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

Full tuition and basic room and board for four years (8 consecutive undergraduate semesters total, excluding summers). Basic room and board is defined as the cost of a standard double-occupancy room in a residence hall with a 12 meals per week meal plan.

Eligibility Requirements

To be considered for the Presidential Scholarship, applicants must meet one or more of the following eligibility requirements. Only U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents are eligible to apply.

  • National Merit 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:

  • Submit a completed application for admission to The University of Tulsa by January 15.
  • Submit the online Special Programs Application with required essay by January 15.
  • Complete a Presidential Scholarship interview during a TU campus visit, high school visit or off-campus event by March 1.
  • Visit campus by March 1.
Frequently Asked Questions

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 the 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.

Which Presidential Scholarship applicants are invited to interview?
All students who are academically eligible for the Presidential Scholarship are invited to interview. The interview is required as part of the Presidential Scholarship application process and must be completed by March 1.

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.

Where and when will Presidential Scholarship interviews take place?
Presidential Scholarship interviews may take place on campus during a campus visit program or a daily campus visit.  Presidential Scholarship interviews might also be available in your area prior to or after your campus visit. Please contact your Admission Counselor to discuss your Presidential Scholarship interview options.

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.

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 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 Tulsa Time Overnight Program for seniors offered in November and in February each academic year. 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 or 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 also 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 TU special program 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 Presidential Scholarship and each individual TU special program has a separate review committee and may be looking for different types of students.

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 retain the scholarship.

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.

Does a past campus visit to TU satisfy the requirement to visit the campus by March 1?
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.

Additional Information

Awards are funded by The University of Tulsa, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and the Oklahoma State Regents. Outside scholarships for which the student has qualified and any 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 each scholarship.