Institutional Scholarships

Merit Awards

Freshmen Awards

Freshmen will be awarded one of the following merit scholarships, whichever is the highest. Awards are renewable for three years when student maintains GPA requirement.

Merit Scholarships $2,000 - $8,000
Award NameHigh School GPAAmountGPA required to keep award
Award of Excellence3.95-4.0$8,0003.5
Trustee Award3.85-3.94$7,0003.5
Presidential Award3.75-3.84$6,0003.25
Academic Dean Award3.60-3.74$4,0003
Achievement Award3.0-3.59$3,0002.5
Admission Award2.50-2.99$2,0002
Award NameACTAmountGPA required to keep award
Southwestern Scholar34100% tuition3.5
Award of Excellence30-33$8,0003.5
Trustee Award28-29$7,0003.5
Presidential Award25-27$6,0003.25
Academic Dean Award23-24$4,0003
Achievement Award19-22$3,0002.5
Admission Award18$2,0002
Award NameSATAmountGPA required to keep award
Southwestern Scholar1500100% tuition3.5
Award of Excellence1360-1480$8,0003.5
Trustee Award1300-1350$7,0003.5
Presidential Award1200-1290$6,0003.25
Academic Dean Award1130-1190$4,0003
Achievement Award990-1120$3,0002.5
Admission Award970-980$2,0002

+Includes $1,000 credited to tuition costs if the student lives in the residence hall. 

Please see the Online Catalog for more details


Leadership Scholarships


Student Association President



Senior Class President



Senior Class Valedictorian



Student Association Vice President


Yearbook Editor



Newspaper Editor



Senior or Junior Class officer



Student Association officer



Pathfinder Team Leadership Training Certificate (TLTC)



Leadership scholarships are awarded only to incoming freshmen and are renewable for up to four years.

These scholarships are awarded in addition to any Southwestern academic scholarship for which the student qualifies. If a student has held more than one office, only one scholarship will be given.


Southwestern Scholars Award

Students who achieve a 34 composite on the ACT qualify for 100% tuition.

NEW:   SAT Math and ERW of 1500 - 100% tuition.

This scholarship is renewable if the student maintains a 3.5 cumulative GPA and enrolls for 12 or more hours each semester.  This scholarship, along with all other Southwestern scholarships, cannot exceed tuition. Students who qualify for both the Freshman Award and the Southwestern Scholars Award receive the higher of the two.

Transfer Student Scholarships

A transfer student with at least 24 cumulative college credits from other colleges may qualify for one of the following scholarships:

  • $4,000 if cumulative GPA from prior colleges is 3.75+
  • $3,000 if cumulative GPA from prior colleges is 3.50-3.74
  • $2,000 if cumulative GPA from prior colleges is 3.00-3.49
  • $1,500 if cumulative GPA from prior colleges is 2.75-2.99

All official transcripts from previously attended colleges must be on file with Southwestern before this scholarship will be awarded.  To receive this scholarship, a student must be enrolled for 12 or more credit hours each semester.  This scholarship is renewable for two years for students transferring 24-55 credits, and one year for students transferring 56-89 credits.  The scholarship is not renewable for students transferring 90+ credits.  This scholarship is renewable only for students who are in a good scholastic standing, who maintain a commendable citizenship record.

Honors Scholarship

Honors Scholarships are given to students who are enrolled in the honors program and whose grade classification is above the freshman level:







The final $1,000 of the senior award is given only after the student has completed his or her senior thesis.

National Merit Finalists and Semi-Finalists

Finalists - 100% tuition

Semi-Finalists - 50% tuition

This scholarship is renewable if the student maintains a 3.5 cumulative GPA and enrolls for 12 or more hours each semester. Transfer students who were recognized by the National Merit organization as a Semi-finalist or Finalist and who have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA are also eligible for this award. This scholarship, along with all other Southwestern scholarships, cannot exceed tuition. Likewise, credit balances from Southwestern scholarships and resources other than loans will result in a reduction of this scholarship.

National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) Scholarship

Finalists are awarded a full tuition scholarship following the same terms and conditions as the National Merit Full Tuition Scholarship. Learn more at the NHRP website.

National Achievement Scholarship Program (NASP) Scholarship

Finalists are awarded a full tuition scholarship following the same terms and conditions as the National Merit Full Tuition Scholarship. National Achievement Scholarship Program (NASP) scholarships are determined by PSAT scores. Learn more at the  NASP website.

Music Scholarships

Talented students may audition for music scholarships at Southwestern. Awards are given to top performers who represent Southwestern in ensembles, continue to educate themselves through private study, give back to the community in performance and maintain good academic standards.

General Scholarships

Canadian Scholarship

Canadian citizens residing within Canada are eligible for a $2,000 Scholarship per year.

Family Discounts

Three or more students from the same family, each taking at least 12 hours of coursework, will receive a 10% discount on tuition.  Two students from the same family, each taking at least 12 hours, will receive a 5% discount on tuition.  When students marry, they are no longer eligible for this special discount as a member of their parent’s household. Married couples, taking at least 12 hours of coursework each, may receive the 5% discount on tuition.

Student Missionary & Task Force Worker Scholarship


Southwestern awards scholarships to students who successfully complete a full term of service no shorter than 8 months in an approved student missionary or task force program.  These awards are divided over the two semesters of the school year immediately following the return of the student missionary or task force worker.

Summer Ministries Scholarship

Up to $2,000

Southwestern students who work in a summer ministries program (such as at a summer camp or as a literature evangelist) will receive a scholarship worth 75% of whatever portion of their net earnings they apply to their account: maximum award $2,000.  The student’s earnings are applied to the fall semester and the Southwestern match is applied to the spring semester. 

Summer Work Scholarship

Students who pay rent for campus housing during the summer, work a certain number of hours at a campus job, and place at least 80% of their earnings on their student account, may be eligible for a scholarship the following year. Applications are available at Student Financial Services.

Lab School Graduate Scholarship

50% of tuition

Students who teach for one of the University’s lab schools (schools in districts who have a contract with the Education Department for student teaching) will receive a 50% tuition discount for graduate classes taken on campus.  Distance learning classes will be assessed an additional fee.

Post-Baccalaureate Student Scholarship

50% of tuition

Post-baccalaureate students receive a 50% tuition discount for undergraduate courses.  This does not include classes in nursing, student teaching, independent study, distance learning, private lesson fees or laboratory charges.  Students receiving the PBS discount do not qualify for other Southwestern Scholarships.

Need-Based Scholarships

3-Way Match Scholarship

A 3-Way Scholarship allows a student’s family, church or a concerned person, and Southwestern Adventist University scholarship funds to assist with payment of the Southwestern student account.  It is the responsibility of the student to obtain a commitment from two different sources. Thus, contributions of $500 each from two different sources may be matched by $500 from the university.  While $500 is the maximum award, smaller 3-Way donations can also be matched. Funds will be matched only after the deadline. (Fall: December 1 & Spring: April 1). All funds must be recieved prior to deadline.

Callicott Scholarship

The Callicott Scholarship is available to students who may need assistance after federal, state, and institutional aid.  Students who are candidates must be working, placing earnings on their accounts, have applied for federal/state grants and loans for which they are eligible, and have a minimum GPA of 2.0.  This scholarship is awarded late in the semester.

Southwestern Union Educational Endowment Scholarship

The Southwestern Union Educational Endowment Scholarship is given only to Seventh-day Adventist students who are actively involved in ministry within the Southwestern Union Conference territory. Applications may be obtained through the Student Finance Office. A limited number of these scholarships are available, and applicants will be individually evaluated as to eligibility. Yearly awards range from $300-$1,000.

Further information regarding scholarship details

SU Grant/Scholarship

Eligibility for this grant is determined by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is for non-Texas residents whose Expected Family Contribution is between zero and $18,775. SU grants are from $1500 to $3200.

Tuition Assistance Resources

External Scholarship Search

SWAU Financial Services: This site has been created to assist our students begin their search for additional funds to help with tuition cost. Click here to learn more.

College-related Federal Tax Benefits

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service offers the following credits, deductions, and other tax benefits to families with individuals enrolled in, saving for, or paying off college – see what you qualify for: Internal Revenue Service Web site.

American Opportunity Tax Credit

You can get a maximum annual credit of $2,500 per eligible student. If the credit brings the amount of tax you owe to zero, you can have 40 percent of any remaining amount of the credit (up to $1,000) refunded to you.

Lifetime Learning credit

Up to $2,000/yr.

Student loan interest deduction

Up to $2,500/yr. for life of loan

Student loan cancellations and repayment assistance

Some loan forgiveness programs have tax-free status, so the IRS won't count the loan forgiveness award as taxable income.

Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA)

Can contribute up to $2,000/yr. until the age of 18

Qualified Tuition Programs ("529 plans")

Can contribute up to the amount of qualified education expenses

Education Exception to Additional Tax on Early IRA Distributions

Can take a distribution from your IRA before age 59 1/2 without having to pay 10% penalty if money is used for qualified education expenses

Education savings bond program

Qualified U.S. savings bonds can be cashed without including the interest from the bonds as taxable income if the bond is used to pay for qualified education expenses

Employer-provided educational assistance

Employers can exclude up to $5,250 of the educational assistance each year from the employee's taxable income

For more information about these tax benefits, review the IRS's most recent Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Education at IRS.