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New Freshman Scholarships

Information about BYU Academic, Presidential, National Merit, and Sterling Scholarships.

Prospective new freshmen are eligible to apply for undergraduate scholarships beginning with the term/semester they are admitted. All prospective students must complete a scholarship application by the appropriate deadline in order to be considered.

Academic scholarships for freshman students are determined on the basis of academic indicators, including high school grade point averages.  For the 2021-22 incoming class, ACT/SAT scores will be optional.  However, with or without a test score, we are confident that we have sufficient information to rank students and make meaningful distinctions in awarding scholarships.

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. 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.

National Merit Scholarships are sponsored by three different entities.They are sponsored by National Merit, a corporation, or by a university. National Merit selects the scholarships they will be sponsoring, corporations select the scholarships they will be sponsoring and then a list is sent to each university listing everyone else who listed that school as the first choice school. BYU then evaluates the list and selects the students they want to sponsor. If a student falls within the “8-semester scholarship” range and is not being sponsored by National Merit or by a corporation, BYU would then select them as a National Merit Scholar. If a student is being sponsored by National Merit or a corporation and is in the “8-semester scholarship” range, they would receive the Heritage Scholarship which is also an 8-semester full tuition scholarship. All National Merit decisions will be announced after June 1.

If a student is the recipient of the Russell M. Nelson Scholarship (presidential scholarship) and is a National Merit finalist, he/she would receive the dollar amount of the Nelson Scholarship and receive the recognition of being a National Merit scholar. As stipulated by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, the merit stipend would be $750 to $2000 annually, depending upon financial need. The Presidential Scholarship would supplement the annual National Merit stipend to provide the student with a total award of 150% of LDS tuition for eight semesters.

Sterling Scholarship Competition

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

There are several categories in which students compete. High schools may nominate one candidate to compete in each category and students may only compete in one category. Each high school determines how nominees are selected. From the nominees, they select a semi-finalist who will then move on to the Regional Level to compete.

The five regions are: Wasatch Front, Northeast Utah, Central Utah, Southwest Utah, and Southeast Utah.

If a student is the winner in his/her category on the Regional (final) Level, BYU offers them a full LDS tuition scholarship for two semesters.

If a student qualifies for an academic, private, or need-based scholarship separate from the Sterling Scholarship, we will offer the student whichever scholarship is of greater monetary value. For instance, if a student qualifies for a half tuition academic scholarship and is a Sterling Scholar winner in their region, we would offer them the Sterling Scholarship. If they qualified for a full tuition academic and they are a winner, we would offer them the full tuition academic scholarship.

If students will be going on an LDS mission right out of high school, they will need to apply for admission to BYU for the Fall following their high school graduation to claim the Sterling Scholarship. We will defer the scholarship while they are on their mission. However, if they neglect to claim it right out of high school and then immediately defer, it will not be available.