7 BYU Scholarships Available for High School and College Students

Brigham Young University (BYU) is a private university located in Provo, Utah. In order to boost the quality of its graduates, the university generously awarded a number of BYU scholarships. These scholarships are not limited to undergraduate and postgraduate students only but also for high school students who wish to continue their education at the university.

BYU Scholarships
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Below you can find a complete list of the seven BYU scholarships. Each type has its own characteristics and requirements, so make sure you apply for the right option based on your current status.

An Overview about Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University (BYU) is a private research university sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and located in Provo, Utah. The university is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Photo: Wikipedia

Run under the auspices of the church’s parent organization, the Church Educational System (CES), BYU is classified among “R2: Doctoral Universities – High Research Activity” with “more selective, lower transfer-in” admissions.

Actually, the university’s primary emphasis is on undergraduate education in 179 majors. However, it also has 62 master’s and 26 doctoral degree programs. Besides, the university administers two satellite campuses, one in Jerusalem and one in Salt Lake City.

BYU is regularly recognized for its low-cost, high-quality education. In 2019, The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education ranked BYU tied for No. 1 “Worth the Cost” college. Likewise, Forbes rated BYU No. 1 on its list of “America’s Best Value Colleges 2019”.

Also, US News & World Report ranked BYU No. 11 in Best Value Schools and tied for No. 80 among national universities in the country.

8 Types of BYU Scholarships

Even though BYU is classified as a low-cost university, the institution still awards a number of scholarships to recognize bright students. Below are scholarships available to Brigham Young University students.

1. New Freshman Scholarships

Prospective new freshmen are eligible to apply for undergraduate scholarships beginning with the term/semester they are admitted to. Nevertheless, to be considered for one of these freshman BYU scholarships, all prospective students must complete a scholarship application by the appropriate deadline.

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In fact, there are three types of scholarships offered for freshmen, including:

Russell M. Nelson Scholarship

If you qualify to receive a multi-year scholarship you are eligible to be considered for the Russell M. Nelson Scholarship, which is a total award of 150% of LDS tuition for eight semesters.

Applicants should complete the essay portions of the regular scholarship application. Then, the scholarship committee will use this information as well as information from the admissions application when reviewing these applications.

National Merit Scholarship

If you are a National Merit finalist, have listed BYU as your first-choice school, and qualify to receive a multi-year scholarship, it is possible you would receive a National Merit Scholarship which pays full LDS tuition for eight semesters; however, it is not guaranteed.

As stipulated by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, the merit stipend would be $750 to $2000 annually, depending upon financial need.

Sterling Scholarship Competition

The Sterling Scholar Award Program is sponsored by KSL and Deseret News. Particularly, it recognizes the outstanding scholastic achievement of high school seniors in the state of Utah.

2. Former & Continuing Student Scholarships

The continuing student academic scholarship consideration is based upon a student’s completion of at least 12.0 BYU credit hours as a day continuing student by the end of the fall semester.

Thus, former students receive consideration as continuing students as long as they have previously completed a minimum of 12.0 credits of regular BYU coursework. That being said, both continuing and former students need to complete the scholarship application by the appropriate deadline in order to be considered for scholarships.

Moreover, the BYU cumulative GPA (does not include transfer work) must meet the cutoff in order for a scholarship to be awarded.

Basically, cutoffs are determined by ranking students in their colleges and awarding scholarships until there are no more funds. If a major is not declared by the February 1st deadline, you will be evaluated with other ‘open major’ students.

In fact, cutoffs vary from year to year. Continuing Student academic criteria are determined at the beginning of the awarding process. Therefore, it can’t be published in advance.

3. Transfer Student Scholarships

Transfer students are not eligible for academic scholarships upon initial entrance at BYU.  However, transfer students can apply for academic scholarships as continuing students after having completed at least one full enrollment (12 credit hours) at BYU by the appropriate February 1st application deadline.

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Fortunately, there are a few additional universities and departmental scholarships for which transfer students may receive consideration.

4. BYU College/Department Scholarships

Students can receive department and college scholarships in addition to university scholarships. In order to obtain the college or department BYU scholarships, students should contact both their department and college advisement center for additional opportunities.

Each department/college determines its own scholarship recipients and may have different deadlines and application forms. In fact, students can find contact information for all colleges, departments, and other entities of BYU on this webpage.

5. Spring & Summer Scholarships

There are separate awards for spring and summer terms available to students.

Spring-summer scholarships awarded by the Financial Aid Office may be:

  • claimed with less than full-time enrollments, even down to half a credit; and
  • applied toward tuition charges for spring, summer, and/or spring-through-summer-length courses.

Additionally, these awards will:

  • appear in My Financial Center as one lump sum on spring term but can be used across both spring and summer terms; and
  • adjust to cover either half or full tuition charges, depending on the scholarship awarded (i.e. a half-tuition scholarship will pay for half the tuition charges). Any remaining funds due to half-time enrollment in the Spring term can be applied towards Summer term tuition.

In addition, here are some other details potential recipients should know about the BYU scholarships for the spring and summer periods:

  • Spring-summer scholarships may not be deferred
  • Scholarship amounts are based on Latter-day Saint tuition rates
  • Only undergraduate students are eligible for these spring-summer scholarships
  • The waiving of the customary full-time enrollment requirement for spring-summer scholarships only applies to awards made by the Financial Aid Office. If you receive a scholarship from another campus unit, check with that office to understand the rules

6. International Student Scholarships

International students are eligible for merit-based scholarships, but not need-based scholarships offered through the Financial Aid Office.

Therefore, to be considered for an academic scholarship, submit the scholarship application by the appropriate deadline.

Also, new freshman entering BYU beginning spring term, summer term, or fall semester must submit the scholarship application by the December 15th scholarship deadline. On the other hand, former students entering BYU beginning spring, summer, or fall must submit the scholarship application by the December 15 scholarship deadline.

Additionally, new or former students beginning their studies winter semester must submit the scholarship application by August 1.

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Lastly, the deadline to submit the continuing student scholarship application for spring/summer as well as fall/winter is February 1st. Scholarships are awarded annually for Continuing Students.

7. Off-Campus Scholarships

An off-campus scholarship is a scholarship students receive from a granting organization other than BYU.

Most off-campus scholarships are not tax-deductible to donors. Tax laws state that because the scholarship is being given to a specific student, it is not a charitable contribution (this prevents donors from overusing tax deductions.)

Then, off-campus scholarships that have not already been designated to pay specific housing charges will be used strictly to pay the charges shown below:

  • Tuition
  • Class fees
  • International Studies program fees (for those attending a study abroad program)

Yet, off-campus scholarship funds that are left over after the above charges are paid are refunded to students beginning the third day of classes of each semester/term. Ultimately, off-campus scholarship funds do not automatically apply to other charges, such as:

  • Housing
  • Meal Plans
  • Textbooks
  • Short-Term Loans
  • Insurance

Hence, any of the above charges will remain on the student’s account until paid by the student.

Eligibility for BYU Scholarships

The following are basic requirements students must adhere to receive and maintain BYU scholarships.

Minimum Hour Requirement

Students must maintain the number of credits required by scholarship, typically 12 for fall/winter.  However, Independent Study courses, audited courses, and language exam credits do not count. Moreover, scholarships will not credit to students’ accounts until they register for the appropriate number of credit hours.

Dropping Classes and Discontinuance

If at any point students fall below the minimum credit hour requirement, their scholarship will be canceled and they will be responsible for any tuition charges and/or discontinuance fees. Besides, if there are unusual or extenuating circumstances that require them to drop or discontinue, they need to visit an Enrollment Services Counselor in advance, if possible.

Eligibility Limits

The Financial Aid Office limits assistance to eight semesters of fall/winter scholarship per student. That being said, spring/summer scholarships do not count against the eight semesters of eligibility.

Furthermore, all scholarship awarded by the Financial Aid Office are for undergraduate students. For graduate scholarship opportunities students will need to contact their department/college.

Leave of Absence

Continuing students who are on a Leave of Absence for reasons other than a missionary deferment must apply by the appropriate deadline to be considered for scholarships upon their return, even if they are not currently enrolled.


Funds awarded as scholarships, fellowships, benefits, and grants, are excluded from the recipient’s gross income to the extent that they are used for required tuition, books, fees, supplies, and equipment. Funds that exceed these expenses or which are used for other purposes, including room, board, research, and travel, must be included as taxable income.

Because students are responsible for taxes due the government, they have to keep receipts, checks, and other documents to detail specific expenditures.

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