February 25, 2024
magis scholarship fairfield university

Shots around campus of nature and construction before the 2017-18 school year

The Magis Scholarship is a prestigious full-tuition scholarship awarded annually by Fairfield University in Connecticut to five incoming freshmen. Established in 2011, it aims to attract high-achieving students who embody the Jesuit values of the university. The renewable scholarship covers the full cost of tuition, room and board, fees, and books for four years.

To be eligible, applicants must have a minimum 3.85 GPA and 1350 SAT or 30 ACT. They should demonstrate academic excellence, service to others, leadership, and commitment to diversity and social justice. Competitive candidates are intellectually curious self-starters who are open to growth and committed to using their talents to make a difference in the world.

The rigorous application process includes essays, teacher recommendations, and an on-campus interview. A selection committee reviews all materials and chooses recipients based on well-roundedness, character, and alignment with Fairfield’s mission and values.

The Magis Scholarship allows recipients to graduate debt-free and focus fully on their education and extracurricular pursuits. It aims to remove financial barriers for deserving students and empower future generations of Fairfield alumni to lead lives of purpose and service.

Scholarship Details

The Magis Scholarship is a competitive scholarship awarded to a select number of incoming freshmen each year. It is a renewable scholarship that provides funding throughout a student’s four years at Fairfield University, provided they continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

Some key details about the scholarship award include:

  • Award Amount: The Magis Scholarship provides full tuition, mandatory fees, room, and board. It covers the complete cost of attendance at Fairfield University. The scholarship is valued at over $60,000 per year.
  • Number of Recipients: Approximately 15-20 Magis Scholarships are awarded per incoming freshman class.
  • Length of Award: The Magis Scholarship is renewable for all four years of study at Fairfield University. Recipients receive the full scholarship each year they are enrolled, up to eight semesters total.

The Magis Scholarship is the most prestigious and comprehensive merit-based scholarship Fairfield University offers. By providing full financial support, it aims to attract and retain exceptional students who will contribute to campus life. The competitive application process ensures recipients are academically gifted and committed to the Jesuit education and values of Fairfield University.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Magis Scholarship at Fairfield University, applicants must meet certain academic, extracurricular, and application requirements.

Academic Requirements

Applicants are expected to demonstrate exceptional academic achievement. Specific requirements include:

  • Minimum high school GPA of 3.5
  • Rank in the top 10% of their graduating class
  • SAT score of 1300 or ACT score of 28

Coursework should include multiple Honors, AP, or IB classes. Strength in STEM courses is preferred but not required.

Extracurricular Activities

Ideal candidates are actively involved in their school or community through activities like student government, performing arts, athletics, clubs, or volunteering. Leadership in these pursuits is looked upon favorably.


Applicants must submit a 500-word personal statement articulating their goals, interests, and reasons for applying to Fairfield and the Magis program specifically. The essay offers insight into the student’s personality, passions, and fit with the university’s values.

Letters of Recommendation

The application requires 2 academic letters of recommendation from teachers or counselors, speaking to the applicant’s academic abilities, motivation, integrity, and potential for success.

Selection Criteria

The Magis Scholarship places great emphasis on four key attributes when selecting recipients:

Academic Merit
Applicants must demonstrate exceptional academic capabilities, as evidenced by a strong high school GPA, class rank, and SAT/ACT scores. The admissions committee looks for students who have taken rigorous course loads and excelled across diverse subjects. Competitive applicants will have at least a 3.5 unweighted GPA.

The scholarship favors students who have assumed leadership roles in extracurricular activities, clubs, sports teams, volunteer organizations, or other endeavors. Whether serving as captain, president, or coordinator, successful applicants are able to showcase how they have guided, motivated, and organized peers towards shared objectives.

Magis Scholars have a distinguished record of community service, on campus and beyond. The committee looks for volunteering initiatives that demonstrate a commitment to improving the lives of others. Applicants who can exhibit sustained and meaningful service engagement tend to stand out.

Beyond academics and activities, the selection process emphasizes personal character. Applicants are evaluated on principles and values like integrity, empathy, courage, honesty, and determination. Strong letters of recommendation help highlight exemplary character. Finalists may also have an interview to further assess their interpersonal skills.

magis scholarship fairfield university

Application Process

The Magis Scholarship application process is straightforward and designed to give eligible students ample opportunity to showcase their qualifications. Key details include:

  • Deadlines – Applications must be submitted by March 1st to be considered for the upcoming academic year. This gives students time to prepare quality applications after receiving first semester grades. Late applications are not accepted.
  • Materials – Applicants must submit a completed online application, current high school transcript, SAT/ACT test scores, a 500-1000 word essay explaining how they embody the Magis values, and two letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors.
  • Online Application – Applications must be submitted through the online portal found on the Magis Scholarship website. No paper applications are accepted. The online system allows students to save their progress and work on the application over time prior to submission.
  • Application Review – The selection committee, comprised of Fairfield University faculty and admissions officers, will review all completed on-time applications and select recipients based on alignment with eligibility requirements and selection criteria. Applicants are notified of decisions by April 30th.
  • Application Tips – Students are advised to start applications early, pay close attention to deadlines, follow all instructions, and submit accurate, high-quality materials that make a compelling case for their candidacy. The essay and recommendations are key areas to showcase Magis values.

The application process presents a well-defined roadmap for students to follow. Preparing strong applications by the deadline will position applicants for consideration by the selection committee.

Recipient Benefits

The Magis Scholarship provides recipients with numerous benefits to support their education and experience at Fairfield University. Some of the key benefits include:

Renewal Criteria

The Magis Scholarship is renewable for all 4 years at Fairfield University. To qualify for renewal each year, recipients must:

  • Maintain a 3.25 minimum cumulative GPA
  • Complete 30 credits per academic year
  • Remain a full-time undergraduate student
  • Make satisfactory progress toward graduation
  • Submit an annual review form provided by the Magis Scholarship Program

Renewal is not automatic, so recipients must meet all criteria to continue receiving the scholarship.

Study Abroad Stipend

All Magis Scholars receive a $3,000 stipend if they choose to study abroad during their junior year at Fairfield University. The stipend helps offset the costs of international travel and study. Recipients can study abroad at Fairfield’s own programs worldwide or through affiliated programs.

Faculty Mentorship

Each Magis Scholar is paired with a faculty mentor based on their academic and career interests. Mentors provide guidance on curricular and co-curricular opportunities, internships, career development, and more. Mentorship continues all 4 years to support scholars in getting the most out of their Fairfield education.

Notable Alumni

The Magis Scholarship has supported many exceptional students over the years who have gone on to achieve great success in their careers. Here are the stories of a few notable Magis alumni:

Sarah Davis

Sarah graduated from Fairfield in 2015 with a degree in Computer Science. As a Magis scholar, Sarah was able to pursue undergraduate research projects in artificial intelligence, which sparked her interest in the field. After graduation, Sarah went on to earn her Master’s degree in AI from Stanford University. She now works at Google as a Senior AI Researcher, leading projects to develop natural language processing systems.

Mark Rodriguez

Mark used the Magis scholarship to study International Relations and Spanish. The scholarship enabled Mark to study abroad in Spain during his junior year, where he became fluent in Spanish. After graduating Fairfield in 2012, Mark joined the United States Foreign Service. He has served diplomatic tours in Mexico, Colombia, and Chile. Mark credits the Magis scholarship with enabling his overseas experiences that led to his Foreign Service career.

Dr. Anne Lewis

A recipient of the Magis scholarship in the late 1990s, Anne majored in Biology at Fairfield. The scholarship supported her goals of attending medical school. After graduating as a Magis Scholar, Anne went on to Harvard Medical School. Today, Dr. Lewis is a pediatric surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital and an adjunct professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Scholarship Impact

The Magis Scholarship has had a significant impact on recipients during their time at Fairfield University. By providing full tuition coverage, the scholarship allows high-achieving students to focus on their academics and extracurricular activities rather than financial constraints.

Many Magis Scholars have taken advantage of resources like study abroad programs, research opportunities, and leadership development activities that may have been unavailable without scholarship funding. The financial freedom empowers students to get the most out of their college experience.

In addition to financial benefits, the Magis community creates a built-in support network and sense of belonging. Scholars connect through exclusive events, mentoring programs, and shared experiences. This cohort cohesion enables students to thrive socially and succeed academically.

Surveys of Magis Scholars over the years consistently show high levels of engagement, satisfaction, and personal growth. Many students credit the scholarship with increasing their self-confidence, independence, leadership skills, and global perspectives.

By investing in high-potential students regardless of financial circumstances, the Magis Scholarship fulfills its mission of shaping well-rounded leaders and changemakers. The comprehensive funding and community support empower recipients to dream big and make the most of their potential.

University Background

Fairfield University is a private Jesuit university located in Fairfield, Connecticut. Founded in 1942, Fairfield has a total student enrollment of around 5,000 students. Fairfield is known for its picturesque 200-acre campus and strong sense of community.

Academically, Fairfield offers over 40 undergraduate majors across 3 colleges – College of Arts & Sciences, Dolan School of Business, and School of Engineering. Some of the most popular majors include Nursing, Finance, Marketing, Communication, Psychology, and Biology. Fairfield has a student-faculty ratio of 11:1 and average class sizes of 19 students.

Student life at Fairfield is enriched by over 100 clubs and organizations, intramural and club sports, performing arts groups, and service opportunities. Around 90% of students live on-campus all 4 years in residence halls and townhouses. Fairfield has Division I athletics and competes in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

The culture at Fairfield emphasizes faith, service, and community. As a Jesuit institution, Fairfield focuses on developing the whole person and preparing students to be ethical leaders who contribute positively to society. The campus ministry program provides various faith-based activities. Fairfield also has a 5-year service program called Magis that aims to form students into men and women for others.

Additional Scholarship Resources

Fairfield University offers many other merit-based scholarships besides the Magis Scholarship to recognize academic excellence. Here are some top scholarships for incoming students:

  • Bellarmine Scholarship – A full-tuition scholarship based on outstanding academic achievement. Applicants are automatically considered.
  • Fairfield Scholarship – Awards ranging from $15,000 to full tuition based on academic merit. All accepted students are automatically reviewed.
  • Honors Scholarship – Awards between $5,000 to $25,000 for honors program candidates based on academics.

There are also many external scholarships that Magis Scholarship applicants may want to consider applying for, such as:

  • Coca-Cola Scholars Scholarship – Achievement-based scholarship awarding $20,000 to 150 students each year.
  • Gates Scholarship – Fully funded scholarships awarded to 300 Pell-eligible, minority, high-achieving students annually.
  • Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship – Up to $40,000 per year for high-achieving low-income students to attend top universities.
  • National Merit Scholarship – Over $30 million awarded annually to National Merit Finalists attending partner universities.

Conducting additional scholarship research and applying to external awards is a great way to lower the cost of attending Fairfield for top students. The Magis Scholarship is an excellent opportunity, but not the only option for scholarship support.

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