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Scholarships & Merit Awards
This page outlines scholarship information for applicants and entering students.
Each year Oglethorpe offers a variety of scholarships recognizing achievement in academics and the potential to contribute to campus life. Over 80% of applicants to the university typically qualify for some sort of merit award from Oglethorpe.
Academic scholarship review occurs automatically in the admission process and is based on the credentials presented in the application for admission. In other words, for scholarships directly offered by Oglethorpe, no extra forms or essays are required. Students must be admitted to the university to receive a merit award.
Traditional undergraduate students who have been nominated for an academic scholarship may be notified in one of two ways:
- By letter - Following acceptance to OU, the Office of Admission will send a scholarship letter announcing the title, amount, and terms of the scholarship. The mailing of scholarship letters typically begins in the mid-winter and continues throughout the spring, reflecting Oglethorpe’s rolling admission policy.
- By invitation to Scholarship Weekend - Following acceptance to OU, select first-time freshman applicants will be invited to Oglethorpe’s annual Scholarship Weekend in January of their senior year, during which a competition is held for our most prestigious merit awards. A subsequent scholarship letter will then be sent from the Office of Admission to announce the results of the weekend. If a student is invited to Scholarship Weekend, he or she is certain to receive a merit award; and participation in the weekend will help determine which one.
Merit awards will also appear in the comprehensive financial aid award package sent by the Office of Financial Aid.
Merit-based scholarships at Oglethorpe are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study provided that recipients maintain satisfactory academic progress and meet any GPA and enrollment requirements of the award.
Scholarships & Merit Awards at OU:
James Edward Oglethorpe (JEO) Scholarship
The James Edward Oglethorpe (JEO) Scholarship is a four-year, full-tuition award that recognizes high school seniors with an outstanding record of academic achievement and great potential to contribute to the community life of Oglethorpe University. Candidates must be invited to and attend the JEO competition at Scholarship Weekend. In addition to the full-tuition award, JEO Scholars receive a stipend in support of a summer study abroad course, as well as an invitation to enroll in an exploratory Honors seminar during the first semester and eligibility for a research stipend for a senior Honors thesis. Up to five JEO scholarships are awarded annually.
OU Theatre Scholarship
The OU Theatre Scholarship is a four-year, full-tuition award that recognizes high school seniors who demonstrate a commitment to performing and understanding theatre. Candidates must be invited to and participate in the OU Theatre competition at Scholarship Weekend. Through their application materials, nominees will have indicated promise in the field of theatre and performance as well as the critical ability to tie these pursuits to disciplines such as literature and history. In addition to the full-tuition award, OU Theatre Scholars receive an internship with our professional theatre partner company during the recipient’s junior year at Oglethorpe, as well as an invitation to enroll in an exploratory Honors seminar during the first semester and eligibility for a research stipend for a senior Honors thesis.
Continued dedication to theatre at Oglethorpe is expected, including a major or double-major in theatre. Candidates will also receive a study abroad stipend for a summer course as designated by the department. Up to two OU Theatre scholarships are awarded annually.
Civic Engagement Scholarship
The Civic Engagement Scholarship is a four-year, full-tuition award that recognizes high school seniors who have demonstrated a deep commitment to service and leadership in their communities as well as the promise of continued exemplary service at Oglethorpe and in Atlanta. Candidates must be invited to and participate in the Civic Engagement competition at Scholarship Weekend. In conjunction with Oglethorpe’s Center for Civic Engagement, these scholars are at the forefront of leadership and service initiatives both on and off campus, and they seek to understand the connections between their academic pursuits and the forces and resources in society around them. In addition to the full-tuition award, Civic Engagement Scholars enrolling Fall 2009 or after complete a 60-hour-per-semester volunteer placement arranged through the Center for Civic Engagement and a stipend for an internship at a nonprofit organization of the student’s choice; as well as an invitation to enroll in an exploratory Honors seminar during the first semester and eligibility for a research stipend for a senior Honors thesis. Up to three Civic Engagement scholarships are awarded annually.
Oglethorpe Scholars Awards
This group of scholarships for traditional undergraduate candidates ranges in value from $10,000 per year to $19,000 per year and includes the Lanier, University, Oxford, Presidential, and Presidential with Recognition Scholarships. These awards are based on the application for admission and are available to entering students with demonstrated academic achievement. Runners-up at the annual Scholarship Weekend will receive Oglethorpe Scholars Awards.
The state of Georgia allocates HOPE Scholarship funds to eligible students attending private universities such as Oglethorpe. This scholarship is available to qualified Georgia residents who have graduated from an eligible high school in Georgia (1996 or later) with at least a 3.0 GPA in the state specified curriculum. Georgia residents who do not qualify under these guidelines may be eligible for HOPE after successful completion of at least 30 semester hours of college work with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Home-schooled students may receive HOPE funds retroactively for their freshman year if they attain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA after 30 hours at Oglethorpe.
OU Match for Georgia HOPE
Good news! Beginning with new students in the 2015-16 academic year, Oglethorpe will offer an institutional match to the amount of the HOPE grant awarded by the state of Georgia. If an admitted student is determined to be HOPE-eligible, this match will be automatic. The match amount will be the same as the current year's HOPE amount, whether a student qualifies as HOPE or Zell Miller.
Zell Miller Scholarships
The state of Georgia also allocates Zell Miller Scholarship funds to students attending private universities. These scholarships are available to qualified Georgia residents who have graduated from an eligible high school with a minimum 3.7 GPA combined with a minimum score of 1200 on the math and reading portions of the SAT test or a minimum composite score of 26 on the ACT test in a single national test administration. Georgia residents who do not qualify under these guidelines may instead be considered for the HOPE Scholarship. An eligible Georgia resident may receive either the Zell Miller Scholarship or the HOPE Scholarship. Full-time Zell Miller Scholarship recipients are eligible to receive $2,000 per semester and part-time recipients are eligible to receive $1,000 per semester. Zell Miller Scholarship recipients must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 across all attempted undergraduate coursework to renew their awards.
Out-of-State HOPE Equivalents
Oglethorpe University recognizes the academic achievement of Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Mississippi residents who graduate with a 3.0 GPA or higher with an equivalent grant of $3,500 per year. This award is in addition to other OU scholarships and is renewable for up to four years, provided that the student maintains a 3.0 GPA or higher while at Oglethorpe. These awards are merit-based grants directly from Oglethorpe.
OU Choral and Instrumental Scholarships
Choral and instrumental music scholarships vary in amount and recognize incoming students pursuing any degree offered at Oglethorpe who demonstrate exceptional achievement in choral singing or instrumental music. Candidates must be nominated by the conductor of their ensemble with a letter of recommendation and a special form obtainable from the Director of Musical Activities at Oglethorpe, Dr. Irwin Ray.
Harold Hirsch Scholarship for Non-Traditional Students
This award is provided by the Harold Hirsch Scholarship Fund of Atlanta. The fund provides annual scholarship assistance for degree-seeking students in the Adult Degree Program. Harold Hirsch Scholars must have at least a 3.0 Oglethorpe GPA, demonstrate leadership ability, and financial need.