Scholarships

Scholarships are the best way to pay for your college education. Scholarships are a form of funding that does not need to be repaid at any time. That’s why they are classified as “gift aid.”  

Students apply for and earn scholarships based on many factors, which could include demonstrated financial need, academic achievement, minority status, talent in performing arts and more. 

Here is an overview of many of the scholarship opportunities available to WSU students.  


WSU awards more than a half-million dollars in academic scholarships to highly qualified students each year. These prestigious awards can amount up to $3,500 each, and they are based on academic merit and potential.

All WSU applicants are automatically considered for the academic achievement scholarships. This means there is no extra paperwork to complete - and you will be guaranteed the money for which you qualify.


Outstanding Academic Honor Awards

Award Amount: $3,500 per academic year

How to Qualify:

  • Top 5% of graduating class or 3.90 cumulative high school GPA on 4.0 scale with 32 ACT/1470 SAT
  • You will be automatically considered for this scholarship with your application to WSU.

This scholarship is renewable for sophomore, junior, senior years based on your college GPA.


WSU Foundation Board Scholarships

Award Amount: $4,000 per academic year

How to Qualify:

  • Top 5% or 3.90 cumulative high school GPA on 4.0 scale of graduating class and 28 ACT/1320 
  • Eligible students will be invited to apply. Application includes an essay and an interview.

Presidential Honor Scholarships

Award Amount: $1,000-$2,500 per academic year

GPA & Test Scores
Award Amount
Top 5% of graduating class or 3.90 cumulative high school GPA on 4.0 with 28 ACT/1320 SAT $2,500
Top 10% or 3.80 cumulative high school GPA on 4.0 scale with 27 ACT/1290 SA $1,500
Top 15% or 3.70+ GPA with SAT 1260/ACT 26
Top 50% or 3.30+ GPA with SAT 1320/ACT 28
$1,000
#1 or #2 in graduating class with 21 ACT/1060 SAT
$1,000

You will be automatically considered for this scholarship with your application to WSU.

This scholarship is renewable for sophomore, junior, senior years based on your college GPA.


Academic Awards

Award Amount: $300-1,500

How to Qualify:

  • You will be automatically considered for this scholarship with your application to WSU. 
  • Awards of $300 - $1,500 are included in admission decision letters.  
  • You may be eligible for additional award amounts if ACT/SAT test scores improve after admission date.  
  • These academic awards do not renew and will not be added onto Presidential Honor or Foundation Scholarships

Renewable Resident Tuition Scholarship

Award Amount: Resident Tuition Rate (about $5,800 less than the Non-Resident tuition rate)

How to Qualify:

  • Be a resident of Illinois, Iowa or other non-reciprocity state
  • Top 15% of their graduating class or an ACT of 25 or greater will pay resident rates rather than non-resident. 

This award means that you will pay the resident (in-state) tuition rate rather than the non-resident (out-of-state) tuition rate. You can think of it as a roughly $5,800 scholarship.

This scholarship is renewable if you maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in college.


Alumni Society

Award Amount: $1,000 (limited number awarded each year)

How to Qualify:

  • Child, grandchild, brother, sister, or ward of WSU graduate 
  • Eligible students will be invited to apply. Application includes an essay and an interview.

Inclusion and Diversity

Award Amount: $350-$2,000

How to Qualify:

These scholarships are awarded based on academic potential. Please contact the Inclusion and Diversity Office for more information.


Music, Art & Theatre Award

Award Amount: $300-$3,000

How to Qualify:

These scholarships are awarded based on audition. Please contact the Music, Art, and Theater and Dance departments for more information.


Intercollegiate Athletics

Award Amount: Varies

How to Qualify:

These scholarships are awarded based on skill. Please contact Warrior Athletics staff


Unrestricted Scholarships

Award Amount: $100-$250

How to Qualify:

Transfer Scholarships

Award Amount: $500

How to Qualify:

Have at least 30 credits and at least 3.35 cumulative college GPA when you apply to WSU 

Renewable Resident Tuition Scholarship

Award Amount: Resident Tuition Rate (approx. $5,800 less than the Non-Resident tuition rate)

How to Qualify: 

Be a resident of Illinois, Iowa or other non-reciprocity state.

You must also meet one of the following criteria:
  • Be an incoming student from Iowa or Illinois who is transferring directly from a Minnesota State Community or Technical College
  • Be an incoming transfer student with at least 24 transferable credits and a 3.25 cumulative college GPA
If you are transferring with less than 24 credits, you will need to meet one of these criteria as well:
  • Be in the top 15% of your high school graduating class
  • Have a 3.70 cumulative high school GPA
  • Have an ACT score of 25 or greater
  • Have an SAT score of 1200 or greater

This award means that you will pay the resident (in-state) tuition rate rather than the non-resident (out-of-state) tuition rate. You can think of it as a scholarship worth roughly $5,800.

This scholarship is renewable if you maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in college.

Phi Theta Kappa Scholarships

Award Amount: $1,000 per year

How to Qualify:

  • Be a member of Phi Theta Kappa
  • Have at least 3.5 cumulative GPA
  • Have earned associates degree or completed MN transfer curriculum

Alumni Society

Award Amount: $1,000 (limited number awarded each year)

 

How to Qualify: 

  • Child, grandchild, brother, sister, or ward of WSU graduate
  • Eligible students will be invited to apply. Application includes an essay and an interview.

Inclusion and Diversity

Award Amount: $350-$2,000

How to Qualify:

These scholarships are awarded based on academic potential. Please contact the Inclusion and Diversity Office for more information.


Music, Art & Theatre

Award Amount: $300-$3,000

How to Qualify:

These scholarships are awarded based on audition. Please contact the Music, Art, and Theater and Dance departments for more information.


Intercollegiate Athletics

Award Amount: Varies

How to Qualify:

These scholarships are awarded based on skill. Please contact Warrior Athletics staff for information.


Unrestricted Scholarships

Award Amount: $100-$250

How to Qualify:

The Financial Aid Office selects the recipients for scholarships totaling more than $60,000. Awards are based on the demonstrated financial need and academic standing of the student.

Award Amount: $100-$1,500

How to Qualify:

  • Meet requirements based on financial need plus test scores and/or cumulative GPA
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • You will be automatically considered for this scholarship with your application to WSU.

The Access and Achievement Scholarship for Minnesota Residents

The Access and Achievement Scholarship is a financial need-based scholarship for Minnesota residents who attend Winona State University. It can be renewable for up to 8 semesters. This scholarship requires WSU to have received a copy of your FAFSA application by March 1, 2019 for consideration. No other application is required.

Award Amount: Varies

How to Qualify:

  • New incoming freshmen who begins attendance at WSU on or after fall semester 2019.
  • Have demonstrated financial need as determined by the FAFSA (typically an EFC of less than 20,000)
  • WSU must receive your 2019-2020 FAFSA by March 1, 2019. Awards will be given until funding is exhausted.
  • The sum of all aid received cannot exceed your financial aid cost of attendance (COA).
  • Must be admitted to WSU by March 1, 2019
  • Must be registered for 15+ credits at the time of financial aid’s first disbursement each semester. Financial aid disburses on the 10th class day each fall and spring semester.

This scholarship is renewable if you meet these requirements:

  • Meet all Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. Being on academic warning or probation does not constitute meeting satisfactory academic progress.
  • Meet with your academic advisor each semester to remain on track for graduation.
  • File your FAFSA each year by March 1 and continue to demonstrate financial need as determined by FAFSA.
  • If you earn a bachelor’s degree in less than four years, the award will terminate at that time.
Dreaming of studying abroad in college but afraid you can’t afford it? There are several scholarship opportunities specifically for study away trips.

Learn more about the scholarships available through the WSU Study Abroad Office.
The Minnesota Indian Scholarship provides postsecondary financial assistance to eligible Minnesota resident students.

Award Amount: Varies

How to Qualify:

  • have one-fourth or more Indian ancestry
  • demonstrate financial need for an award
  • be enrolled at least three quarter time as an undergraduate or half time as a graduate student
  • complete the Minnesota Indian Scholarship application 

You should also complete the FAFSA and an apply for tribal education funds.
The WSU Foundation Scholarship Committee awards scholarships to students who excel in both intellectual learning and personal character. They wish to make an investment in individuals to help people achieve their goals.

The WSU Foundation awards over 700 scholarships each year that total more than 1.4 million dollars.

Award Amount: Varies

How to Qualify: 
  • Complete the online applications for one or more Foundation scholarships
  • Qualifying criteria varies and may include GPA, current major, year in program, career choice, hometown, volunteer experience and more
  • Some scholarships may require an essay or other materials. You can re-use an essay to apply for multiple scholarships.

Deadline for 2019-2020 Academic Year 
Each year WSU students also receive thousands of dollars in scholarships from outside sources such as: 

  • government agencies
  • professional organizations
  • civic groups
  • corporations
  • sororities and fraternities
  • foundations
  • religious groups
  • educational associations
  • military veterans/organizations

The WSU Catalog has an up-to-date list of outside scholarships. CashCourse also provides a list of popular scholarship search engines.

Additionally, you can find scholarship directories at your public libraries, high school counselor offices and the WSU Financial Aid office. Be sure to use these free resources to identify and apply for many national and state-wide scholarships.

Pro Tips on Applying for Scholarships

You Don’t Know Until You Try

There are so many scholarships out there, and they aren’t just for the super talented, high-achieving students either. Are you a B-average student? Do you love cats? There’s a scholarship for that!

Sometimes the weirdest scholarships are the least competitive because so few people qualify. Sometimes seemingly high-competition scholarships are within your reach because people think they won’t have a chance and don’t apply.

Either way you’ll up your chances by simply applying. You miss 100% of the scholarships you don’t apply for.

We’re not going to lie—applying for scholarships will take some work, and you may not win most of the awards. But your effort can really pay off when you graduate with fewer loans and less out-of-pocket costs because you took the time to apply for scholarships.


Watch Out for Scams

As you search for outside scholarships, be wary of any offer that:

  • charges fees
  • asks for credit cards or checking account information
  • guarantees scholarships

These are signs of scams targeted toward college students. You should not have to pay to apply or receive information about financial aid and scholarships.

Learn more about avoiding scholarship scams on CashCourse.


Get Your Money

When you are awarded a scholarship, the money is usually applied to your student account in two even installments-- half for fall semester and half for spring.

If the donor has specific disbursement instructions, the Financial Aid office will honor those directions.