Merit scholarships require students to submit an application for admission by December 15 and have a completed application file by February 1. Students will receive the highest scholarship for which they are eligible.

Merit Scholarships

Name Criteria
Best of Class Scholarship Minnesota residents who rank #1 or #2 in their high school class, Up to $24,000 over 4 years
UMD Scholarship Awarded to students based on academic achievement
UMD Scholarship 3.2+ core GPA and completed RaiseMe portfolio by December 15, Dependent upon RaiseMe portfolio

RaiseMe Scholarship

RaiseMe is a micro-scholarship platform rewarding 9-12th grade students for their high school achievements. UMD assigns a micro-scholarship for every achievement. For example, when you earn an A in a (core) course you'll earn $80, take an AP or IB class you'll earn $50, and visit campus you'll earn $200. The idea is to award scholarship dollars with the factors and habits we know will make you a more successful student. RaiseMe also benefits students in that we award scholarships based on a core GPA at a minimum of a 3.2 and we don't require a standardized test score.

To be eligible, students must apply for admission and have a complete RaiseMe profile by December 15 of their senior year. Eligibility contingent on a student's acceptance and enrollment at UMD.

Alumni Scholarship

The UMD Alumni Scholarship is for up to $24,000 over four years. This scholarship is awarded to non-resident, non-reciprocity, non MSEP students who have a parent or grandparent who graduated from UMD. To be eligible, students must apply for admission by December 15 of their senior year. Eligibility contingent on a student's acceptance and enrollment to UMD.

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Renewal Criteria

Renewal of admissions merit/alumni scholarships are contingent upon maintenance of a 3.0 University of Minnesota cumulative GPA and maintenance of full-time undergraduate status.

Scholarship FAQs

Information is current as of fall 2020 and applies to the entering students for spring and fall 2021 semesters.

Q: Am I considered an incoming freshman or transfer student?
A: Incoming freshmen or first-year students have completed or will complete a high school diploma, or obtain a GED. Students must have no previous college work or have only completed college credits while enrolled in high school.

Transfer students have completed at least one college credit of baccalaureate-level coursework following high school graduation or equivalent.

Q: How am I eligible for scholarship consideration?
A: Students must apply for admission by the priority application deadline of December 15 and have a completed application file by February 1 to be eligible for scholarship consideration. 

Q: What if my high school doesn't rank? Am I still eligible to receive the Best of Class Scholarship?
A: Students who attend schools which do not rank, or that are unable to rank multiple students as #1 or #2 and wish to receive consideration for the Best of Class Scholarship are required to submit an admissions scholarship appeal. Required documentation includes signature and verification from a high school official stating that the student would have been ranked #1 or #2 in the class if the school ranked or would have been ranked #1 or #2 if the ranking of multiple students was allowed. Please email our office to request a copy of the scholarship appeal form.

Q: Are there any minimum requirements in place for the Best of Class Scholarship? 
A: Yes. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.9 in order to be eligible for the Best of Class Scholarship. In addition, students must apply by the priority application deadline of December 15 and have a completed admissions file by February 1 in order to qualify for the scholarship.

Q: What if I improve my high school rank my senior year? 
A: The Best of Class Scholarship is offered to Minnesota high school students who achieve a high school rank of #1 or #2 in their class. Rank is only considered at the time of application for admission. (Students who are homeschooled do not qualify for the Best of Class Scholarship.)

Q: What exactly are the criteria for a RaiseMe portfolio and how does it work?
A: To be eligible for RaiseMe you must be a U.S. Citizen, complete 15 high school credits, have a 3.2 core GPA (RaiseMe defines core GPA as being in the core academic subjects of English, math, science, and social studies). Students must complete a RaiseMe portfolio before the UMD priority deadline of December 15.

RaiseMe fosters academic, extracurricular,  and community excellence by incentivizing students as early as their freshman year in high school. Students see their scholarship award increase as they continue to meet academic criteria and as they become more involved in their high school experience. While some of the achievement marks may be modest, the full picture of a student's achievements is represented utilizing the RaiseMe portfolio.  Create your RaiseMe portfolio here.

Q: Is it worth my time to create a RaiseMe portfolio?
A: Yes. Most students begin a RaiseMe portfolio while they are sophomores or juniors in high school. In addition to your GPA and classroom achievements, RaiseMe takes into account your extracurricular and community involvement.

Q: Does UMD combine multiple admissions scholarships?
A: Students may only qualify for one scholarship from the Office of Admissions including RaiseMe. If you are eligible for a UMD Scholarship worth more than what you have earned on RaiseMe, we will award you the larger scholarship. Scholarships from outside of the university may be combined with your admissions merit scholarship.

Q: Do you have any scholarships for students whose family are alumni?
A: Yes, the Office of Admissions offers an Alumni Scholarship to students who do not live in reciprocity or MSEP states and whose parents or grandparents have graduated from UMD.

Q: What if I graduate from UMD in less than four years?
A: Should a student graduate in less than four years, they are not eligible to receive the remainder of the scholarship. Students graduating (official degree posted) in less than four years cannot transfer the scholarship to UMD non-degree, graduate, or professional school enrollment.

Q: I was planning to attend a different school, but my plans have changed (after Dec. 15). Can I still receive a scholarship?
A: If you submitted your application for admission prior to the December 15 deadline and met scholarship criteria, we will reinstate your award. This does not happen automatically, please contact the Office of Admissions to have your award reviewed for reinstatement.

Q: How do outside scholarships and financial aid affect my merit scholarships?
A: University scholarship awards disburse per the University's financial aid award policy. Consistent with University policy, the total annual aid amount awarded to a student, including all scholarships and grants, cannot exceed the cost of attendance at UMD. Financial aid awards (e.g., loans, work-study, scholarships, or grants) may be reduced for students whose total aid exceeds the cost of their program for the academic year, as determined by the Office of Financial Aid.

When you receive a scholarship from an organization outside of UMD, your existing financial aid award will be reviewed, and adjustments may be made based on the receipt of your scholarship(s). You may see a reduction in other types of aid, such as loans, work-study, or institutional aid. UMD will allow you to receive the maximum benefit of any scholarships within the US Department of Education guidelines.

See here (second drop down) for details on how to submit outside scholarships to UMD.

More Scholarship Opportunities

For a list of scholarships, visit the One Stop Scholarships page.