Merit Awards

The University at Albany merit scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, independent of financial need.

Scholarships for In-State Freshmen

These awards are granted to select incoming freshmen and renewable for three additional consecutive academic years, provided the student remains continuously enrolled at the University at Albany full time (as defined by a minimum of 12 degree applicable credits), maintains satisfactory academic progress, and eligibility for New York State tuition.

Presidential Scholarship

Presidential Scholarships are designated for first year students who have demonstrated outstanding academic excellence reflected by their academic achievement and performance on the ACT/SAT. Additional scholarship eligibility guidelines are as follows:

  • $5,000 renewable for up to three consecutive academic years contingent upon successful completion of the freshmen year (potential total of $20,000)
  • Non-tuition awards, specifically allocated towards fees, room and board expenses, books, and other personal expenses; not to exceed the cost of attendance
  • Must be a New York State Resident, or have graduated from a New York State high school
  • Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is encouraged
  • Scholarship first awarded to the freshmen cohort entering the 2020-2021 academic year

Minerva Scholarship

Minerva Scholarships are designated for first year students who have demonstrated noteworthy academic excellence reflected by their academic achievement and performance on the ACT/SAT. Additional scholarship eligibility guidelines are as follows:

  • $4,000 renewable for up to three consecutive academic years contingent upon successful completion of the freshmen year (potential total of $16,000)
  • Non-tuition awards, specifically allocated towards fees, room and board expenses, books, and other personal expenses; not to exceed the cost of attendance
  • Must be a New York State Resident, or have graduated from a New York State high school
  • Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is encouraged.

1844 Scholarship

1844 Scholarships are designated for first year students' who have demonstrated commendable academic performance reflected by both their academic achievement and performance on the ACT/SAT. Additional Scholarship eligibility guidelines are as follows:

  • $2,000 renewable for up to three consecutive academic years contingent upon successful completion of the freshmen year (potential total of $8,000)
  • Non-tuition awards, specifically allocated towards fees, room and board expenses, books, and other personal expenses; not to exceed the cost of attendance
  • Must be a New York State Resident, or have graduated from a New York State high school
  • Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is encouraged.

Academic Distinction Grant

The Academic Distinction Grant is a partial room scholarship for our highest achieving New York State scholars. Additional Scholarship eligibility guidelines are as follows:

  • Must be a Presidential Scholarship recipient first receiving the Presidential Scholarship in the 2020-2021 academic year or beyond
  • $2,500 renewable for up to three consecutive academic years contingent upon successful completion of the freshmen year (potential total of $10,000)
  • Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is strongly recommended
  • Must reside in a University at Albany on-campus housing option (except Empire Commons); those moving to a residence off-campus will forfeit the remaining Academic Distinct Grant eligibility

Scholarships for Out-of-State Freshmen

These awards are granted to select incoming freshmen whose permanent residency is outside of New York State. The scholarships are renewable for three additional consecutive academic years, provided the student remains continuously enrolled at the University at Albany full time (as defined by a minimum of 12 degree applicable credits), maintains satisfactory academic progress, and eligibility for out-of-state (non-resident) tuition.

Empire Scholarship

Empire Scholarships are designated for first year students who have demonstrated outstanding academic excellence reflected by their academic achievement and performance on the ACT/SAT. Additional scholarship eligibility guidelines are as follows:

  • $12,500 renewable for up to three consecutive academic years contingent upon successful completion of the freshmen year (potential total of $50,000)
  • Award may be used for any educational expenses, including tuition, fees, room and board expenses, books, and other personal expenses; not to exceed the cost of attendance
  • Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is strongly recommended
  • Designated for select incoming freshmen whose permanent residency is outside of New York State. Students who become a NYS resident will forfeit eligibility for this award.

Provost Scholarship

Provost Scholarships are designated for first year students who have demonstrated noteworthy academic excellence reflected by their academic achievement and performance on the ACT/SAT. Additional scholarship eligibility guidelines are as follows:

  • $9,500 renewable for up to three consecutive academic years contingent upon successful completion of the freshmen year (potential total of $38,000)
  • Award may be used for any educational expenses, including tuition, fees, room and board expenses, books, and other personal expenses; not to exceed the cost of attendance
  • Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is strongly recommended
  • Designated for select incoming freshmen whose permanent residency is outside of New York State. Students who become a NYS resident will forfeit eligibility for this award.

Dean Scholarship

Dean Scholarships are designated for first year students who have demonstrated commendable academic performance reflected by both their academic achievement and performance on the ACT/SAT. Additional Scholarship eligibility guidelines are as follows:

  • $9,000 renewable for up to three consecutive academic years contingent upon successful completion of the freshmen year (potential total of $36,000)
  • Award may be used for any educational expenses, including tuition, fees, room and board expenses, books, and other personal expenses; not to exceed the cost of attendance
  • Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is strongly recommended
  • Designated for select incoming freshmen whose permanent residency is outside of New York State. Students who become a NYS resident will forfeit eligibility for this award.

Purple and Gold Scholarship

Purple and Gold Scholarships are designated for first year students who have demonstrated academic promise reflected by their academic achievement and performance on the ACT/SAT. Additional Scholarship eligibility guidelines are as follows:

  • $7,000 renewable for up to three consecutive academic years contingent upon successful completion of the freshmen year (potential total of $28,000)
  • Award may be used for any educational expenses, including tuition, fees, room and board expenses, books, and other personal expenses; not to exceed the cost of attendance
  • Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is strongly recommended
  • Designated for select incoming freshmen whose permanent residency is outside of New York State. Students who become a NYS resident will forfeit eligibility for this award.

Engaged Community Award

The Engaged Community Award is a partial room scholarship designated for the highest achieving Out-of-State (non-resident) scholars. Additional Scholarship eligibility guidelines are as follows:

  • Must be an Empire Scholarship or Provost Scholarship recipient
  • $2,500 renewable for up to three consecutive academic years contingent upon successful completion of the freshmen year (potential total of $10,000)
  • Must reside in a University at Albany on-campus housing option (except Empire Commons); those moving to a residence off-campus will forfeit the remaining Engaged Community Award eligibility
  • Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is strongly recommended

Capital District Leadership Awards

Capital District Leadership Awards are scholarships designed to recognize and reward incoming freshmen students from the greater Albany region with a passion for leadership and noteworthy leadership experiences. As part of our commitment to identifying, unleashing, and supporting student greatness, eight freshmen will be recognized and rewarded at $7,000 per year and 20 freshmen will be recognized and rewarded at $3,000 per year. Additional scholarship eligibility guidelines are as follows:

  • Applicant must be a high school senior, scheduled to graduate in the spring semester of 2020 and attending a high school in Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, or Washington Counties.
  • While all students from eligible counties are welcome to apply, competitive applicants would fall in the upper quarter of the University at Albany’s entering class (93%+ high school grade point average / SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 630+; SAT Math: 630+).
  • This non-tuition award is renewable for each of three consecutive years provided the recipient maintains a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA and successfully completes 15 or more credits per semester.
Application Process

Students must apply to the University at Albany through the Early Action option, using either the Common Application or SUNY Application. The Early Action deadline is November 1 and all award materials must be received by December 1 (extended from November 15).

Applicants must submit the following required leadership award materials via their application portal:

  • Two letters of recommendation from high school officials where they are enrolled, attesting to leadership skills and potential.
  • A short essay (no more than 500 words) describing the student’s personal vision to deploy leadership.

Applicants will first be notified of their admission decision, then after review of leadership award materials, semi-finalists will be invited to campus for an interview and reception in early February. Recipients will be required to reside in campus housing each year and to take an active role in campus life. Their receipt of the award will be contingent upon successful completion of their senior year high school coursework, graduation at a level of achievement consistent with their performance when offered Early Action admission, and receipt of official ACT or SAT scores.

Please visit the Financial Aid website for additional scholarship opportunities.