Scholarships are funds awarded to students who meet certain criteria, such as merit, need, and background. Generally, these funds are considered gift aid, which means that they do not need to be repaid, whether a student does or does not graduate. First-time freshmen and transfer students apply for KU scholarships through the KU Office of Admissions.

KU scholarships

The KU Office of Admissions maintains scholarship eligibility requirements for freshman and transfer students.

Unless otherwise noted, KU provides four-year renewable scholarships to eligible freshmen who submit a complete application by the priority scholarship deadline of Dec. 1. Tiers are primarily based on the overall GPA on a 4.0 scale that most benefits a student at time of application. Recipients receive written notification within seven to 10 days of admission.

An incoming fall freshman or transfer student can defer a scholarship for one year, or until they attend another college, university, or community college. Any change in residency or resident tuition rates may also impact eligibility for a scholarship.

Renewal criteria

Freshman scholarships expire after eight semesters of undergraduate study or upon graduation with a first bachelor’s degree, whichever occurs first. Transfer scholarships expire after three years of undergraduate study.

Scholarship recipients must be enrolled full-time and maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative KU GPA.

After spring grades have posted, Financial Aid & Scholarships will verify that students have met renewal criteria. Students are notified of their scholarship status for the upcoming academic year via their registered KU email address.

If a scholarship is not renewed after the first year due to grades and/or hours, it is possible to earn that scholarship for a future term or academic year. Financial Aid & Scholarships monitors grades and hours for all students, and will send notification if renewal criteria is again met

For students that take a gap year for military service, mission/service with a church or other organizations, KU will hold their scholarship until the next fall semester, as long a they don’t attend another college or university. Students that attend another school, will be considered a transfer student and will be considered for a transfer scholarship.

The Pell Advantage will not be awarded to any students that start after Fall 2021. Students that currently have Pell Advantage will have it as long as they meet renewal criteria — file your FAFSA by Feb 1 each year, be Pell Grant eligible, and maintain a 2.5 KU GPA with 24 earned KU hours each year. 

Private scholarships

A student may also obtain scholarships offered by private businesses, community organizations, and local and state governments.

  • Resources like the Kansas ScholarShop, provided by the Office of the Kansas State Treasurer and powered by the Sallie Mae scholarship search engine, can help identify scholarships you may qualify for.
  • Kansans can also visit the Board of Regents website for opportunities.


Other scholarships

On-campus groups, departments, schools, and offices at KU also offer scholarships: