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Scholarships & Merit Awards
This page outlines scholarship information for applicants and entering students. For information about fellowships and other opportunities available to graduating students, please click here.
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. 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 the 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.
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 $3,000 research stipend for a senior Honors thesis. Up to five JEO scholarships are awarded annually.
Georgia Shakespeare Scholarship
The Georgia Shakespeare Scholarship is a four-year, full-tuition award that recognizes high school seniors who demonstrate a commitment to performing and understanding Shakespeare. Candidates must be invited to and participate in the Georgia Shakespeare 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, Georgia Shakespeare Scholars receive an internship with Georgia Shakespeare 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 $3,000 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 the summer course on theatre in Great Britain. Up to two Georgia Shakespeare 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 $3,000 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 $3,000 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 $6,000 per year to $18,000 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 students attending private universities such as Oglethorpe. These scholarships are available to qualified Georgia residents who have graduated from an eligible high school in Georgia (1996 or later) with at least a 3.00 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 3.00 grade point average. Full-time students (12 credit hours or more) are eligible to receive a HOPE Scholarship of $1,750 per semester and part-time students (6 to 11 hours) are eligible to receive $875 per semester. Home-schooled students may receive HOPE funds retroactively for their freshman year if they attain at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average after 30 hours at Oglethorpe. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) serves as the HOPE Scholarship application.
Out-of-State HOPE Equivalents
Oglethorpe University recognizes the academic achievement of Florida, Louisiana and Tennessee 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, in an amount equivalent to that which Georgia residents receive through the HOPE scholarship; they are not overseen or disbursed by Bright Futures, TOPS or Tennessee HOPE.
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.
OU Christian Scholarship
This scholarship varies in amount and availability and aims to recognize Georgia high school seniors who display evidence of Christian character and promise of Christian leadership and service while enrolled at OU. Recipients must be legal residents of Georgia, have graduated from a Georgia high school and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher. Candidates must be nominated by a minister or church leader on an application form available from the Office of Financial Aid.
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 Evening Degree Program. Harold Hirsch Scholars must have at least a 3.0 Oglethorpe grade point average, demonstrate leadership ability, and financial need. Applications may be obtained in the EDP office.
Enrolling and current Oglethorpe students may be eligible for various outside scholarships. For a listing maintained by the Office of Financial Aid, please click here.