Scholarships and Grants

Merit Awards

The University of San Diego has established the following merit-based scholarship programs for which all freshmen applicants are considered. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions selects merit scholarship recipients. Consideration is given to high academic achievement, test scores, leadership, service, talent, and other personal qualities, irrespective of financial circumstances. These awards may be combined with other forms of university and outside financial aid for students with demonstrated need.

Alcalá Scholars

This award is offered to small number of incoming freshman who have demonstrated academic excellence through their outstanding grades, rigorous curriculum, and high test scores. These four year awards must be applied to university expenses. Renewal is contingent upon maintenance of the GPA specified on the information received with initial notification of the award from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Trustee Scholars

Trustee Scholars are designated in the name of the University of San Diego Trustees. These four-year awards must be applied to university expenses. Renewal is contingent upon maintenance of the GPA specified on the information received with initial notification of the award from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Presidential Scholars

Presidential Scholars are designated in the name of the President of the University of San Diego. These four-year awards must be applied to university expenses. Renewal is contingent upon maintenance of the GPA specified on the information received with initial notification of the award from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Torero Pride Awards

This award is offered to those students who possess a combination of academic achievement and personal qualities that support our Mission and Core Values. These four year awards must be applied to university expenses. Renewal is contingent upon maintenance of the GPA specified on the information received with initial notification of the award from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Diversity “Circle of Excellence” Scholarships

“Circle of Excellence” Scholarships recognize students who possess the unique combination of academic excellence, personal qualities of leadership and perseverance, and the potential to advance the university’s goal of creating a diverse and inclusive community. A limited number of “Circle” scholarships are granted each year and are designed to cover the full cost of tuition for up to four years. Renewal of these scholarships is continued upon maintenance of good academic standing, attendance at “Circle” events, and representation of the university in a manner consistent with its mission.

Choral Scholars

Choral scholars are selected on the basis of audition through the Department of Music. While the amount of the scholarship is determined annually, it typically covers a portion of tuition and is renewable for up to four years for an undergraduate student, subject to a student maintaining a 3.0 GPA, participating in a specific program curriculum, and sustaining involvement in the choral scholars singing group. Students are encouraged to apply for need-based aid before the priority deadline and, if eligible, will receive an offer which coordinates the choral scholarship with other assistance. Students should contact the Department of Music for further information. Note: Eligibility for renewal of need-based scholarships is based on the cumulative GPA provided to the Office of Financial Aid by the registrar, calculated through the end of the previous January Intersession. Students who fail to meet the GPA requirements in January may be reconsidered at the end of the Spring semester. 

University of San Diego Scholarships

These scholarships are awarded to new, full-time students. Awards are generally based on academic factors, the family’s financial circumstances, and the student’s potential to contribute to the university. Scholarships range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Eligible continuing USD students must have documented need, meet the renewal criteria for USD funds, and make satisfactory academic progress.

University of San Diego Grants

These grants are offered to new, full-time students with documented need. Grants range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Eligible continuing USD students must have documented need, meet the renewal criteria for USD funds, and make satisfactory academic progress.

Bishop Maher Catholic Leadership Scholarships

This program, named for the late Bishop Leo T. Maher, provides annually renewable scholarships to Catholic undergraduate students who have demonstrated leadership in their parish, school, or community. The awards range from $500 to approximately $1,500 per year, depending on the financial need, academic performance, and demonstrated leadership of the applicant.

In addition to the regular financial aid application forms described above, a special Bishop Maher Catholic Leadership Scholarship Application, a letter from the applicant, and a letter of recommendation from the student’s parish priest are required. Maher scholarship applications are available at the USD website, www.financial aid/forms or upon request from the Office of Financial Aid.

Duchesne Scholarship Program

The University of San Diego, through the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, offers this scholarship for culturally diverse graduate students pursuing a teaching career in public and private elementary and secondary schools. The scholarship program is designed to recognize qualified minority students pursuing a teaching career. The scholarships assist graduate students seeking their teaching credential. USD awards Duchesne Scholarships annually to incoming and continuing students. The amount of the scholarship varies depending on the financial need of the student. Eligible applicants must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Duchesne Scholarship applications are available upon request from the USD School of Leadership and Education Sciences.

Cal Grants

Each year the State of California awards a number of Cal Grants to assist with tuition and fees to students who are residents of the State of California and have demonstrated academic achievement and financial need. 

The University of San Diego advises all students who are California residents to apply for this State grant. To be considered, the student must complete the FAFSA, as listed above, and also provide other information as requested (for example, submit the GPA Verification Form to the California Student Aid Commission). The deadline for submitting all the necessary forms is announced each year by the California Student Aid Commission. 

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

This federal program is designated for highly needy undergraduate students with priority given to recipients of Federal Pell Grants (see below). Funding is based on federal allocations and varies each year.

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant Program assists undergraduate students with substantial financial need. The student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the federal processor which will indicate whether or not the student is eligible for the grant. 

Interested Native American students should contact the area or agency office having records of their tribal membership. That office will provide the necessary application forms. The amount of the award varies and is based on unmet financial need.

Private Scholarships and Grants

The University of San Diego receives donations from private sources to provide scholarships and grants to selected students in the name of the donor. In addition to meeting the USD scholarship criteria, additional qualifications and requirements may be stipulated by the donor.

Current students are automatically considered for any of the scholarships listed below for which they are eligible when they apply for financial aid at USD (see application procedure on page 36). For some scholarships with specific requirements, a USD scholarship questionnaire is used to determine eligibility, and only the students who complete the questionnaire will be considered for those scholarships.

Annual Scholarships/Awards

Accountancy Program Scholarship
Ahmanson Foundation Scholarship
Appraisal Institute
AMN Healthcare Scholarship
ARCS® (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Scholarship
Arizona Alumnae of the Sacred Heart Scholarship
Donna Lee Arledge Memorial Scholarship
Baker & McKenzie Scholarship
*Allen and Donna Baytop Scholarship Award
Blystone NROTC Scholarship
Blystone Nursing Scholarship
The Burnham Foundation Scholarship
C.E. & S. Summer Abroad Program Scholarship
California Building Industry Foundation
Ernest W. Hahn Scholarship
Fieldstone Foundation Scholarship
Harry L. Summers Endowment
California Association of Realtors
Bob and Betty Cahan Scholarship
Casner Family Scholarship
CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Members) Nursing Scholarship
Chapin Dissertation Award
Mary Jane Charlton Nursing Scholarship
Colorado Alumnae of the Sacred Heart Scholarship
Leo C. Curley Trust Scholarship
Danvera Foundation English Scholarship
Danvera Foundation Nursing Scholarship
Carrie Estelle Doheny Foundation Scholarship (Science Research)
Sister Duchesne Scholarship
Duncan Theatre Arts Scholarship
Carr Ferguson Graduate Tax Research Fellowship
William Foster Outstanding Dissertation Award
Eris McCoy Gallagher Scholarship for Education
Hal H. Gardner Memorial Scholarship
Catherine B. Ghio Scholarship
Michael Ghio Memorial Scholarship
Max and Gussie Gonick Memorial Prize for Academic Excellence in the First Year
Gilligan-Spiritan Scholarship in Peace and Justice Studies
Bill Hannon Foundation Scholarship in Peace and Justice Studies
Marion Hubbard Loan Scholarship
Harold and Catherine Johnson Family Memorial Trust Scholarship
Johnston-Schoell Engineering Scholarship
Johnston-Schoell History Scholarship
*Helen and Webster Kinnaird Law Scholarship
Joan B. Kroc Scholarship in Peace and Justice Studies
Kiwanis of San Diego Foundation Scholarship
Kroha Family Law Scholarship
Law Alumni Scholarship
Law Dean’s Scholarship
Law Faculty Fund
Lawyers Club of San Diego – Lynn Schenk Scholarship
Lone Mountain Scholarship
James McIntyre Foundation Scholarship
W. Scott McIntyre Memorial Scholarship
*Irene M. Carames de Middlebrooks Scholarship
Janice Nalley Memorial Scholarship
Nonprofit Leadership & Management Scholarship
Other Esteem Scholarship
Chester Pagni Outstanding Student Service Award
*Dr. Judy Rauner Scholarship
Real Estate Alumni Scholarship
Remembrance Fund Scholarship
Lina C. Romero Memorial Scholarship
Sister M. Aimee Rossi Music Scholarship
Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships:
Master of Arts in Peace and Justice Studies
Upward Bound High School Students Go to College
San Diego Alumnae of the Sacred Heart Scholarship
San Diego Foundation Scholarships
*School of Business Student Scholarship
Bernard H. Siegan Scholarship
Jean Sidorick Philosophy Award
Darlene Shiley Veterans Scholarship
*Shurko Family Scholarship
SIOR/Majestic Realty Foundation Scholarship
Patricia Della (Stahl) Spinosa Memorial Scholarship
Vessela Zaykova-Smolin Memorial Scholarship
S.A. Sutterfield Memorial Book Scholarship
USD Mortar Board STRIVE (Seeking To Recognize
Individual Visions of Excellence) Scholarship
USD Opportunity Scholarship
Bernard H. Van Der Steen Scholarship
Vincent C. Walsh Trust Scholarship
Meg Whitman Scholarship (MSEL)
Julie I. Wilkinson Nursing Scholarship
Dr. Sheila Quinlan Williams Scholarship
Viterbi Family Foundation Scholarship for Nonprofit Leadership and Management Program
*Richard and Kay Woltman Law School Scholarship
Elizabeth Baker Woods Education Scholarship
ADM Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. Leadership Award
* New Scholarships

Endowed Scholarships

Donors have endowed the University of San Diego with the following funds for scholarships to be awarded annually for the life of the university.

Jack L. Adams Scholarship Fund (which includes the following)
The General and Mrs. Lemuel C. Sheperd Jr. Scholarship
The General Wesley H. Rice Scholarship
The General James L. Day Scholarship
The General Robert H. Barrow Scholarship
The General and Mrs. Hugh T. Kerr Scholarship
The General and Mrs. John S. Grinalds Scholarship
The General and Mrs. J.A. Studds Scholarship
The Author E. Hughes Scholarship in Music
Thomas Ackerman Scholarship for the Nonprofit Leadership and Management Program Fund
Alfred F. Antonicelli Scholarship Fund
Eileen and Carlton Appleby Scholarship Fund
Arcaro Scholarship Fund
Kathryn Grady Atwood Memorial Fund
Ernest Backhaus Memorial Scholarship Fund
Dr. and Mrs. Manuel Barba Scholarship Fund
Barnhart Scholars Scholarship Fund
*Andrea M. Basque Scholarship Fund
*Richard A. Bayer Scholarship Fund
Aloysius J. Bedell Scholarship Fund
H.N. and Frances Berger Scholarship Fund
The Bosley Family Scholarship Fund
Boyce Family Scholarship Fund
Braille Transcribers Guild of San Diego Scholarship Fund
Brennan & Gaffrey Nurse Educator Scholarship Fund
Loretta Breyer Nursing Scholarship Fund
Thomas Breitling Scholarship Fund
Bridges Scholarship Fund
Brindle-Erion Scholarship Fund
Kevin Briscoe Memorial Scholarship Fund
Dr. Gilbert Brown Scholarship Fund
Sandra Brue Scholarship Fund
Sandra Brue Scholarship for Catholic Educators Fund
Brue Carstens Scholarship Fund
Bishop Buddy Scholarship Fund
Daniel Burkett Memorial Scholarship Fund
Martin and Florence Bursiek Student Aid Fund
BusinessLink USD Scholarship Fund
Edward and Gretchen Cairns Memorial Scholarship Fund
Catholic Heritage Scholarship Fund
Sister Susan Campbell Scholarship Fund
Mickey Carhart Memorial Scholarship Fund/ NAIOP San Diego Chapter
Mary Delafield Carter Scholarship Fund
Yvonne E. Chiesi Carteron Nursing Scholarship Fund
Theia Cascio Scholarship Fund
David S. Casey Trial Advocacy Scholarship Fund
Choral Scholars Program Fund
Ralph F. Claric and Russell Kamstead Memorial Scholarship Fund
Phyllis McArdle Clause Scholarship Fund
James W. and Kathryn S. Colachis Scholarship Fund
Harry A. Collins Memorial Scholarship Fund
John F. Connolly Perpetual Scholarship Fund
*Michael A. Connor-Horizon Scholarship Fund
Helen S. Corcoran Scholarship Fund
Fiorenza and Hernando Courtright Scholarship Fund
Emmet J. Culligan Scholarship Fund
Murphy Dalton Scholarship Fund
Donald C. and Elizabeth M. Dickinson Foundation (MEPN) Fund
Duda Family Foundation Scholarship Fund
James O. and Stella Powell Eagen Scholarship Fund
Fieldstone Foundation Scholarship Fun
Walter Fitch Trust Scholarship Fund
Paul Fitzpatrick Memorial Award Fund
*Founders Scholarship Fund
French Scholarship Fund
C. Hugh Friedman Scholarship Fund
Sr. Sally M. Furay Scholarship Fund
German Language Scholarship Fund
Emil Ghio Scholarship Fund
W.R. Grace Scholarship Fund
Mary Gresko Nursing Scholarship Fund
Ernest W. and Jean E. Hahn Foundation Scholarship Fund
Eugenie B. Hannon Scholarship Fund
Alice B. Hayes Science Scholarship Fund
Alice B. Hayes Mortar Board Scholarship Fund
William Randolph Hearst Scholarship Fund
Conrad N. Hilton Minority Scholarship Fund
Roseann Gerold Hoffman Scholarship Fund
W. Roy and Marion I. Holleman Scholarship Fund
Bob Hope Leadership Scholarship Fund
Ethel M. Horsch Nursing Scholarship Fund
Author E. Hughes Scholarship Fund
Irvine Keiller Scholarship Fund
Dr. Kathy James Nursing Scholarship Fund
Jane P. Johnson Scholarship Fund
Lou Kerig Scholarship Fund
Michael Konz Memorial Scholarship Fund
Kristopher Krohne Memorial Scholarship Fund
The LASH Foundation Scholarship Fund for the Nonprofit Leadership and Management Program Fund
Las Vegas Scholarship Fund
Law Endowed Scholarship
Lawrence Family Scholarship Fund
Albert J. and Mae Lee Memorial Scholarship Fund
*Lee Family Memorial Scholarship Fund
Elsie Leith Memorial Scholarship Fund
Faye N. Lewis Scholarship Fund
Laura McDonald Lewis Scholarship Fund
Bishop Maher Catholic Leadership Scholarship Fund
Lawrence Mahlum Memorial Scholarship Fund
Manchester Nursing Scholarship Fund
Doug & Betsy Manchester Athletic Scholarship Fund
LTJG Laura J. Mankey Memorial Scholarship Fund
Marasco Family Scholarship Fund
Marine Studies Graduate Scholarship Fund (which includes the following)
Stephen Sullivan Memorial Scholarship
Sister Dale Brown Science Scholarship
Ronald Maudsley Memorial Scholarship Fund
David Maurier Law Scholarship Fund
George H. Mayr Scholarship Fund
Mazzo Family Scholarship Fund
Christopher McCallister Memorial Scholarship Fund
Dorothea McKinney Scholarship Fund
Gerald & Donna McMahon Scholarship Fund
Louise H. McNally Scholarship Fund
Edward J. and Grace W. Mehren Scholarship Fund
Michael Mohr Memorial Scholarship Fund
William A. Moller Memorial Scholarship Fund
Grant Morris Scholarship Fund
Elizabeth Ann Mottet Nursing Scholarship Fund
Music Endowment Fund
Nielsen Family Scholarship Fund
Notchev Scholarship Fund
James B. Orwig, M.D. Nursing Scholarship Fund
Kyle O’Connell Memorial Scholarship Fund
*Robert E. and Darci M. O’Connell Scholarship for the Arts
The ORCA Foundation Scholarship Fund at the San Diego
Foundation for Nonprofit Leadership and Management Program
Theresa and Edward O’Toole Scholarship Fund
Oxford Scholarship Fund
Irene Sabelberg Palmer Nursing Research Scholarship Fund
Pardee Scholars Endowment Fund
Parent Fund Scholarship
Kenneth & Virginia Piper Arizona Scholarship Fund
Procopio International Tax Scholarship Fund
Pulitzer Foundation Scholarship Fund
Kay Ravenel Scholarship Fund
Reardon/Goode Scholarship Fund
Delroy Richardson Scholarship Fund
Janet A. Rodgers Nursing Scholarship Fund
Frank and Dimitra Rogozienski Scholarship Fund
John R. Ronchetto Memorial Scholarship Fund
Leo Roon Scholarship Fund
Rose Pre-Med Fund
Joseph Rost Scholarship Fund for Leadership Studies
Tim C. Rothans Public Service Scholarship Fund
Irving Salomon Political Science Scholarship Fund
Jeffrey A. Sardina Memorial Scholarship Fund
School of Leadership and Education Sciences Scholarship Fund
Vern D. Schooley Scholarship Fund
Mary and Alan Schulman Scholarship Fund
W. H. Scripps Athletic Scholarship Fund
Senior Emergency Law Fund
Richard A. Shaw Graduate Tax Scholarship Fund
Martin L. Sheehan Scholarship Fund
Donald P. and Darlene V. Shiley Engineering & Theater Scholarship Fund
Donald P. and Darlene V. Shiley MFA Scholarship Fund
Gary Shoemaker and Richard T. Mulvey Disabled Student Scholarship Fund
Forrest N. and Patricia K. Shumway Scholarship Fund
Sven & Tove Simonsen Scholarship Fund
James E. Spain Family Law Scholarship Fund
James E. Spain Family THRS Majors Scholarship Fund
Stallard Family Nursing Scholarship Fund
Susanne Stanford Scholarship Fund
Luisa A. & Harold N. Stoflet Memorial Scholarship Fund
Pearl and Natalie Surkin Scholarship Fund
Anne Swanke Memorial Scholarship Fund
Jane R. Tedmon Scholarship Fund
John Trifiletti Scholarship Fund
USD Alumni Scholarship Fund
USD Law Scholarship Fund (which includes the following)
Dr. Lee Gerlach Honorary Scholarship
Robert J. Keys Honorary Scholarship
Warren Family Law Student Aid Fund
The Honorable Louis M. Welsh Scholarship Fund
Whalen Family Scholarship Fund
Terry Whitcomb ‘53 Alumni Scholarship Fund
Therese T. Whitcomb and E. Ann McFarland Decorative Arts Study Fund
Cathleen K. Wilson, R.N., Ph.D., Memorial Scholarship Fund for Leaders in Nursing
Donald O. and Rosemary Wilson Scholarship Fund
John Winters Memorial Scholarship Fund
Richard and Kay Woltman Nursing Scholarship Fund
Erion Knickerbocker Wood Scholarship Fund
Daniel B. Woodruff Memorial Scholarship Fund
*New Scholarship Endowment Fund

Other Scholarships Available

The following scholarships are made available to USD students from other donors. Additional applications and/or interviews may be required for consideration. For more specific information contact the Office of Financial Aid.

  • Colorado Alumnae of the Sacred Heart Scholarship
  • Kiwanis of San Diego Foundation Scholarship
  • Ralph M. Parsons Memorial Scholarship
  • Sister M. Aimee Rossi Music Scholarship
  • San Diego County Citizen’s Scholarship Foundation Award
  • Donald A. Strauss Public Service Scholarship

Additional Sources of Funding

In addition to the above-named University of San Diego scholarships, additional sources of funds are available. Many companies offer scholarships to the sons and daughters of their employees. Fraternal organizations, such as the Elks and Rotary International, assist students in meeting the cost of education. The Copley Library has reference books and Internet access to scholarship search programs listing funds available from private organizations and A Guide to Outside Resources of Financial Aid is available on the USD Office of Financial Aid website. USD students have received over $2 million in private scholarships for an academic year. Private scholarships can usually be used to replace loans in a student’s financial aid “package.”