awarded to eligible students who are admitted to the university by June 1 for the fall 2017 semester and meet all scholarship requirements by that date.
Any student who meets the requirements and is admitted to the university by June 1 for the fall 2017 semester will receive a $3,000 scholarship. The scholarship is awarded as follows:
- Fall 2017 semester $1,500
- Spring 2018 semester $1,500
Is this scholarship renewable?
Yes. To continue receiving the scholarship, a student must:
- Earn 24 or more semester hours of academic credit at SFA
- Earn a grade point average of at least 3.25 each year during the fall and spring only
The scholarship may be awarded for a four-year period. More detailed requirements are mailed to recipients.
Community College Transfer Scholarship Program
This award opportunity is for students who transfer to SFA from a community college during the fall or the spring. The award is $1,000 for the year if the recipient’s transferable GPA is 3.0 to 3.49, and the award is $2,000 per year for students with a transferable GPA of 3.50 or higher. You do not have to apply for this scholarship. We consider all students for it when they’re admitted to SFA.
Requirements and renewals
- Attended community college only between high school graduation and transferring to SFA
- Completed at least 45 transferable semester hours with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (as computed by the SFA office of admissions)
- Advanced placement or credit by exam credits are not included in the 45 transferable semester-hour requirement
- Submit official college transcript to SFA office of admissions
- Officially admitted to SFA
This scholarship is renewable for a second academic year.
- Earn 24 or more semester hours of credits during your first fall and spring semesters at SFA
- Maintain a GPA of at least 3.25 during the fall and spring semesters
School of Honors scholarships
The School of Honors offers 4 scholarship programs:
- Hoops for Scholars, up to $5,000 for academic year, $2,500 per fall and spring semester
- University Scholars Award, up to $4,000 for academic year, $2,000 per fall and spring semester
- Vera Douglas Scholarship, up to $5,000 for academic year, $2,500 per fall and spring semester
- Wisely Award, up to $1,000 for academic year (please see separate listing below)
Requirements and renewals
School of Honors scholarship requirements
- Be a high school senior with clear admission to SFA
- Have either a minimum SAT reasoning score of 1220 (not including writing) OR an ACT composite score of 27 (not including writing) as submitted to SFA Admissions
- Have completed the SFA Scholarship Application through mySFA
Additional requirement for Hoops for Scholars ONLY
- National Merit Scholar OR National Merit Finalist
We also will consider outside achievements including artistic efforts, professional or occupational activities, significant volunteer work or other worthy activities. On your online application, request up to 3 references from teachers or professors, and complete the 300- to 600-word essay, “What does success mean to you?” on page 7.
School of Honors scholarship renewals
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher
- Participate in the School of Honors and earn at least 3 hours of honors credit (one honors course) per semester until at least 25 hours are completed. (This will entitle you to graduate with the University Scholar designation on your degree)
This School of Honors program for current SFA students provides recipients a one-time, $1,000 scholarship for the academic year. To be eligible, you must:
- Be a currently enrolled SFA student
- Be a full member of School of Honors in good standing
- Maintain a minimum 3.25 GPA
- Be returning to SFA the next academic year
- Complete the SFA scholarship application through mySFA
On your online application:
- Request up to 3 references from teachers or professors
- Under the question, “Do you participate in any of the following activities?” on page 6, check the box next to “Honors Program”
- Complete the 300- to 600-word essay, “What does success mean to you?” on page 7
If you’re awarded a Wisely Award scholarship for the following academic year, you’ll need to maintain School of Honors membership, which includes:
- Maintaining a minimum 3.25 minimum cumulative GPA
- Earning a minimum of 6 honors credits each academic year
- Enrolling in a minimum of 12 credit hours at SFA for the fall and spring semesters
More SFA scholarship opportunities
You also may be eligible for scholarship opportunities offered by:
- The Alumni Association
- The Office of Student Financial Assistance
- The Office of International Programs
- Reserve Officer Training Corps. (ROTC)
- SFA Athletics
Outside scholarship resources
It’s worth your time to look for scholarship opportunities from other sources, too. You can do an online search, “Scholarships for ___” and fill in the blank: leaders, volunteers, children of veterans — you name it. You also can try sites that list scholarship opportunities. Here are a few to get you started: