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First Scholars Basic Eligibility Criteria

Participating in First Scholars® includes a four-year renewable scholarships of $5,000 to incoming first-time, full-time freshmen whose parents did not attend more than two years of college. If that description fits your background, you may be eligible for this program.

To receive a scholarship from us, you must:

  • Must be a first generation college student (neither parent earned more than two years of education beyond high school and no post-secondary degree).
  • Be an incoming first-time, full-time freshman.
  • Apply and be admitted to the University of Memphis.
  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Perform in the mid-range of the university's admission standards.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or qualified non-citizen and be eligible for in-state student tuition.
  • Intend to live on campus and apply for campus housing by the required dates.
  • Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 1, 2013.
  • Complete the Student Strengths InventoryTM, a non-academic assessment of your potential for success.
  • Be willing to fully participate in the First Scholars® Program and activities over 4 years.

The First Scholars® award cannot be combined with other University of Memphis scholarships or scholarship programs.

First Scholars® will be selected based on our eligibility criteria and the results of the SSI. If you're selected, First Scholars® will provide you with opportunities to maximize your success in college and help you create an individualized plan to guide you.


As a First Scholar® you will be granted up to three additional one-year scholarships toward your undergraduate studies, provided you meet the following criteria:

  • Maintain full-time student status (as defined by the U of M).*
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Demonstrate satisfactory academic progress.
  • Demonstrate your commitment and full involvement in developing and following your individualized strategic plan, including participation in all required activities.
  • Live on campus or outside the family home after the freshman year
  • Complete your Pay-It-Forward requirement.

* Although the University of Memphis considers 12 hours to be full-time status, First Scholars® should maintain 15 hours per semester in order to stay on track for graduation in 4 years.


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Last Updated: 11/7/12