Academic scholarships

Scholarship Awards are offered based on academic performance only.

There is no separate application or separate deadline for scholarships. Applicants are evaluated for highest performance within the applicant pool using the Common Application. Applicants using Spring Transfer, Early Decision I, Early Action, and Fall Transfer admission programs are considered for scholarships.

2016–17 Scholarships:


Benedict Scholarship (2 awarded)

Full tuition, fees, room and board annually (renewable with satisfactory academic progress for ≈ $218,000 total)


Wilkins Scholarship (100 awarded)

$20,000 annually (renewable with satisfactory academic progress for $80,000 total)


Quintard Award (Number of awards determined annually)

$15,500 annually (renewable with satisfactory academic progress for $62,000 total)


Fairbanks Award (Number of awards determined annually)

$13,500 annually (renewable with satisfactory academic progress for $54,000 total)


Otey Award (Number of awards determined annually)

$8,000 annually (renewable with satisfactory academic progress for $32,000 total)


Lancaster Award (Number of awards determined annually):

$5,000 annually (renewable with satisfactory academic progress for $20,000 total)


Georgia4 Scholarship:

$4,000 annually ($16,000 total): all students admitted from Georgia.

Fellowship in the Arts

The Fellowships in the Arts are awarded to candidates with interests and accomplishments in visual studies, art history, film, dance, theatre, or music.

  • Candidates in Dance, Music, Theatre, ArtArt History, and Visual Studies must submit the Fellowship in the Arts Application by Dec. 1.
  • Applicants must apply for the Early Decision I or Early Action admission round to be considered for a Fellowship in the Arts.
  • 2017–18 Scholarships: $5,000-$20,000


Most applicants to Sewanee may choose to submit or withhold standardized test scores.

  • All students except homeschooled students may apply as test-optional candidates.
  • There is no disadvantage to applying without submitting your test scores. Test-optional applicants and test-submitting applicants are considered for admission and scholarship equally.
  • Students applying test-optional may be asked to submit additional information.
  • Test-optional admission is most advantageous for students whose standardized test scores are not commensurate with their high in-class academic performance.

Application review

The Office of Admission uses a holistic review process that evaluates students’ potential to succeed in Sewanee’s rigorous curriculum and close-knit community.

  • Your admission counselor is the first person to review your application.
  • A review of your engagement with the Office of Admission through campus visits, college fairs, off-campus appointments, high school visits, fall calls, etc. is part of the application review process.
  • Recommended high school preparation: 1) Four years of English; 2) Two or more years of a foreign language; 3) Three or more years of math, including Algebra I, Algebra II and geometry; 4) Two or more years of laboratory science; 5) Two or more years of social science, including history; 6) Strong high school performance demonstrating consistent or increasing strength in coursework.
  • Recommended Common Application performance: 1) Essay written clearly and passionately; 2) Extracurricular activities such as clubs, sports, church groups, or work experience with demonstrated leadership; 3) Two positive recommendations: one from a junior/senior core curriculum teacher, one from a school counselor, and up to two recommendations from church leaders, work supervisors, or volunteer coordinators; 4) Competitive ACT/SAT scores for students who choose to submit them.


Decisions are provided to applicants via postal mail and/or online on different dates depending on admission program used by the student.

Admit: Allowed to enroll unconditionally with satisfactory performance through graduation of high school or current academic program.

Defer: No decision at the time of notification. This decision allows for the Office of Admission to more fully consider an application.

Wait list: Qualified for admission but not admitted due to limited capacity.

  • Applicants who wish to accept a spot on the wait list should complete the Wait List Confirmation Form, demonstrate their interest in Sewanee by communicating with their admission counselor, send all updated grades to Sewanee, and verify that they have completed the need-based financial aid process, if applicable. Applicants admitted from the wait list will have 72 hours to respond to the offer of admission.
  • In 2011–15, on average 540 applicants were offered positions on the wait list and 18 were admitted from the wait list.
  • Details: 1) Students are not assigned ranks on the wait list. 2) Offers of admission from the wait list are usually made between April 15 and July 1. 3) Limited need-based financial aid is available for students admitted from the wait list so admission from the list is need-aware; no scholarships are available 4) Housing is guaranteed for students admitted from the wait list.
  • Contact: Lisa Burns, associate dean of admission

Deny: Not allowed to enroll.

First-year applicants

First-year applicants are students who plan to enroll at Sewanee as first-time college students.

  • Application checklist: 1) Completed Common Application; 2) Official high school transcript; 3) Two recommendations: one from a junior/senior core curriculum teacher, one from a school counselor—completed using the Common Application; 4) ACT/SAT scores for students who choose to submit them; 5) Mid-year grade report when available—completed using the Common Application.
  • Early Decision I and Early Decision II applicants must submit the Early Decision Agreement Form.
  • Homeschooled applicants must submit the Common Application School Report.

Transfer applicants

Transfer applicants are students who have graduated from high school and earned credits at an accredited higher education institution since graduating from high school but before the expected date of entry into Sewanee and who wish to complete their college coursework at the University of the South.

  • Application checklist: 1) Completed Common Application including essay due Nov. 15 (for spring semester) and April 1 (for fall semester); 2) Official transcripts from high school and all colleges attended; 3) A cumulative college grade point average of 3.0 (B) or above on a 4.0 scale; 4) Statement of Reasons for Transferring—completed using the Common Application; 5) Statement of Good Standing—from dean of students or similar official at your current college (or last college attended) 5) Recommendation from a college instructor (Academic Evaluation).
  • Contact: Nancy York Mann, C’11, coordinator of transfer admission.

International applicants

An international applicant is one who is not a U.S. citizen. The University of the South is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students. Please be sure to review our application requirements for all incoming students. 

Additional Application Requirements
  • If English is not your native language, proof of English proficiency as demonstrated by performance on TOEFL or IELTS (testing code: 1842)
  • College Board Certification of Finances
  • If applying for financial aid, a completed College Board ISFAA;
  • If applying for financial aid, a completed International Student Grant Essay. 

These forms should be submitted on your Applicant Status Page. Login information will be sent after you submit your Common Application to Sewanee. 

Contact: International Enrollment Coordinator, Tim Neil

Merit-based Scholarships

International students are eligible for merit-based scholarships simply by submitting their completed application. These scholarships range from $5,000 to full tuition, room, and board. 

International Student Grant Program
International students seeking need-based financial assistance should apply for admission and for the International Student Grant Program. Complete the International Grant Essay on your Applicant Status Page after you have submitted your common application to Sewanee. The grants awarded through this program range from $5,000 to full tuition, room, and board.
Review Process
  • All international students educated outside of the U.S. will be reviewed by the International Enrollment Coordinator, Tim Neil
  • All international students educated inside of the U.S. wil be reviewed first by their territory admission counselor and then by the International Enrollment Coordinator. 
  • International students interested in transfer admission should review transfer information
Additional Information

Because application processes differ so greatly from school to school and country to country, we recommend that international students review the information on EduPass and other online resources (Education USA, Study in the States, etc.) to familliarize themselves with everything from cultural differences to the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). 

Students who are still under eighteen years of age by Aug 1, 2018 will need to have a parent sign and return a Medical Release form and should have an adult in the U.S. appointed as a Power of Attorney until the student reaches the age of eighteen. 



Homeschool applicants

A homeschool applicant is one who is completing high school education in a nontraditional way (e.g. traditional homeschooling, co-op schooling, virtual schooling, etc.).

  • Homeschool students must submit standardized test (ACT or SAT) scores.
  • Homeschool students’ letters of recommendation should be submitted by external educators (e.g. professor, tutor, teacher, etc.) rather than by internal educators (e.g. immediate family members, etc.).
  • Homeschool applicants must complete a phone interview. Scheduling instructions will be made available after the application has been submitted.
  • Additional materials required for homeschool applicants: 1) Standardized test scores; 2) Phone interview; 3) Common Application School Report.
  • Contact: Karen Gardner, coordinator of homeschool admission.

Gap years

Apply for a Gap Year

Admitted students may apply to defer enrollment for a full academic year, a gap year, to work, travel, or pursue other productive interim opportunities. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and not granted automatically.

  • Students who wish to defer enrollment should: 1) Pay the standard enrollment deposit of $500 by the deadline provided in the offer of admission. 2) Submit a Gap Year Application 3) Upon receipt of approval, send an additional deposit of $1,000 ($1,500 total, standard and additional).
  • Cost of attendance for students deferring enrollment will be set at the rate used during the academic year in which they matriculate.
  • Scholarships awarded to students deferring enrollment are retained for one year.
  • Students are not permitted to pursue college coursework for credit during the deferral period.
  • Contact: Lisa Burns, associate dean of admission

Programs and Organizations

Below are a few programs our students have worked with in the past. Feel free to use this list as a starting place or branch out and find your own opportunities.

International Experience
Outdoor Exploration
Service and Outreach
Work or Internships
Carpe Diem Education National Outdoor Leadership School Camps International KIVU Gap Year
Cross-Cultural Solutions Outward Bound City Year  
Rustic Pathways Pacific Discovery The Leap  
Thinking Beyond Borders Ridge Mountain Academy    

Back on the Mountain: What Happens When You Return? 

Sewanee is committed to supporting each of our gap year students from the moment they receive their letter of admittance, to the moment they receive their diploma. For us, this means connecting each student with faculty and staff who are available to offer guidance and support during their year abroad, but will also help facilitate a smooth transition when the student returns as a Sewanee student. Similarly, gap year students will be paired with student mentors who will act as contacts, advisors, and friendly faces throughout the entire process. Immediately upon their arrival on campus, gap year students will be offered the opportunity to participate in Sewanee’s “Finding Your Place” residential program, during which some of Sewanee’s most experienced and renowned faculty members provide entering students with a profound and intimate knowledge of Sewanee by closely engaging with its biology and geology, its community and history, through field trips, service, readings, writing, and small-group discussions.