The University of Florida (UF) is one of the most prestigious and competitive public universities in the United States. It offers a wide range of academic programs, research opportunities, and extracurricular activities for its students. UF also provides various types of financial aid, including scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs, to help students afford their education.
Scholarships are awards based on academic achievement, but financial need may also be considered. Scholarships do not have to be repaid, and do not require recipients to perform services to receive them. They are considered gift aid. Scholarships are awarded by various sources such as the university, the state, and individual colleges and departments, and private companies and individuals.
In this article, we will focus on the scholarships offered by UF and how to apply for them. We will also provide some tips and resources to help you increase your chances of getting a scholarship at UF.
Types of Scholarships at UF
UF offers a limited number of merit-based scholarships for admitted freshmen who apply by the priority deadlines and receive their decision on the February Decision Day. No separate application is needed, and no additional materials or updated information can be submitted for review. The review process incorporates the same holistic approach used in admissions decisions. Scholarships are awarded based on grades and standardized test scores, as well as extracurricular involvement, leadership, community service, and your personal essay.
UF’s merit-based scholarships include:
- Presidential Scholarships: These are the most prestigious scholarships offered by UF. They are designed for high-achieving students who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership potential, and community engagement. There are three levels of Presidential scholarships: Presidential ($5,000 per year), Presidential Gold ($8,000 per year), and Presidential Platinum ($10,000 per year). These scholarships can be combined with Bright Futures and the Benacquisto Scholarship offered by the Florida Department of Education1.
- Admissions Honors Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to a select group of admitted freshmen who have outstanding academic records and test scores. The amount of the scholarship varies depending on the availability of funds and the number of recipients. The average award is around $2,000 per year1.
- Other Scholarships Available at UF: In addition to the merit-based scholarships, UF also offers other scholarships that are based on specific criteria such as academic major, talent, diversity, financial need, etc. Some of these scholarships are administered by the UF Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships (SFA), while others are administered by individual colleges and departments, or by external organizations and donors. Some examples of these scholarships are:
- Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars: This scholarship is designed for Florida resident first-time-in-college freshmen students and undergraduate renewal students from historically economically disadvantaged backgrounds whose parents have not earned a bachelor’s degree. The scholarship covers the full cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, books, housing, food, transportation, and personal expenses2.
- Lombardi Scholarship and Stamps Scholarship: These are the premier undergraduate scholarship programs offered by UF. They are awarded to 11 students each year from a pool of over 200 nominations. The recipients are selected by a panel of distinguished UF faculty based on academic achievement, leadership, service, and character. The Lombardi Scholarship provides $2,700 per year, while the Stamps Scholarship provides up to $15,000 per year. Both scholarships also include enrichment funds for study abroad, research, and other educational experiences3.
- John V. Lombardi Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to four outstanding students each year who are majoring in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The scholarship provides $2,500 per year for four years, plus a one-time $2,500 stipend for a summer study abroad program4.
- Shirley M. Cowans Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to one student each year who is majoring in the College of Education. The scholarship provides $2,000 per year for four years, plus a one-time $2,000 stipend for a summer internship or research project5.
- Grandparent Waiver of Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: This scholarship is available for out-of-state students who have at least one grandparent who is a Florida resident. The scholarship waives the out-of-state portion of the tuition and fees, which can save up to $22,000 per year1.
These are just some of the many scholarships available at UF. You can find more information and a comprehensive list of scholarships on the SFA website2, the UF Admissions website1, and the UF Scholarship Search Engine.
How to Apply for Scholarships at UF
The application process for scholarships at UF varies depending on the source and type of the scholarship. Here are some general steps and tips to follow:
- Apply for admission to UF by the priority deadline. The priority deadline for freshmen admission is November 1, and the decision day is February 12. Most merit-based scholarships are awarded based on the admission application, so you need to apply early and receive your decision on time. Make sure to complete all the required sections of the application, including the personal essay and the resume.
- Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the main form used to determine your eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid, including grants, loans, work-study, and some scholarships. The FAFSA is available online at [fafsa.gov] starting October 1, and the priority deadline for UF is December 15. You will need to provide information about your income, assets, family size, and dependency status. You will also need to list UF as one of your school choices using the code 001535.
- Search for scholarships that match your profile and interests. You can use the UF Scholarship Search Engine to find scholarships offered by UF and external organizations. You can also check with your academic department or college, your high school guidance counselor, your local library, or online databases and websites for more scholarship opportunities. Some scholarships may require a separate application, an essay, a letter of recommendation, or other documents. Make sure to follow the instructions and meet the deadlines for each scholarship.
- Maintain a high academic performance and involvement. Scholarships are competitive and selective, and you need to demonstrate that you are a well-rounded and deserving student. Keep your grades and test scores high, and participate in extracurricular activities, leadership roles, community service, and other experiences that showcase your skills, talents, and passions. You may also need to renew your scholarship each year by meeting certain criteria, such as maintaining a minimum GPA, completing a certain number of credits, or fulfilling a service obligation.
Getting a scholarship at UF can be a great way to reduce the cost of your education and achieve your academic goals. UF offers a variety of scholarships for different types of students, and you can apply for them by following the steps and tips outlined in this article. Remember to apply early, complete the FAFSA, search for scholarships, and maintain your excellence and involvement. Good luck with your scholarship search and application, and go Gators! 🐊