Application Information

The President’s Scholarship will cover tuition and fees for eight consecutive fall and spring academic semesters (plus one summer education abroad) or graduation, whichever comes first. The President’s Scholarship cannot be extended to a fifth year. General Fees do not include special fees that are included with some course work. The President’s Scholarship does not pay for books, computers or parking. The President’s Scholarship does not cover expenses for May Term, Summer I, Summer II, August term, Jan-term, Alternative Spring Break, or special courses such as the Human Rights Pilgrimage (additional note below). The President’s Scholarship is increased as SMU tuition and fees are increased.

For more financial benefits click here

Students are automatically considered for the President's Scholarship by applying for admission to SMU. To become a President's Scholar candidate, a student must have:  

  • Exceptional achievement on the SAT or ACT*

  • A minimum of 20 high school academic units in a challenging curriculum, including AP/IB and honors courses, two years of a single foreign language, and advanced coursework in math and science

  • A high school rank in the top 10 percent of the graduating class

  • A demonstrated commitment to engagement in school and/or community activities

*SMU has adopted a temporary test-optional policy to ease student stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Spring and Fall 2022 applicants to SMU won’t have to submit standardized test scores. For more information, visit the following webpage.

Only students invited to interview will be notified. Students invited to interview usually exhibit a high degree of intellectual curiosity while pursuing the most rigorous high school coursework available and possess a record of exceptional school and/or community involvement. The median student invited to interview in recent years had SAT scores of 1500 (critical reading and math) and earned an academic un-weighted GPA of 4.0 (on a 4.0 scale).

* If the school does not rank students, then the expectation is a strong academic record.

January 15 Priority Deadline
You are encouraged to submit your completed application by the November 1 deadline, but you must complete and return your Application for Admission by January 15, which is the deadline for priority consideration for most SMU merit scholarships.

SMU faculty committees select about 60 finalists to be interviewed. Finalists will be notified via email.

All finalists are invited to campus for personal interviews.  Interviews are required for consideration for the President's Scholar award. Interview day for the Class of 2026 will be Friday, March 25.

SMU covers all expenses for meals and accommodations during the campus interview process.

In addition to meeting SMU President R. Gerald Turner at a reception and banquet, finalists meet with current President's Scholars, President's Scholars alumni, professors who teach in their area of academic interest, and others in the SMU community.

Recipients of President's Scholar awards are notified during the first week of April.  Each year, 20 to 25 entering first-year students are President's Scholars.

All students accepted to the university who meet the stated requirements will be considered for the President's Scholar award.  There is no separate application process or essay for the award.  To apply online, visit the SMU Admissions page.  For more information concerning admission, other merit scholarships and financial aid, or for an application, contact

SMU Division of Enrollment Services
PO Box 750181
Dallas, TX  75275-0181