“What does a student need to do to be eligible for merit-based scholarships?”
That question elicits a variety of responses from different colleges and universities. A number of schools do not offer any merit-based awards, some universities require counselors to nominate students for special awards, and other colleges require students to complete an additional application. At Wake Forest, we want to consider as many students as possible for our selective scholarships, and that is why our admissions application doubles as a merit-based application for most of our academic awards, including our signature awards (i.e., Carswell, Gordon, Reynolds, and Stamps Scholarships).
Students wishing to be considered for most merit-based awards at Wake Forest need only submit a complete application for undergraduate admissions by November 15. Turning in the application by this priority deadline ensures that we have time to review an application for both admissions and scholarships. To be clear, students may still apply Regular Decision. We simply ask for this additional time to complete review for scholarships as well.
Some of our scholarships are merit within need in nature, and recipients will have to demonstrate that they are not only deserving of the award but also that their family qualifies for need-based aid. If you believe your family will qualify for need-based aid, it is important that your family submit the required need-based aid documents in a timely manner so that we may consider you for awards like the Heritage Scholarship.
Students with exceptional talents in art, dance, debate, music, or theatre are encouraged to apply or our talent-based scholarship, the Presidential Scholarship for Distinguished Achievement. These scholarships do require an additional application and supporting materials with preference for candidates who submit their material by November 15.
Finalists for our signature scholarships will receive an invitation to one of our scholarship weekends in February or March. Our smaller merit-based awards do not require a winter interview—and we notify recipients of these awards (and need-based financial aid) shortly after we release admissions decisions.
For more information on merit-based scholarships at Wake Forest, please visit our merit-based scholarship website.
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Admissions
Wake Forest University