List of Merit-Based SCU Scholarships for First-Year Students

More often than not, financial woes deter prospective students from earning a degree from reputable institutions. There’s no denying that tuition fees continue to rise at a frightening rate, but this shouldn’t discourage you from going to college.

In fact, many top schools across the country offer high-quality education at an affordable price. Santa Clara University (SCU), for example, ranks in the top 10% on Forbes’ list of the best universities in the U.S. Nevertheless, we can assure you that attending SCU would be a good investment for you.

As well as providing future students with a best-value education, SCU also has generous financial aid. SCU scholarships have helped retain top individuals and enabled them to graduate debt-free for many decades.

Looking to become part of the Bronco family? Check out the list of SCU scholarships below and find out which ones you may be eligible for.

SCU Scholarships
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Are You a First-Year Student? Consider Applying to These SCU Scholarships

The Bronco Scholarship

Sponsored and awarded by SCU’s Office of Enrollment Management, the Bronco Scholarship is available to deserving students who plan to attend college full-time. Notably, this scholarship recognizes those with strong virtues and spirits.

The good news is that the scholarship considers applicants from diverse backgrounds with no exceptions for any geographical, gender, ethnic, or economic conditions.

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Recipients can expect to benefit from the Bronco Scholarship for up to three academic years or the equivalent of 12 academic quarters. The amount varies depending on the availability of funds and additional conditions.

Suppose a student graduates early. In that case, the award will be adjusted accordingly. Fulfillment of renewal criteria is mandatory to maintain the scholarship.

The Dean’s Scholarship

Are you planning to get into one of these schools: College of Arts & Sciences, School of Business, or School of Engineering? If so, you’ll have the opportunity to be considered for a Dean’s Scholarship. To further clarify, the Dean’s Scholarship is open to first-year undergraduate students who are making good academic progress.

Both U.S. and international students are allowed to apply for this scholarship. Like the Bronco Scholarship, the Dean’s Scholarship is also available for 12 consecutive academic quarters with certain renewal requirements. Only students with a full-time study commitment will be considered.

Amounts vary depending on the recipient’s duration of study.

The Johnson Scholars Award

This is perhaps SCU’s most coveted and most competitive scholarship. The Johnson Scholars Award honors outstanding students with exceptional leadership skills and exceptional academic achievement.

Once designated as Johnson Scholars, selected students must participate in the honors program and maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Other duties of Johnson Scholars include attending enrichment events and writing letters to the sponsor of the program describing their personal and professional development throughout the award period. Johnson Scholars generally possess the following characteristics:

  • Leadership and a spirit of determination
  • Superior academic performance
  • Record of community service and extracurricular activities throughout high school
  • ACT score of at least 30 or SAT composite score of 1,400 in math and critical reading sections
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As demanding as the duties are, the benefits of the Johnson Scholars Award are tempting, such as full tuition for the academic year renewable annually for up to four years. In addition, Johnson Scholars are entitled to additional funding for room and board, books, and other related expenses.

This opportunity is available to both U.S. and international students except those taking a gap year. Click here to learn more about the Johnson Scholars Award.

The Presidential at Entry Scholarship

SCU’s mission is to produce competent and conscientious leaders who will directly contribute to a more sustainable and just world. If you have what it takes to be a future leader in line with SCU’s commitment, you may be nominated for the Presidential at Entry Scholarship awarded by the university president.

The Presidential at Entry Scholarship covers full tuition waivers for first-year undergraduate students. In addition to these noble characteristics, recipients must also have satisfactory academic performance. This merit-based scholarship is renewable every year provided the recipients meet the renewal criteria.

The Provost Scholarship

If you have exceptional leadership skills, outstanding academic achievement, and high potential to contribute inside and outside the SCU classroom, this scholarship is for you. The Provost Scholarship rewards outstanding students with a half tuition waiver.

The scholarship is for up to 12 academic quarters or the equivalent of three academic years. To maintain the award, recipients are required to make satisfactory academic progress. The Provost Scholarship is not currently open to gap year students.

Other Types of SCU Financial Aid

In addition to these SCU scholarships, the university also provides other forms of financial aid for undergraduate students, including grants, work-study, and loans. These are great options in case you don’t manage to be shortlisted for any of the scholarships.

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Grants for college, like scholarships, are considered gift aid. In other words, getting a college grant means free money. You can likely land a grant if you have a strong financial need.

You can get Federal Grants, Cal Grants, or University Grants. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year you’re in school to be eligible for these awards.

Federal Work-Study

If you’re looking for another way to help pay for college, Federal Work-Study may be a great option for you. You can earn money to pay for school through part-time on- and off-campus jobs by applying for a work-study. Plus, this program gives you an opportunity to gain valuable work experience while pursuing a college degree.

Unfortunately, SCU has a limited amount of funds it can award to eligible students. This is why it’s so important for you to fill out the FAFSA form as early as possible.


Loans provide you with funds to get to school faster. Although you usually must pay back the money, it may be easier to re-pay if you can make a higher income after your studies. If you’re new to this, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on all there is to know about student loans.

What’s Next?

You don’t need a separate application to apply for SCU scholarships! All you need to do is apply to SCU before the deadline, and it’ll screen your application based on the criteria of each program. Click here to learn about the admission process.

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