Academic Scholarships

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General Information

The Office of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of the Liberal Arts offers need-based scholarships for students with at least one Liberal Arts undergraduate major enrolled at Penn State University Park campus. A single application serves for all general need-based scholarships offered through the Office of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of the Liberal Arts.

Undergraduate scholarships are not guaranteed upon submission of a scholarship application, nor are they automatically renewed after the receipt of an initial award. Students must re-apply and await a decision regarding these scholarships for each year they remain eligible. Scholarship amounts vary from year to year depending on fund availability.

Returning and continuing students at University Park campus: The priority application period for first consideration is January 1 to April 1 of the calendar year of desired fall enrollment. Priority applications for the 2022/23 academic year ended April 1, 2022Non-priority applications, applications submitted after April 1, will be considered in the order they are received depending on fund availability. Applications received during the priority application period are made by June 1.

First-year students new to Penn State at University Park campus starting fall 2022: refer to the instructions for returning and continuing students regarding the application process.

Incoming First-year students new to Penn State at University Park campus: scholarship application requests for the 2023–24 academic year will be accepted beginning  January 1, 2023.

Transfer students (from commonwealth campus or outside of Penn State): If your change of major and/or campus is not the College of the Liberal Arts at the University Park campus in LionPATH, you will not be eligible to apply directly. Please contact for assistance.


While on a need-based scholarship, undergraduate students must meet the following requirements.

  • Maintain at least a full-time course load at the University Park campus (12 or more credits per semester during the fall and spring only, summers not included).
  • Declare a major or pre-major in the College of the Liberal Arts.
  • Maintain a successful cumulative grade-point average
  • Maintain a demonstrated financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with the Office of Student Aid. Students should submit a FAFSA every year. Refer the Office of Student Aid website for yearly recommended submission dates.
  • Continue to meet the specific requirements of the scholarship, which may include, but are not limited to, desire to pursue public, community, or government services; leadership; or outstanding academics.
*If you are planning to study abroad during the academic year (fall or spring) of desired enrollment, please contact regarding scholarship eligibility.


Award recipients will be notified by email to a Penn State email address. If you do not receive a scholarship notification before the start of fall or spring enrollment, your application will remain on file for the academic year and may be considered if additional funds become available.


Normally one-half of the award is credited in the fall semester and one-half in the spring semester, unless it is a one-semester award.

Other Sources

You can consult with your major department or other colleges (if you are a double major) regarding additional scholarships or award opportunities, keeping in mind they may have different application, eligibility criteria and awarding procedures. You can also apply for federal and state grants and loans, inquire about University scholarships through the Office of Student Aid, or visit Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring to learn about other opportunities at Penn State.

Forms to Prepare Before Applying

  1. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required and must be filed with the Office of Student Aid for consideration of a need-based scholarship every year. If you do not have FAFSA on file with a demonstrated financial need, you will not be considered for a scholarship.
  2. Personal statement (maximum of 1,000 words). This statement is a way for the selection committee to learn more about you. Please include academic achievements, extracurricular activities, community involvement, leadership examples, career goals, and things that set you apart from others.
  3. A resume. Accepted formats only: MS Word (.doc or .docx), or Adobe PDF (.pdf) files.
  4. Review the correctness and completeness of information retrieved from LionPATH. Any information which is not editable by you in this system must be updated in LionPATH.
  5. Upon the readiness of items 1 through 4, click on the Scholarship Application for Returning and Continuing Students link to apply. 

2022-23 Scholarship Application for Returning and Continuing Students 

If you have questions about these procedures, or if you wish to withdraw or make changes to your application, please send a brief email to .

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