Presidential Scholars

The TU Presidential Scholarship is the most generous academic merit award given by The University of Tulsa. The award is based on several factors, including exceptional performance in a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, demonstrated leadership, and/or service using TULSA as an acronym:

Understanding the TU environment

The Presidential Scholarship Program recognizes scholars of diverse backgrounds and cultures and with varied interests who will make a positive difference on campus and in their communities.

Through the Presidential Scholarship selection process among a highly competitive applicant pool, the committee is seeking to find academically stellar students with the greatest potential to be effective student leaders at TU. Presidential Scholars think deeply, are engaged fully, are willing to pursue what matters to them in an above and beyond way, and understand the commitment to the university’s core values: excellence in scholarship, dedication to free inquiry, integrity of character, and commitment to humanity.

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 Semifinalists who list The University of Tulsa as School of Choice with National Merit Scholarship Corporation
    • National Hispanic Scholars who rank in the top 10% of their graduating class
    • Students who 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 an application for admission to The University of Tulsa by January 15.
    • Have the high school submit an official transcript to The University of Tulsa by January 15.
    • Submit the online Special Programs Application including the required one-page resume and short answers for the Presidential Scholarship by January 15. Application will open October 1.
    • Visit TU’s campus by Wednesday, January 20. (A virtual admission presentation will suffice if an in-person daily visit is unfeasible.)
    • Complete a Presidential Scholarship virtual interview during one of three interview dates. NOTE: Interviews selection is competitive. Interviews are by invitation only. Not all applicants will be selected to interview.
      • Monday, February 15
      • Friday, February 19
      • Sunday, February 21
  • Optional Application Materials

    To be considered for the Presidential Scholarship, interested applicants might also want to:

    • Have the school counselor submit the Presidential Scholarship Nomination Form by January 15. Form will be available October 1.
    • Meet with your TU admission counselor by January 15.
    • Upload a video (45-seconds maximum) with your Special Programs Application by January 15.
      • Create a short (45-seconds maximum) video to showcase your unique personality, talents, and abilities.
      • Show us why you want to attend TU and how you will fit into our close-knit community of scholars. Tell us about how your personality and experience will contribute to our student body. Illustrate how you will be a contributing member of the TU Golden Hurricane community.
      • Remember the details:
        • Start the video with your name, hometown and state.
        • Choose the message you want to say and how you want to convey it.
        • Adhere to basic YouTube guidelines.
        • Use your phone. No high-tech equipment needed as videos won’t be evaluated for production quality.
        • Stick to the 45-second time limit.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    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 the strength of 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 such as admission presentations and academic webinars. 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. Interview spots are limited; therefore, interview selection is competitive.

    Does a past campus visit to TU satisfy the requirement to visit the campus by January 20?
    Yes! Provided you’ve had an official visit through TU’s Office of Admission (daily visit, campus visit program such as TU Up Close, or Virtual Admission Presentation), this satisfies the visit requirement.

    When will applicants be notified about an interview?
    All Presidential Scholarship applicants will be notified by February 1 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 5 to confirm a virtual 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 interviews will be offered virtually. Specific interview dates are as follows:
    • Monday, February 15
    • Friday, February 19
    • Sunday, February 21

    What should I expect for the interview itself?
    The Presidential Scholarship interview is an opportunity for us to learn more about your accomplishments, aspirations, and interest in TU. All students selected for a Presidential Scholarship interview have already shown exceptional academic ability. The interview allows us to get to know applicants better outside of academics and helps us determine those who think deeply, are engaged fully, and are willing to pursue what matters to them in an above and beyond way. Faculty, staff, alumni and/or current Presidential Scholars participate in the interview process.

    What should I wear to the Presidential Scholarship interview?
    As this will be a virtual interview, we encourage you to take care in setting up your space to help you feel most confident. Wear something that helps you look and feel your best and helps you present your best self. Have good lighting and be sure your audio and video are working correctly.

    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 using TULSA as an acronym for Talent, Understanding the TU environment, Leadership, Service and Academics. Among a highly competitive applicant pool, the committee seeks to recognize a group of scholars of diverse backgrounds and cultures and with varied interests 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 between 50-75 each year.

    When will I find out if I have received the scholarship?
    All Presidential Scholarship applicants (recipients and non-recipients) will be notified 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.