Presidential Scholars

The TU Presidential Scholarship is the most prestigious academic merit award given by the University. The award is based on a number of factors, including exceptional performance in a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, ACT/SAT scores, demonstrated leadership and/or service. The Presidential Scholarship Program recognizes scholars who will make a difference in the world.

Award Amount

The Presidential Scholarship covers full tuition for four years (8 consecutive undergraduate semesters total, excluding summers).

  • Eligibility Requirements

    To be considered for the Presidential Scholarship, applicants must meet one or more of the following eligibility requirements.

    • National Merit Semi-Finalists who list The University of Tulsa as School of Choice
    • National Hispanic Scholars who rank in the top 10% of their graduating class
    • Students who score in the top 1% on ACT/SAT (or earn a superscore of 33 on the ACT or a superscore of 1450 on the SAT) AND EITHER
      • Rank in the top 5% of their graduating class OR
      • Have at least a 4.0 weighted grade point average
  • Application Requirements

    To be considered for the Presidential Scholarship, interested applicants must:

      • Students who visit campus on or before January 20 will be given priority in interview selection.
      • Students selected to interview will be given the option of three interview dates on campus. This will count as an official visit to campus if you have not previously visited TU.
      • NOTE: Students residing outside of the U.S. may schedule a Skype interview in lieu of visiting campus.
    • Complete a Presidential Scholarship interview during one of three interview dates. Students who have already visited campus will be given an option to have an interview via Skype, if needed. NOTE: Not all applicants will be invited to interview.
      • Sunday, February 16
      • Friday, February 28
      • Monday, March 9
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What does the Presidential Scholarship Breakfast entail and how often is it offered? Is attendance required?
    The Presidential Scholarship breakfast is offered as a chance for prospective TU families to hear from faculty, administrators and current TU Presidential Scholars about the many special opportunities available at TU for high achieving students. Please know that while this breakfast event is by invitation only, it is a part of the November Tulsa Time Overnight Program for seniors. Attendance is encouraged, but not required and will not impact your application.

    Do I need to dress professionally for the Presidential Scholarship Breakfast?
    There is no dress code nor expectation of professional dress. Students attending the Presidential Scholarship Breakfast as part of the Tulsa Time Overnight Program should feel free to dress casually to be comfortable for the activities they will attend around campus throughout the day. Jeans, t-shirts, and tennis shoes are completely appropriate.

    Do I need to apply to the Honors Program or other special programs to make my Presidential Scholarship application stronger?
    No. Students are encouraged to apply to any of TU special programs of interest to them, but should understand the Presidential Scholarship committee will not have access to responses provided for any other TU special program. The review committees for each of TU’s Special Programs are separate and each program may be looking for different types of students.

    How are Presidential Scholarship applicants chosen to be interviewed?
    Students who are academically qualified to apply for the scholarship are selected for an interview based upon their application for the scholarship, their interaction (demonstrated interest) with The University of Tulsa and their potential to make a positive difference. Demonstrated interest can be displayed though active communication with your admission counselor, having an interview (Talk with Tulsa), and attending other TU-sponsored events. Students can show their potential to make a positive difference by displaying outstanding leadership, having active civic engagement and/or being involved in community service in their schools and/or communities. Priority for interview selection will be given to students who visit campus on or before January 20 and who have met with their admission counselor.

    Does a past campus visit to TU satisfy the requirement to visit the campus by March 9?
    Yes! Provided you’ve had an official visit through TU’s Office of Admission (daily visit or campus visit program such as TU Up Close or Tulsa Time), this satisfies the visit requirement.

    When will applicants be notified about an interview?
    All Presidential Scholarship applicants will be notified by January 31 if they have been selected for an interview, are on the waitlist for an interview, or if they are no longer being considered for the scholarship. Students who are selected for an interview will have until February 7 to confirm an interview date and time. If anyone selected for an interview opts not to continue, we will notify students on the interview waitlist accordingly.

    Where and when will Presidential Scholarship interviews take place?
    Presidential Scholarship interview days will be offered on campus and will count as an official campus visit. Students who have already visited campus will be given an option to have an interview via Skype, if needed. Specific interview dates are as follows:

      • Sunday, February 16
      • Friday, February 28
      • Monday, March 9


    What should I expect for the interview itself?
    The Presidential Scholarship interview is an opportunity for us learn more about your accomplishments, aspirations, and interest in TU. All students who are eligible for the Presidential Scholarship have already shown exceptional academic ability. The interview allows us to get to know applicants better outside of academics. Faculty, staff, alumni and/or current Presidential Scholars participate in the interview process.

    What should I wear to the Presidential Scholarship interview?
    While there is not a dress code, we simply suggest you dress to look and feel your best. You do not need to wear a suit. Wear something that helps you feel comfortable and confident and that won’t distract you from presenting your best self.

    What is the committee looking for when they make their selections for the Presidential Scholarship? What criteria are considered?
    The goal of the Presidential Scholarship program is to identify members of the freshman class with the greatest potential to be effective student leaders at TU. Among a highly competitive applicant pool, the committee seeks to recognize a group of scholars who demonstrate an understanding of the commitment to the university’s core values: excellence in scholarship, dedication to free inquiry, integrity of character, and commitment to humanity.

    How many students will receive the Presidential Scholarship?
    The number of Presidential Scholarships awarded varies slightly every year. Since 2013, between 50-85 (with an average of 66) presidential scholarships have been offered each year to admitted students.

    When will I find out if I have received the scholarship?
    All Presidential Scholarship applicants (recipients and non-recipients) will be notified by mail no later than April 1. Students who are awarded the Presidential Scholarship must notify the Office of Admission of their enrollment plans by May 1 to accept the scholarship.

    Once Presidential Scholarship awards have been offered, is there a waiting list? What happens if someone declines the offer?
    While it’s possible that a student who is awarded the Presidential Scholarship may not accept it, we make accommodations for this possibility in our awarding process and, therefore, we do not create a waitlist for this award. When a Presidential Scholar declines our offer, we’ve accounted for those funds in this situation and they’re not “leftover” to redistribute to other candidates.

    What are the requirements to maintain the Presidential Scholarship?
    Scholarship recipients must be enrolled full-time and maintain a minimum cumulative 3.25 GPA. Additionally they are expected to attend university-sponsored special events and functions. Recipients will receive a Letter of Agreement outlining more details of these expectations.

  • Additional Information

    New Presidential Scholarships beginning with the Fall of 2020 will be funded through various TU scholarships/grants and a named Presidential Scholarship amounting to $6,000; up to the cost of tuition. Outside scholarships for which the student has qualified, along with need-based government grants for which the student is eligible, may not exceed the federal cost of attendance.

    A minimum full-time enrollment and cumulative GPA of 3.25 and attendance of special events are required to maintain the Presidential scholarship funding.