February 24, 2024
Norfolk State University Scholarships
Explore NSU's scholarships for all students, including merit, need-based, ROTC, and external awards, plus tips for full tuition chances.

Norfolk State University Scholarships offers a variety of opportunities to help students fund their education. There are two main categories of scholarships:

Merit-Based vs Need-Based Aid

Merit scholarships are awarded based on academic achievements, talents, leadership skills, or other criteria not related to financial need. These include academic scholarships for GPA and test scores, as well as talent scholarships in areas like music, art, or athletics.

Need-based aid is awarded based on financial need. To qualify, students must complete the FAFSA form demonstrating eligibility. Need-based aid includes grants, work-study programs, and need-based scholarships.

Institutional Aid from NSU

NSU offers both merit and need-based scholarships directly to students. These are funded by the university itself. Some examples are the NSU Academic Scholarship, Spartan Legion Scholarship, Emerging Leaders Scholarship, and more.

External Scholarships

There are also many external scholarships available. These are provided by private organizations, non-profits, corporations, community groups, and other entities outside NSU. Students must apply separately for these. Examples are the UNCF STEM Scholars Program, Gates Millennium Scholars, Coca-Cola Scholars, and more.

Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarships

Scholarship opportunities are available for both undergraduate and graduate students at NSU. Some scholarships are open to students at any level, while others are specific to undergrad or graduate programs. Review requirements carefully.

NSU Academic Scholarships

Norfolk State University offers a variety of merit-based academic scholarships to recognize high-achieving incoming freshmen. These scholarships are awarded based on academic criteria and do not consider financial need. Some of the top academic scholarships at NSU include:

President’s Scholarship

The President’s Scholarship is NSU’s most prestigious academic award offered to exceptional incoming freshmen. To qualify, students must have at least a 3.75 high school GPA and 1200 SAT score. The President’s Scholarship covers full tuition, fees, room and board for four years. Recipients must maintain a 3.5 college GPA for renewal. Only 5 students receive this highly competitive full-ride scholarship each year.

Provost’s Scholarship

The Provost’s Scholarship is awarded to outstanding incoming freshmen with a minimum 3.5 high school GPA and 1100 SAT score. The Provost’s Scholarship provides $12,000 per year towards the cost of tuition. Recipients must maintain a 3.25 college GPA for renewal. Around 15 students receive this merit scholarship annually.

Dean’s Scholarship

The Dean’s Scholarship is given to incoming freshmen who achieve a 3.25+ high school GPA and 1000+ SAT score. This $8,000 annual scholarship goes to qualified students in each undergraduate college. Recipients must keep a 3.0 college GPA to renew the Dean’s scholarship each year. Approximately 50 students receive this merit-based aid.

Departmental Scholarships

Many academic departments at NSU also offer merit scholarships to incoming freshmen who plan to major in that subject. For example, the Computer Science department awards scholarships to students with proven aptitude and achievements in computing and technology. Departmental scholarships generally range from $500 – $2000 per year based on academic criteria.

NSU Merit Scholarships

Norfolk State University offers several merit-based scholarships to recognize and reward academic excellence. These scholarships are awarded based on criteria like GPA, test scores, extracurricular involvement, and leadership experience. Students do not need to demonstrate financial need to qualify.

Emerging Leaders Scholarship

The Emerging Leaders Scholarship is a prestigious merit scholarship for incoming freshmen who show exceptional leadership potential. To be eligible, students must have:

  • Minimum 3.5 high school GPA
  • Minimum 1200 SAT score (or 27 ACT)
  • Demonstrated leadership through extracurricular activities and community service

The Emerging Leaders Scholarship covers the full cost of tuition and fees, and is renewable for up to 4 years. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA at NSU to continue receiving the scholarship each year.

Transfer Scholarship

The Transfer Scholarship is awarded to students transferring to Norfolk State University with a minimum 3.5 GPA from their prior institution. The scholarship amount varies from $2,000 to $5,000 per year based on the student’s GPA:

  • 3.5-3.74 GPA: $2,000 per year
  • 3.75-3.99 GPA: $3,500 per year
  • 4.0 GPA: $5,000 per year

The Transfer Scholarship is renewable for up to 2 years. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA at NSU to continue receiving the scholarship.

Out-of-State Scholarship

Norfolk State University provides generous out-of-state scholarships to attract exceptional students from across the country. Non-Virginia residents who meet the following criteria qualify for out-of-state tuition waivers:

  • Minimum 3.0 high school GPA
  • Minimum 1100 SAT score (or 24 ACT)

The Out-of-State Scholarship covers the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition costs. It is renewable for up to 4 years with a minimum 2.5 GPA at NSU.

NSU Need-Based Aid

Need-based financial aid is awarded based on a student’s financial need. Norfolk State University offers the following types of need-based financial aid:


Grants are a type of financial aid that does not need to be repaid. Grants are awarded based on financial need. Some grants offered at NSU include:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program
  • NSU Grant

Work Study

Work study allows students to work part-time jobs on campus or with approved off-campus employers. The money earned through work study does not have to be repaid. To qualify for work study, students must demonstrate financial need.


Student loans available through NSU include federal direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans, federal Perkins loans, and parent PLUS loans. Loans must be repaid with interest after graduating or leaving school.

Financial Aid Application

To apply for need-based financial aid including grants, work study, and loans, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form available at fafsa.gov. The FAFSA form opens on October 1 for the following academic year. NSU’s priority FAFSA filing deadline is December 1.

ROTC Scholarships at Norfolk State University

Norfolk State University offers several ROTC scholarship options for students interested in pursuing a career in the military after graduation. ROTC stands for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and allows students to receive officer training while completing their college degree.

Army ROTC Scholarships

Army ROTC scholarships are available through the Spartan Battalion program at NSU. These scholarships cover the full cost of tuition and fees, provide $1200 annually for books and supplies, and include a monthly stipend. Scholarship winners are required to serve in the Army after graduation.

Navy ROTC scholarships are offered through the Nimitz Battalion at NSU. These scholarships cover tuition, textbooks, uniforms, and a monthly stipend. Students awarded a Navy scholarship must commit to serving in the Navy or Marine Corps upon graduation.

Air Force ROTC Scholarships

Air Force ROTC scholarships are provided through the Air Force Detachment 572 at Norfolk State. A variety of scholarship options are available covering different amounts of tuition, fees, books, and providing stipends. Air Force scholarship recipients agree to serve as an Air Force Officer after completing their degree.

ROTC scholarships cover a significant portion of college costs while preparing students for leadership roles after graduation. The Army, Navy, and Air Force all offer competitive scholarship packages at Norfolk State University.

External Scholarships

There are many scholarships available from organizations outside of Norfolk State University that students can apply for to help fund their education. These come from a variety of sources:

Private Organizations

  • Coca-Cola Scholars Program – Achievement-based scholarship awarded to graduating high school seniors each year. Awards range from $20,000 to $20,000 over four years.
  • Jack Kent Cooke Foundation – Up to $40,000 per year for high-achieving community college transfer students to complete their bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution.
  • United Negro College Fund (UNCF) – Provides various scholarship and fellowship opportunities to African American students.

Community Foundations

  • Hampton Roads Community Foundation – Offers scholarships for Hampton Roads residents pursuing higher education. Award amounts vary.
  • Richmond Community Foundation – Awards scholarships to students from the Richmond metro area, with a preference for those attending Virginia colleges. Most awards are between $1,000-$5,000.

Corporate Scholarships

  • Google Lime Scholarship – Supports students pursuing degrees in computer science or related fields. Award amount is $10,000 for the academic year.
  • Coca-Cola Scholars Program – Achievement-based scholarship awarded to graduating high school seniors each year. Awards range from $20,000 to $40,000 over four years.
  • McDonald’s HACER Scholarship – For Hispanic American high school seniors who plan to enroll full-time in an accredited two- or four-year college. Up to $100,000 over four years.

In addition to these, students should check with employers, unions, social clubs, churches, and other local organizations which may offer smaller scholarships. Every little bit helps when paying for college!

Scholarships for Specific Majors

Norfolk State University offers several scholarships designated for students pursuing specific majors. These major-specific scholarships provide funding to nurture talent and promote student success in key fields of study.

Nursing Scholarships

The NSU School of Nursing offers numerous scholarships and grants for both undergraduate and graduate nursing students. These include the Nursing Emerging Leaders Scholarship, the Rhetaugh Graves Dumas Scholarship, and the Jonas Scholars Program. Qualified nursing students can earn up to $10,000 per year through these scholarship programs.

Engineering Scholarships

Engineering students can apply for scholarships such as the Academic Competitiveness Grant, the Robert H. Register Scholarship, and the Alumni Scholarship in Engineering Technology. Eligibility criteria includes a minimum 3.0 GPA and enrollment in the engineering technology program. Award amounts range from $1,000 to $5,000 annually.

Education Scholarships

Future teachers can offset the costs of their education degree with scholarships like the Ann Elizabeth Downing Scholarship and the Isabel Scott Scholarship. Applicants typically must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and demonstrate financial need. Some education scholarships are reserved for students pursuing certification or graduate degrees.

Business Scholarships

NSU’s School of Business offers numerous awards for undergraduate and graduate business students, including the A. Delores Tucker Memorial Endowed Scholarship, the Calvin and Argie Evans Endowed Scholarship, and the Thomas Lyons Endowed Scholarship. Business scholarships range from $1,500 to full-ride awards, with a minimum 3.0 GPA required.

Scholarships for Specific Students

Transfer Students

Norfolk State University offers several scholarships specifically for transfer students. The Spartan Transfer Grant is a merit-based scholarship awarded to transfer students who have a minimum 3.0 GPA from their prior institution. Award amounts range from $1,000 to $4,000 per year.

The Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship is offered to transfer students who were members of the PTK honor society at a two-year community college. Students receive a scholarship of $1,000 per year.

Underrepresented Groups

NSU provides scholarships to support greater diversity in higher education. These include the United Negro College Fund scholarships for African-American students as well as the Hispanic College Fund scholarships. Award amounts vary.

Single Parents

The NSU Super Parent Scholarship supports non-traditional students who are single parents. Students receive up to $2,500 per year for tuition expenses. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years.

First-Generation Students

First-generation students whose parents did not graduate from a four-year college can receive support through NSU’s First Generation Scholarship. The renewable scholarship provides up to $1,000 per year for four years to eligible students.

How to Apply for Norfolk State University Scholarships

Applying for scholarships at Norfolk State University is simple if you follow these steps:

  1. Create an NSU Scholarship Profile Go to the NSU scholarship website and click on “Create a Scholarship Profile.” You’ll need to provide some basic information about yourself like your name, contact info, academic program, GPA, test scores, etc. Creating a profile allows NSU to match you with scholarships you may be eligible for.
  2. Check Application Deadlines Pay attention to application deadlines, especially for external scholarships. Some deadlines can be as early as December or January for the upcoming academic year. Don’t miss out on opportunities by applying late!
  3. Submit Required Documents In addition to the application form, you may need to submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal essay, FAFSA information, and other supporting documents. Follow the instructions carefully for each scholarship.
  4. Apply for As Many Scholarships As Possible There are millions of dollars in free money up for grabs. The more scholarships you apply for, the better your chances of securing some to help pay for college. Apply for NSU scholarships as well as external ones.

Following these steps will help you successfully navigate the NSU scholarship application process. Remember to start early and submit complete, accurate applications. Contact the financial aid office if you have any questions.

Scholarship Application Tips

When applying for scholarships, follow these tips to give yourself the best chance of success:

  • Write strong essays – Scholarship essays allow you to bring your application to life and stand out from other applicants. Be sure to directly address the prompt, use specific examples, and proofread for errors.
  • Ask for recommendation letters – Strong letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, or employers can enhance your application. Give your recommenders plenty of time and information about yourself to write the most effective letter.
  • Meet deadlines – Pay close attention to scholarship deadlines, which may differ even within the same university. Missing a deadline can disqualify you. Create reminders to keep yourself on track.
  • Follow instructions – Carefully follow all instructions for the scholarship application, including precise formatting requirements. Something as minor as the wrong font could get your application tossed out.
  • Format your writing – Unless specified, use a standard 11 or 12 point font like Times New Roman. Double space your essays with 1 inch margins. Proofread to catch any spelling, grammar or formatting errors.

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