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Helpful Tips

Helpful tips in applying for college, business or organizational scholarships:


  • Regardless of whether you are applying for UTSA scholarships or other public scholarships, apply for only those scholarships for which you are eligible.  Read all of the scholarship requirements and directions carefully to ensure you understand what is required. You cannot be awarded if you’re not eligible for a scholarship.
  • Complete the application in full. If a question doesn't apply to you, enter N/A, but do not leave it blank.
  • Follow directions and provide everything that is required.
  • If possible, type the application. If typing is not possible, print neatly and legibly.
  • Pay close attention to those scholarships that require an essay. Make sure your essay falls within the length requirements. Depending on the essay question, pick one main theme and select three ideas to support your theme.
  • Check spelling and grammar. Have someone-such as a teacher, counselor or parent-read your essay, and ask them for feedback.
  • Don't wait until your senior year to take the SAT or ACT test. Take them well in advance of the deadlines and as many times as you like to improve your score.  

Keeping Your UTSA Scholarship

Once awarded a scholarship, please read the award letter carefully for continued eligibility requirements, if any. If the scholarship is renewable, it may require you to submit a new application each year. You may need to maintain a minimum GPA (sometimes less than the GPA that won you the scholarship). You may be required to complete a certain number of credits or specific courses. Scholarships frequently require a minimum level of enrollment. If you fall below the minimum or fail to enroll a semester, you may lose the scholarship. If you struggle with a course and consider dropping, please do not do so until you have talked to your adviser and a scholarship representative from Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services. Dropping one or more courses below full-time may impact your scholarship.

Most scholarships require the recipient to write a thank you letter to the donor to show appreciation for their support. Funds will not be disbursed until the letter is received and approved in the Scholarship Office. Thank You Letter Guidelines and Tips

Distinguished Presidential Scholarship
Merit Scholarship for Incoming Freshman


Please note participants in the UT-Austin Coordinated Admission Program (CAP) are not eligible for these scholarships. For non-ranking schools, if a rank is provided, we will use that rank to determine eligibility for the scholarship.  If no rank is provided at all, then we will only use the SAT/ACT scores to determine eligibility.

Class-Ranking High Schools and Non-Ranking High Schools who submit ranks

Award Amount Class Rank SAT / ACT Score
$24,000 ($6,000/year) Top 10% 1400 / 32
$16,000 ($4,000/year) Top 15% 1300 / 29
$12,000 ($3,000/year) Top 20% 1200 / 26
$8,000 ($2,000/year) Top 25% 1200 / 26

Non-Class-Ranking High Schools (no rank provided)

Award Amount SAT / ACT Score
$24,000 ($6,000/year) 1400 / 32
$16,000 ($4,000/year) 1300 / 29
$8,000 ($2,000/year) 1200 / 26

Term of the Award

Freshman Awards:  Your Distinguished Presidential Scholarship has been awarded for a total of eight consecutive semesters of eligibility, fall and spring, toward completion of your first undergraduate degree, provided you meet the following renewal criteria by the end of each spring semester.

Semester Criteria

You must remain enrolled in UTSA courses as a full-time undergraduate student with a minimum of 12 UTSA credit hours each fall and spring semester in order for your scholarship to disburse.  Although your scholarship will disburse at 12 UTSA credit hours, UTSA highly recommends you complete a minimum of 15 credit hours per semester to ensure you successfully complete a total of 30 UTSA credit hours by the end of each spring.  If you enroll for fewer than 12 UTSA credit hours and your scholarship did not disburse, you forfeit that semester’s award, and that semester still counts against your maximum award terms of eligibility.  However, your scholarship may still be renewed as long as you meet annual renewal criteria. 

Renewal Criteria

All new and continuing Distinguished Presidential Scholarship recipients must successfully complete a minimum of 30 UTSA credit hours by the end of each spring semester with a minimum 3.0 UTSA cumulative GPA.  You must be continuously enrolled at UTSA in order to have your scholarship renewed for the next academic year.  Any break in enrollment without an approved deferment on file with the Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services Office will result in a loss of your scholarship.

Important: Your MyUTSA email address is your official means of receiving communication from UTSA

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