Kennesaw State University offers a variety of scholarships and financial aid to help students fund their education. Scholarships can range from a few hundred dollars to covering your full tuition and more. This guide will provide an overview of the scholarships available at KSU, tips for applying, and resources to help you through the process.
Whether you’re an incoming freshman, current undergraduate, or graduate student, there are scholarship opportunities for you. KSU awards scholarships based on academic merit, athletic ability, community service, financial need, and other criteria. Some scholarships are offered directly through KSU, while others come from external organizations and the KSU Foundation.
The key to scholarship success is starting your search early and casting a wide net. Apply for as many scholarships as possible that you may qualify for, from small awards of a few hundred dollars to large, competitive scholarships. Even relatively small awards add up and reduce your overall college costs. The KSU scholarship application process involves creating a profile in ScholarshipUniverse, submitting a FAFSA, writing essays, securing letters of recommendation, and maintaining your academic standing.
Use this guide to understand the scholarships you should consider at each stage of your college career, learn insider tips to strengthen your applications, and discover the resources available to help you succeed. With scholarship opportunities from KSU and beyond, you can make college more affordable.
Merit-Based Scholarships at KSU
Merit-based scholarships at Kennesaw State University recognize students based on their academic achievement, test scores and talents. These scholarships do not consider financial need, but rather reward students for strong school performance.
Here are some of the top merit scholarships offered by KSU:
- Horatio Alger Scholarship: Covers full tuition and fees for students who have demonstrated integrity, perseverance, financial need and academic achievement. Recipients must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and 26 ACT/1200 SAT score.
- Zell Miller Scholarship: For Georgia residents with a 3.7 high school GPA and 1200 SAT or 26 ACT score. Provides full tuition funding. Students must maintain a 3.3 GPA in college to renew.
- HOPE Scholarship: Available to Georgia residents with a 3.0 high school GPA. Provides partial tuition funding based on the current rates set by the state legislature. Renewal requires maintaining a 3.0 GPA in college.
- Freshman Academic Scholarships: Awards range from $1,000 to $3,500 per year for incoming freshmen based on high school GPA and test scores. Renewable for up to 8 semesters by maintaining a 2.75 – 3.0 GPA at KSU.
- Talent Scholarships: Awarded to students excelling in athletics, visual arts, music, journalism, theatre, and other talents. Award amounts vary. Requires audition and/or application materials and minimum high school GPA.
- National Merit Finalists and Semi-Finalists: Receive $1,000 per year, renewable for up to 8 semesters. Finalists may also be eligible for full-tuition Presidential Scholarship.
To apply for merit scholarships at KSU, students should submit admissions application materials, FAFSA, and any required audition/portfolio items by the priority deadline. Contact KSU Admissions for full eligibility and application details.
Need-Based Scholarships at KSU
Kennesaw State University offers a variety of need-based scholarships and grants for students who demonstrate financial need. To determine eligibility for need-based aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.
The FAFSA takes your family’s financial information into account to calculate your expected family contribution (EFC). Students with a lower EFC are awarded more need-based aid.
Some of the need-based scholarships and grants at KSU include:
- Federal Pell Grants – Pell Grants are awarded by the federal government to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. Awards range from $650 to $6,195 per year based on your EFC.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant – The FSEOG provides awards between $100 and $4,000 per year for students with the greatest financial need. Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients.
- TEACH Grant – The TEACH Grant provides up to $4,000 per year for undergraduate and graduate students planning to teach in high-need fields at schools serving low-income families. Recipients must agree to teach for at least 4 years.
- ACG and SMART Grants – These federal grants provide $750-$4,000 per year for college juniors, seniors, and graduate students who are Pell-eligible and studying high demand fields like math, science, technology, engineering and foreign languages.
- Kennesaw State University Grants – KSU offers institutional grants based on financial need, with award amounts varying by your EFC. Grants are available for both undergraduate and graduate students.
Be sure to meet all deadlines and application requirements to be considered for need-based scholarships and grants. Completing the FAFSA by the priority deadline each year is key.
KSU Foundation Scholarships
The Kennesaw State University Foundation offers a wide array of privately funded scholarships for KSU students. These scholarships are made possible through the generous donations of alumni, faculty, staff, and community partners who want to support Kennesaw State students.
KSU Foundation scholarships are awarded based on specific criteria set forth by the donor. Each scholarship has unique eligibility requirements in terms of field of study, merit criteria like GPA or test scores, demonstrated financial need, or other factors. Some KSU Foundation scholarships are open to all majors, while others are designated for specific colleges or academic programs.
A few examples of current KSU Foundation scholarships include:
- The Goodman Family Honors Scholarship: Awarded to students in the Honors College with a 3.5 GPA or higher. Preference given to first-generation college students.
- The James V. Carmichael Scholarship: Provides scholarships to deserving accounting students in the Coles College of Business.
- The Singleton Scholarship: Awards scholarships to junior and senior Criminal Justice majors.
- The Judith Hall Memorial Scholarship: Offers scholarships for Nursing majors based on merit and financial need.
To be considered for KSU Foundation scholarships, students must submit a separate Foundation Scholarship application in addition to the FAFSA and general KSU scholarship application. The application deadline is typically in early spring for awards disbursed the following academic year. The Foundation’s website lists specific deadlines and has the scholarship application available when open.
KSU Foundation scholarships can make a significant difference in out-of-pocket costs, allowing students to graduate with less debt. All admitted and current students are encouraged to apply for these awards. With new scholarships established often, there are always fresh opportunities opening up.
Scholarships for Current KSU Students
Kennesaw State University offers a variety of scholarships specifically for students who are currently enrolled. These scholarships help provide funding to both undergraduate and graduate students to help them continue their education at KSU.
There are numerous scholarships available to current undergraduates at KSU based on academic merit, financial need, field of study, athletics, campus involvement, and more. Here are some of the top scholarships KSU undergraduates should consider applying for:
- KSU Academic Scholarships – For current students with high GPAs, covering a portion of tuition. Awards range from $500 to $2,000 per semester based on academic achievement.
- KSU Foundation Scholarships – The KSU Foundation offers over 300 scholarship funds for current KSU students meeting certain criteria. Awards typically range from $500 – $5,000 per year.
- HOPE Scholarship – Georgia residents who maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher can qualify for the HOPE Scholarship, which covers a portion of tuition costs.
- Zell Miller Scholarship – The top HOPE Scholarship, covering full tuition for Georgia residents with a 3.7 high school GPA and 1200 SAT score (or 26 ACT score).
- KSU Leadership Scholarships – For students involved on campus, in student organizations, athletics, Greek Life, student government, etc. Award amounts vary.
- KSU Departmental Scholarships – Many academic departments at KSU offer scholarships to current majors in their programs. Review your department’s website for opportunities.
Current graduate students at KSU can apply for the following aid:
- Graduate Research Assistantships – Receive a tuition waiver and stipend to work with faculty on research projects related to your field of study.
- Graduate Teaching Assistantships – Receive tuition remission and a stipend to assist professors with instructing undergraduate courses.
- KSU Foundation Scholarships – Like undergrads, graduate students can apply for relevant scholarship funds through the Foundation.
- Departmental Scholarships and Fellowships – Check with your graduate program, as many offer scholarship and fellowship opportunities for current students.
- External Fellowships – Apply for nationally competitive fellowships like the Fulbright Grant Program to fund your graduate studies.
Scholarships for Transfer Students
Kennesaw State University offers several scholarships specifically for incoming transfer students. These scholarships help make the transition to KSU more affordable.
- The KSU Transfer Academic Excellence Scholarship is a $1,000 renewable scholarship awarded to students who transfer to KSU with a 3.5 GPA or higher. To renew it, you must maintain a 3.0 GPA.
- The Transfer Academic Achievement Scholarship is a $2,000 renewable scholarship for transfer students who had a 3.0 GPA at their previous institution. You must uphold a 2.75 GPA to renew it annually.
- The KSU Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship provides $1,000 for members of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society transferring to KSU. Proof of membership is required.
- KSU offers several need-based grants for transfer students, including the Transfer Student Need-Based Grant, the Undergraduate Transfer Grant, and money from the LEAP program. The amounts vary based on your financial need.
- The KSU Transfer Student Engagement Scholarship is a $500 one-time award for transfer students who get involved on campus through student organizations, campus events, and volunteering.
In addition to KSU’s internal transfer scholarships, there are many external scholarships from private organizations, employers, nonprofits, churches, and community groups. Do thorough research online and in your community to uncover potential scholarships. The KSU financial aid office also provides transfer students with resources and guidance for finding additional scholarship opportunities.
External Scholarship Opportunities
KSU students should look beyond just university scholarships and also apply for external scholarships from private foundations, nonprofits, corporations, community organizations, churches, and other sources. There are thousands of private scholarships out there that go unclaimed each year.
Searching private scholarship databases is a great way to uncover opportunities that you won’t find through the KSU financial aid office. These private scholarships are funded by organizations, charitable foundations, corporations, professional associations, and even generous individuals. They can be based on a variety of criteria like academic merit, financial need, community service, religious affiliation, ethnicity, special talents like music or art, field of study, career interests, hobbies, family military service, and more. The amounts vary too, from a few hundred to tens of thousands for the more competitive awards. Popular private scholarship search platforms include FastWeb, Unigo, Scholarships.com, BigFuture by CollegeBoard, Scholarship America, and more.
Local Community Scholarships
Be sure to check with community organizations in your hometown as many offer scholarships for local graduating seniors. These could include your high school, local churches, chambers of commerce, Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, professional groups, companies, nonprofit organizations, libraries, or cultural centers that provide scholarships for community members. Attend local scholarship nights to learn about what’s available right in your own backyard.
Tips for External Scholarships
- Cast a wide net and apply to as many external scholarships as possible.
- Tailor your application to the sponsor’s mission and values.
- Follow instructions carefully and always submit complete applications before deadlines.
- Get recommendations from teachers, counselors, employers, or community members.
- Write an essay that stands out and shows your passion.
- Don’t miss out on scholarships due to lack of organization, always track deadlines.
- Avoid scholarship scams; never pay to apply for a scholarship. Legitimate scholarships are free.
- Report any external scholarships you win to the KSU financial aid office.
Tips for Scholarship Applications
Standing out in the scholarship application process is key to maximizing your chances of being selected. Here are some tips to help your application rise to the top:
Write a Strong Scholarship Essay
The essay is your chance to showcase your skills, accomplishments, and passion to the scholarship committee. Follow these strategies to craft an essay that shines:
- Tell your unique story and personality. Share anecdotes and moments that reveal who you are.
- Link your goals to the values and mission of the scholarship. Explain why you align well.
- Focus on key achievements, activities, and leadership moments that make you stand out.
- Pour your heart into the essay to show your authentic self and sincerity.
- Revise and refine the essay multiple times until the message is clear.
Get Strong Letters of Recommendation
Ask teachers, coaches, or employers who know you well for letters of recommendation. Supply them with your resume and any other materials that capture your strengths.
Give them at least one month of lead time and follow up politely to ensure they submit the letters by the deadline.
Choose recommenders who will emphasize traits like your work ethic, integrity, leadership skills, and determination. Avoid basic letters that just summarize facts already listed in your application.
The best letters provide detailed examples and anecdotes that back up their claims about your qualities so you come across as impressive and multi-dimensional.
Follow Instructions Carefully
Carefully read the scholarship requirements and tailor your application to precisely match. Submit all required documents and forms accurately and on time. Failing to follow instructions can immediately disqualify you.
Double check that you meet all eligibility criteria before applying and make sure your application materials follow any formatting requirements. Sloppiness or inability to follow rules will reflect poorly.
Pay close attention to deadlines and give yourself plenty of time to gather application materials. Rushing at the last minute increases the chance of errors. Submit early if possible in case unforeseen issues arise.
With preparation and attention to detail, you can submit a polished scholarship application that makes you shine. Taking time with each component can be the difference between selection and rejection.
Maintaining Your Scholarship
Once you’ve been awarded a scholarship, it’s important to understand the policies around keeping it for future years. Here’s what you need to know:
- Most KSU scholarships are renewable for up to 4 years as long as you continue meeting the eligibility criteria. Make sure to check the details for your specific scholarship.
- Renewal is not automatic. You typically need to reapply each year by completing the FAFSA and any required scholarship applications by the priority deadlines.
- Priority deadlines for the FAFSA and KSU scholarship applications are usually in early January. Mark your calendar so you don’t miss them!
- A minimum GPA is required to keep your scholarship, usually around a 3.0 for most awards. Higher GPAs are required to renew more prestigious scholarships.
- GPAs are checked at the end of spring semester each year. If your GPA falls below the renewal criteria, you’ll lose your scholarship for the following year.
- Keep in mind that GPAs can’t be rounded up. For example, a 2.99 won’t meet a 3.0 GPA requirement. Get your full grades up to keep that scholarship money.
- If you lose your scholarship because of GPA, you can appeal based on extenuating circumstances. However appeals are not always granted, so focus on keeping your grades up.
- Check the details of your scholarship offer letter so you know exactly what GPA you need to maintain.
Scholarship Resources at KSU
Kennesaw State University offers several resources to help students find and apply for scholarships. The primary office that assists with scholarships is the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Located on both the Kennesaw and Marietta campuses, the Office of Student Financial Aid has financial aid advisors who can:
- Help you search for KSU scholarships you may be eligible for using the ScholarshipUniverse database
- Explain the eligibility criteria and application process for KSU scholarships
- Answer questions about your financial aid package and scholarships awards
- Provide guidance on maintaining your scholarships and meeting renewal criteria
- Advise you on appealing your financial aid package if needed
In addition to one-on-one advising, the Office of Student Financial Aid offers workshops on topics like completing the FAFSA, understanding your financial aid offer, and searching for scholarships. Check their website for upcoming workshop dates and locations.
The KSU Financial Literacy Program is another good resource for scholarship education. They offer presentations on scholarship essays, how to find legitimate scholarships, and avoiding scholarship scams.
KSU’s Academic Success Center also provides individualized coaching and workshops on writing compelling scholarship essays and applications. Their writing tutors can review your draft essays and provide feedback.
Meeting with your academic advisor can also be helpful, as they may know about scholarship opportunities within your department or major. Be sure to let your advisor know if you need help funding your education, as they may be able to point you to relevant scholarships.
Leveraging all the scholarship resources available at KSU will maximize your chances of finding funding for college. Don’t hesitate to reach out to any of these offices with questions!