February 25, 2024
fisk university scholarships
Fisk University offers scholarships and grants, including full rides, for freshmen and transfers.

Fisk University offers a variety of merit-based, need-based, and talent-based scholarships to help students fund their education. The major scholarship programs include the Fisk Academic Merit Scholarship, Fisk Talent Scholarships, Fisk Legacy Scholarships, and the Fisk Need-Based Grant.

The Fisk Academic Merit Scholarship is awarded based on a student’s GPA and standardized test scores like the SAT and ACT. Awards range from $5,000 to $25,000 per year. The Fisk Talent Scholarships are available to students who demonstrate exceptional talent in music and the arts. These renewable scholarships can cover up to the full cost of tuition.

To be considered for scholarships, students must complete the Fisk University scholarship application usually available in the fall. The priority deadline is November 1st for freshmen and December 1st for transfer students. Late or incomplete applications may not be considered. Students must also submit the FAFSA by the priority deadline to be eligible for need-based aid.

Scholarships are renewable for up to 4 years as long as students meet the minimum GPA and program requirements. Incoming freshmen should have at least a 3.0 high school GPA and submit SAT/ACT scores to qualify for merit scholarships. Overall, Fisk offers a generous scholarship program to help make college affordable for qualified students.

Merit-Based Scholarships

Fisk University offers several prestigious merit-based scholarships for incoming freshmen based on academic achievement in high school. These renewable scholarships can provide generous funding for four years of study at Fisk.

Presidential Scholarship

The Presidential Scholarship is the most prestigious merit scholarship awarded by Fisk University, granted to a select number of outstanding incoming freshmen each year. To qualify, students typically need:

  • Minimum 3.75 GPA
  • Minimum 30 ACT score (1360 SAT)
  • Record of leadership and community service

The Presidential Scholarship covers full tuition, fees, room, and board at Fisk University. This scholarship has a value of over $50,000 per year.

Provost Scholarship

The Provost Scholarship is awarded to incoming freshmen who demonstrate excellent academic achievement. Typical requirements are:

  • Minimum 3.5 GPA
  • Minimum 28 ACT (1250 SAT)

The Provost Scholarship provides up to $40,000 towards the cost of attendance per year.

Dean’s Scholarship

The Dean’s Scholarship recognizes incoming freshmen who have strong high school performance. Eligible students usually have:

  • Minimum 3.2 GPA
  • Minimum 24 ACT (1080 SAT)

The Dean’s Scholarship covers up to $30,000 per year in tuition assistance.

Need-Based Scholarships

Need-based scholarships and grants are awarded based on a student’s demonstrated financial need. These options can help provide access to a Fisk education for students from lower-income households.

Fisk Grant

The Fisk Grant is awarded by the university to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. To be eligible, students must complete the FAFSA and demonstrate significant financial need based on their EFC. Award amounts range from $2,000 to $5,000 per year based on individual circumstances.

Federal & State Grants

Fisk students may qualify for federal and state grants such as the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, and Tennessee Grant. The Pell Grant awards up to $6,895 annually to low-income students. FSEOG provides grants between $100 and $4,000 per year. And the Tennessee Grant gives up to $4,000 per year to Tennessee residents.

Eligibility & Amounts

To receive need-based grants and scholarships, students must complete the FAFSA each year demonstrating financial need. Award amounts vary based on need, cost of attendance, and available funding. On average, need-based aid recipients at Fisk receive between $5,000-$15,000 in free aid.

Talent-Based Scholarships

Fisk University offers a range of scholarships for talented students in music, art, and theatre. These competitive scholarships are awarded based on a review of the student’s audition, portfolio, and academic qualifications.

Music Scholarships

The Department of Music at Fisk University awards talent scholarships to incoming students based on auditions. Scholarships are available for all instruments and voice types. To qualify, applicants must have previous music performance experience and strong musicianship skills. Auditions are held on campus and may include prepared pieces as well as sight-reading evaluations. Music scholarship recipients are required to participate in department ensembles and maintain a minimum GPA. Award amounts range from $1,000 to full tuition.

Art Scholarships

Students can apply for the annual Fisk University Art Scholarship by submitting a portfolio of their work. A faculty committee reviews portfolios and awards scholarships up to full tuition to talented visual artists. Applicants are evaluated on their potential for growth, commitment to the arts, and the overall quality of their portfolio. Works in any medium are accepted, including drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, and mixed media.

Theatre Scholarships

Theatre scholarships are awarded to incoming students based on acting auditions and theatrical experience. Applicants should prepare two contrasting monologues showcasing their acting range. The theatre faculty looks for strong stage presence, emotional depth, and characterization in audition performances. Previous acting experience is beneficial but not required. Theatre scholarship amounts range from $500 per semester to full tuition coverage.

Tennessee State Scholarship

The Tennessee State Scholarship is awarded to residents of Tennessee who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree at Fisk University. To qualify for this scholarship, students must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a resident of Tennessee
  • Be a incoming freshman pursuing your first bachelor’s degree
  • Have a minimum high school GPA of 3.0
  • Achieve a minimum ACT composite score of 21 (SAT equivalent of 980)

The Tennessee State Scholarship amount varies depending on financial need and available funding each year. Generally, the award amount ranges from $1,000 to $5,500 per academic year.

To apply for the Tennessee State Scholarship, incoming freshmen do not need to submit a separate application. You will automatically be considered for this scholarship when you submit the FAFSA form and are admitted to Fisk University as a Tennessee resident. The school will determine eligibility based on your academic credentials and demonstrated financial need.

Outside Scholarships

In addition to the scholarships offered directly by Fisk University, there are many outside scholarships available that current and prospective students can apply for. These are awarded by external organizations, community groups, employers, and more. Pursuing these outside scholarships can be a great way to help fund your education at Fisk.

Alumni Sponsored Scholarships

Many Fisk University alumni want to give back to their alma mater by funding scholarships for current students. There are several alumni groups and individuals that offer annual scholarship awards to Fisk students who meet certain criteria. These are competitive awards that you must apply and interview for separately from the Fisk admission process.

Alumni scholarships can range from $1,000 to full-tuition awards depending on the sponsor. Criteria may include academic merit, financial need, community service, leadership potential, and more. Examples of alumni scholarships include the Vivian Henderson Scholarship, the Class of 1965 Scholarship, and the Fisk Atlanta Alumni Chapter Scholarship.

External Scholarships

Beyond Fisk alumni, many external organizations and charitable foundations provide scholarships to students attending Fisk University. These are National organizations that have established scholarship programs for underserved students and often cap awards at $5,000 per year.

Some examples are the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) scholarships, Jackie Robinson Foundation awards, Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship, and Gates Millennium Scholars program. Students typically apply directly through the sponsor organizations and go through a competitive evaluation process for selection.

Local Community Scholarships

Your own local community likely has scholarship programs available too. Many civic organizations, churches, employers, credit unions, and other groups offer scholarships, especially to graduating high school seniors from their region. These can provide funding earmarked specifically for students from that community attending Fisk University.

Check with your high school guidance counselor, local library, and community organizations to find out what local scholarships you can apply for. These usually range from $500 to $2,000 awards. With some diligent searching, combining several local scholarships can add up and make a significant dent in your Fisk tuition.

Scholarships for Transfer Students

Transfer students can qualify for a number of merit-based and need-based scholarships at Fisk University. Fisk offers generous scholarship opportunities to make education accessible and affordable for all students.


To be eligible for transfer scholarships, students typically need:

  • A minimum college GPA of 3.0 from all previous institutions
  • At least 24 transferable college credits
  • FAFSA submitted and demonstrated financial need

Additionally, some scholarships may have specific eligibility criteria like pursuing certain majors, Tennessee residency, or coming from community colleges. Transfer students are encouraged to thoroughly review all scholarship descriptions to determine eligibility.

Application Process

Transfer students can apply for Fisk University scholarships by:

  • Completing the general admissions application
  • Submitting the Fisk Transfer Scholarship Application by February 1
  • Including a resume and personal essay

No separate scholarship application is required for some scholarships. The admissions application and supporting materials will be reviewed for eligibility.

Award Amounts

Fisk University aims to meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for eligible transfer students. Award amounts vary based on the specific scholarship programs:

  • Academic Merit Scholarships award $10,000 to $15,000 per year based on GPA
  • Need-based grants range from $2,000 to full-tuition awards
  • Talent scholarships award up to full tuition for art, music, and other talents

By completing the FAFSA and scholarship applications, transfer students can piece together funding to cover most if not all of their costs at Fisk University.

Scholarships for International Students

International students make up over 20% of the student population at Fisk University. The school is dedicated to making education accessible and affordable for talented students from around the globe through targeted financial aid. Here’s what international students need to know about scholarships at Fisk:


To be eligible for scholarships as an international student, you must:

  • Be accepted for admission at Fisk University
  • Have a valid student visa
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress

Some scholarships may have additional eligibility criteria related to your country of origin, field of study, or extracurricular interests and accomplishments.

Award Amounts

Scholarship amounts for international students can vary greatly:

  • Merit-based scholarships typically range from $5,000 to $15,000 per year based on academic achievements. Students with exceptional GPAs may qualify for awards up to full tuition.
  • Need-based grants are awarded based on financial need and family income, and usually range between $2,000-$10,000 per year.
  • Talent-based scholarships in music, art, athletics, and other areas provide up to $5,000 per year.

The Fisk Jubilee Singers Scholarship is a prestigious full-tuition scholarship for international vocal music students.

Application Process

  • No separate scholarship application is required. You are automatically considered for all eligible institutional aid when you apply for admission.
  • To be considered for need-based aid, international applicants must complete the CSS Profile financial aid application.
  • Check for deadlines, but most Fisk University scholarships for international students have a deadline of November 15th.
  • Reach out to the admissions office if you have any questions about scholarships for international students.

Scholarship Essays

Scholarship essays are a critical part of the application process for many Fisk University scholarships. You’ll need to submit well-written essays that help showcase your qualifications for the scholarship. Here are some key tips:

Review the Essay Prompts Thoroughly – Make sure you understand what each essay prompt is asking you to write about. Some will have you write about your background and interests, while others will ask you to respond to a specific quote or question.

Brainstorm and Outline Your Answers – Don’t just jump in to writing. Take time to brainstorm ideas and create an outline mapping out your main points and examples for each essay. This helps ensure your essays stay focused and on-topic.

Show, Don’t Tell – Avoid simply listing accomplishments. Use vivid examples and stories to showcase your background, abilities, and passion for your intended major. Help the scholarship committee get to know you.

Be Personal and Authentic – Draw on your own experiences and perspectives. Use your own voice rather than trying to sound overly formal or stuffy. Expressing your unique personality provides a memorable essay.

Proofread Carefully – Be sure to leave time to thoroughly proofread each essay. Check for typos, grammar issues, and awkward phrasing. Read essays aloud to catch any errors.

With thoughtful preparation and compelling, authentic essays, you can help convince the scholarship committees to invest in you!

Other Financial Aid Options

In addition to scholarships, Fisk University offers other forms of financial aid to help students pay for college. These include federal and state aid programs, institutional aid directly from Fisk, and payment plan options.

Federal Student Aid

The main source of federal aid is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). By completing the FAFSA, students can qualify for federal grants, work-study opportunities, and low-interest loans. Key programs include:

  • Federal Pell Grants – Need-based grants up to $6,895 per year
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants – Additional need-based aid
  • Federal Work-Study – Part-time campus jobs to earn money
  • Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans – Low fixed interest rates

Completing the FAFSA is essential for accessing this federal aid. The FAFSA becomes available every October 1st for the next academic year.

State Financial Aid

Students from Tennessee may qualify for aid directly from the state, such as the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship and TSAA Grant. Eligibility is based on being a Tennessee resident, meeting academic requirements, and filing the FAFSA.

Institutional Aid

Fisk University offers its own financial aid including grants, scholarships, and loans. Institutional aid does not have to be repaid. The amount awarded depends on financial need and other factors.

Payment Plans

Fisk allows families to spread out tuition payments over the course of the semester. Instead of one lump sum, families can make monthly installments. Plans vary from 3-6 payments per semester. Payment plan options help ease the financial burden for many families.

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