Scholarships and Assistance

Academic Scholarships

SMU academic scholarships have been named among the best in the U.S. by The Student Guide to America’s Best College Scholarships. You will be considered automatically for these scholarships when you apply for admission. SMU has specific scholarships available for National Merit Scholars, International Baccalaureate Diploma candidates and many other scholarships for our top applicants. Additionally, Dedman College, Cox School of Business, Lyle School of Engineering, Meadows School of the Arts and Simmons School of Education and Human Development offer scholarships to selected students who express an interest in a major in those schools.

The President’s Scholars Program
President’s Scholarships are awarded to students who have shown exemplary academic skills, and is SMU's most prestigious merit-based scholarship. The award is full tuition and fees plus study abroad. Students who live on campus also receive a scholarship for room and board. For consideration, students must have exceptional achievement on the SAT or ACT and in their high school curriculum.

The Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt Leadership Scholars Program
Hunt Leadership Scholarships are awarded to students with extraordinary leadership qualities and strong academic performance. Students selected as Hunt Leadership Scholars for the Class of 2026 will receive an annual Hunt Scholarship of $46,000, or a total of $184,000 over four years. The award also includes airfare and tuition costs for any courses during an international, leadership-based experience immediately following each scholar's sophomore year. An additional essay is required. Click here to complete the online Hunt Leadership Scholars Application.

Provost Scholarship, SMU Distinguished Scholarship, Second Century Scholarship, 
University Scholarship

The Provost Scholarship, SMU Distinguished Scholarship, Second Century Scholarship and the University Scholarship are awarded to those students who have demonstrated outstanding academic success throughout high school – most importantly by presenting a combination of high school grades and standardized test scores that together place them among the top students applying to SMU each year. Students selected as a Provost, SMU Distinguished, Second Century or University Scholar are recognized as potential leaders in the classroom at SMU. This designation is based on information submitted in the application for admission and may be updated by sending additional SAT or ACT scores directly from The College Board or ACT, Inc. respectively. These scholarship offers are typically included in a student’s admission packet.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Scholars
Students who complete the IB Diploma Program will receive a $7,500 per academic year scholarship. This scholarship may be combined with other scholarship or grant aid from SMU, but in no case can the combination of institutional aid exceed Tuition and Fees for that academic year.

Learn more about academic scholarships.

Need-based Assistance

Your financial situation is unique, so we offer a variety of options to meet your needs. These include SMU Opportunity Awards as well as state and federal sources of financial assistance, depending on financial need and residency. An undergraduate’s average need-based loan amount is $4,640 annually.

Start Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
For U.S. and dual citizens and permanent residents to be eligible for federal and state sources of aid, the first step is to submit the FAFSA. You must complete a FAFSA each year for continued consideration for state and federal financial aid. List SMU as your school of choice on the FAFSA. SMU’s school code is 003613. Submit your FAFSA by January 15 for priority consideration for need-based awards.

Start Your College Scholarship Service CSS Profile™
For SMU-funded aid, you also must submit a CSS Profile™ financial aid application to the College Board. This application will give our financial aid advisors more information to further determine your eligibility for university need-based aid. List SMU as your school of choice on the CSS Profile™, and use the code 6660. There is a $25 cost for completing the CSS Profile™. Submit your CSS Profile™ by January 15 for priority consideration for need-based awards.

Dallas County Promise Scholarship
The Promise Scholarship is awarded in partnership with the Dallas County Promise program to provide a college education to students graduating from eligible high schools in Dallas County. The SMU partnership specifically seeks to identify future leaders of Dallas County and provide them an opportunity to earn an SMU degree. SMU will select up to five (5) high school seniors to receive a two-year Promise Scholarship. This is a last-dollar scholarship (combined with other grants and scholarships) to provide full tuition and fees. Learn the full eligibility requirements and conditions here. 

Grants and loans

Grants and loans that may be a part of your SMU financial package include:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • TEXAS Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG)
  • Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan
  • Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  • SMU Need-Based Grant

Off-campus scholarships

If an adjustment to a need-based financial aid package is necessary, the outside scholarship will be used first to replace a student's earnings expectation, Federal Work Study and Subsidized Stafford loans before reducing SMU need-based assistance. All outside scholarships will be split 50/50 between fall and spring semester unless otherwise instructed by the donor/foundation. If you are receiving some form of outside scholarship, download the Outside Scholarship Form (PDF) and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.

Student employment 

National studies show that college students who work part time benefit financially, sharpen their time management skills and are more likely to remain in school. SMU student employees are paid biweekly, and earnings are not applied to University invoice costs. 

Work options at SMU include: