Distinguished Presidential Scholarship

for FALL FRESHMEN APPLICANTS ONLY 

UTSA is committed to the success of its students. To recognize their academic achievements, UTSA offers the merit-based Distinguished Presidential Scholarship to students who display exceptional scholastic achievement in high school.

Non-resident and international students awarded the Distinguished Presidential Scholarship for a minimum of $1,000.00 for the academic year will be granted a waiver for non-resident tuition if scholarship eligibility is maintained.

Students must be admitted by January 15 to be considered.

How to Apply

ELIGIBILITY: Freshman admitted by January 15 will be given automatic consideration for this scholarship based on academic merit. This scholarship is valued at up to $20,000 for up to four years if renewal eligibility is maintained. The value is awarded on a competitive basis, while funding is available.

Effective starting the 2019-2020 year:

Criteria to Qualify DPS Annual Award Amount

Top 5%+  AND at least 1270 SAT (27 ACT)

$5,000

Top 10% AND at least 1270 SAT (27 ACT)

$4,000

Top 15% AND at least 1190 SAT (24 ACT)

$3,500

Top 20%  AND at least 1170 SAT (24 ACT)

$2,500

Top 25% AND at least 1150 SAT (24 ACT)

$500

Please note participants in the UT-Austin Coordinated Admission Program (CAP) are not eligible for this scholarship.

Term of the Award

The Distinguished Presidential Scholarship is awarded for a total of eight consecutive semesters as long as the student maintains eligibility. This scholarship is split evenly between the fall and spring semesters and this disbursement schedule cannot be changed. Students cannot have a full year’s allocation disbursed in one semester nor can they combine future disbursements due to early graduation. The goal of this scholarship is to help students complete their undergraduate degree in four years and therefore students must be enrolled in undergraduate courses and be classified as an undergraduate student to have their scholarship disbursed.

Semester Criteria

Students must be enrolled as full-time undergraduate students with minimum of 12 UTSA credit hours each fall and spring semester. UTSA highly recommends that you complete a minimum of 15 credit hours per semester to ensure you are awarded the full amount of your scholarship for the following year.

If you enroll in fewer than 12 credit hours you forfeit that semester’s award. Even if your scholarship does not disburse, the semester will still count toward your 8 terms of eligibility.

Renewal Criteria

All new and continuing Distinguished Presidential Scholarship recipients must successfully complete a minimum of 30 UTSA credit hours by the end of each academic year and have a minimum of a 2.5 UTSA GPA to have the full renewal of their scholarship.
Students must be continuously enrolled at UTSA to have their scholarship renewed for the next academic year. Any breaks in a student’s enrollment without an approved deferment on file with the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will result in the loss of their scholarship.

Qualifying Types of Credit Hours

  • UTSA credit courses (excluding repeated and graduate level courses)
  • UTSA sponsored study-abroad course (hours must be at UTSA)
  • Courses taken as part of a joint enrollment program (cannot be considered until transcript are received)

The following do not satisfy credit-hour requirements for renewal eligibility; however, these may be used toward your overall credits for degree completion.

  • Consortium Agreements courses, transfer credits or correspondence courses
  • Repeated courses
  • Incompletes or audited course
  • Advanced placement credits, dual credits
  • CLEP test
  • Study Abroad hours from non- UTSA sponsored programs
  • Graduate Courses

Fully Renewing Your Scholarship

In order to renew 100% of your scholarship, you must successfully complete the following by the end of each academic year (fall, spring and immediately the following summer):

  • Earn 30 UTSA credits in one academic year
  • Earn a UTSA 2.5 cumulative GPA

Partially Renewing Your Scholarship

The Scholarship Maintenance Plan is used when the above requirements are not fully met.  For every consecutive year you do not fully meet the renewal requirements (earn 30 UTSA credits in one academic year and a UTSA 2.5 cumulative GPA), the percentage you will be able to receive of your scholarship will be reduced. However, if at the end of any academic year you are able to fully meet the renewal requirements, the scholarship will be renewed at 100%.

The following provides the percentage of the award you will receive based on your UTSA cumulative GPA and earned UTSA credit hours:

UTSA Cumulative GPA

2.5+

2.49 or less

Credit Hours

29 to 24

23 or less

1st year of not meeting renewal criteria

70% of original award

0% of original award

2nd consecutive year of not meeting renewal criteria

60% of original award

0% of original award

3rd consecutive year of not meeting renewal criteria

50% of original award

0% of original award

At the end of each academic year (fall, spring and summer), Financial Aid and Scholarships will review your progress on the scholarship maintenance plan. If you meet the requirements to fully renew your scholarship we will increase the percentage of your award accordingly.

Options for Students Not Meeting Renewal Criteria

If you do not meet or exceed the renewal criteria by the end of each spring semester, consider the following options:

  • Start with your academic advisor. Your advisor can help you understand your options and help you reach your academic goals. They can get you in the right courses and also connect with tutoring and other programs that will help you succeed.
  • Enroll in UTSA summer session courses. If you need to complete additional UTSA credit hours or increase your UTSA cumulative GPA to meet renewal criteria, you can take summer classes to make up for these deficiencies. If you do not meet renewal criteria after taking summer session courses, you may not file an appeal. It is your responsibility to work with your advisor to determine the feasibility of the UTSA summer enrollment option.

Change of Status: Deferments, Appeals and Hardships

Scholarship Deferments

If a student needs to have a break in enrollment, they can submit a deferment letter to keep their Distinguished Presidential Scholarship on hold for up to 2 years. Students must be in good scholarship standing to have a deferment approved.

  • Students must successfully complete one semester at UTSA to be eligible for a deferment.
  • Acceptable reason for deferments are:
    • Internship
    • Unique educational experience tied to student’s degree program.
    • Medical or Family leave
  • If you leave the university without a deferment on file you forfeit your scholarship.
  • If you leave UTSA and attend another post-secondary institution while on deferment, your scholarship will be forfeited.

Scholarship Appeals

If a student has lost the Distinguished Presidential Scholarship because they are not meeting the requirements for the scholarship to be awarded, disbursed or renewed, a student can submit a scholarship appeal letter.  Submission of an appeal letter does not guarantee that a student will be awarded the Distinguished Presidential Scholarship.

  • Students who are seeking to regain their scholarship must meet full renewal requirements at the time of their appeal.
  • Acceptable reasons for Appeal:
    • Loss of scholarship because of Cost of Attendance
    • Left the university for a semester without deferment on file
  • All Appeal letters must include the reason a student is submitting an appeal letter, any additional documentation that provides support to the appeal.

All appeal letters are approved on a case by cases basis and are subject to funding availability.

Scholarship Hardship appeals:

If a student has a medical, family or academic reason for not meeting the Distinguished Presidential Scholarship renewal requirements, a student can submit a hardship appeal. If a hardship appeal is approved, a student will be evaluated based on the number of hours completed at UTSA ONLY and awarded accordingly.

  • Students who are seeking a hardship appeal must submit a letter immediately following their return to UTSA.
  • Acceptable reasons for Hardship appeal:
    • Emergency medical leave
    • Academic withdraw for family reasons
    • Family emergency
  • All hardship appeals are encouraged to have supporting documentation based on what the student is comfortable submitting.

All hardship appeals are approved on a case by case basis and are dependent on funding availability.

The Distinguished Presidential Scholarship is made possible by donations from the Carlos Alvarez Distinguished Presidential Scholars Endowed Scholarship, the Betty Murray Halff Distinguished Presidential Scholars Endowed Scholarship, the Felix and Elizabeth McKinney Memorial Scholarship Fund, the UTSA Distinguished Presidential Scholars Endowed Scholarship and other various institutional funding.

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