The Daniels Scholarship is an exciting and challenging program that provides the opportunity to obtain a four-year college education at any accredited nonprofit college or university in the Daniels Scholarship United States, complete with financial and personal support throughout the journey Daniels Scholarship. The Daniels Scholarship Program offers resources, encouragement, and inspiration far beyond the financial assistance needed to earn a college degree. Our goal is to help each Daniels Scholar succeed in college and ultimately become independent, successful in a rewarding career, and actively engaged in their community.

Every year, Daniels Scholars are selected from our four-state region of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Since 2000, Daniels Scholars have attended more than 400 colleges and universities in 49 states.

As of March 2020, the Daniels Scholarship Program has provided more than $170 million in undergraduate scholarships to more than 3,950 students.

Daniels Scholars are selected because they embody the principles and values Bill Daniels defined as hallmarks of the program:

  • Strength of character
  • Leadership potential
  • Commitment to serving their communities
  • Academic performance or promise
  • Well-rounded personality

In addition, there are a number of specific requirements to be eligible for the Daniels Scholarship Program. Please read the Eligibility section below for full details.

What are the eligibility requirements for the Daniels Scholarship Program?

To be eligible for the Daniels Scholarship Program, students must satisfy the following requirements at the time of application:

  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Be a resident of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, or Wyoming
  • Be a high school senior graduating from a school in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, or Wyoming
  • Earn ACT scores of at least 17 in each category (Math, English, Reading, Science); or an SAT Math score of at least 470 and an Evidence-Based Reading & Writing score of at least 450. Writing scores are not required. All test scores must come from a single test and must be submitted by the application deadline. Super scoring is not accepted.

How does the Daniels Scholarship Program determine financial need?

The Daniels Fund assesses financial need by evaluating a number of factors such as the income and assets of the applicant’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s), the income and assets of the applicant, and individual circumstances.

Students do not need to be Pell eligible to be financially eligible for the Daniels Scholarship Program, but they must demonstrate the need for financial assistance.

The first step in applying is completing the 2020-2020 FAFSA. The FAFSA can be completed here starting October 1, 2020. According to the FAFSA website, if students submit their FAFSA electronically, it should take 3-5 days to receive their Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR will indicate their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is required to proceed with the application.

Applicants must complete the Daniels Scholarship Program Eligibility Questionnaire requiring their EFC from their SAR and additional financial information from the applicant and his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s). Applicants who do not satisfy the eligibility requirements will not be able to proceed to the application. Applicants who do meet the eligibility requirements, will be required to submit documents that will be used to verify their eligibility, such as their SAR; official ACT/SAT scores; citizenship and residency documentation; and financial documents.

All sources of income are considered, such as:
Salaries, wages, and tipsRental income
Interest and dividend incomeRetirement and pension distributions
Business and farm incomeDisability and/or Social Security benefits
Alimony and/or child support receivedHousing, living, or food allowances
All assets are considered, such as:
Cash and savingsBusiness or farm assets
Retirement accountsInvestments
Home equityAdditional real estate properties, such as rental properties or second residences
Individual Circumstances
Individual circumstances are taken into consideration, such as:
Marital status of parents
Number of parents’ children
Number of parents’ children in college (undergraduate only)
Legally independent status of students
Who provides financial support

The Daniels Scholarship is a comprehensive college scholarship that pays toward the costs of tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and miscellaneous educational expenses. It is a “last dollar” scholarship, and therefore secondary to all other grants and scholarships awarded to the scholar. After considering the student’s other scholarships, financial aid (federal, state, and institutional), and any work-study they accept, as well as their Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the Daniels Fund will pay toward the remaining costs of the scholar’s education. The amount of the scholarship is unique to each Daniels Scholar, and can vary from year to year.

Partner School Option
The Daniels Fund has partnerships with 23 of the most commonly selected colleges and universities in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. If a scholar chooses to attend one of these institutions, the Daniels Scholarship will also cover their EFC. Scholars may attend any nonprofit accredited school in the country, but there is a financial advantage to attending a partner school, as the EFC can be significant and may vary each year.

A current list of partner schools is available here.

Daniels Scholarships are annually renewable up to a maximum of four academic years (8 semesters or 12 quarters) if all requirements of the Daniels Scholarship Program are met.

Daniels Scholars may attend any two or four-year, nonprofit accredited college or university in the United States. Scholars must intend to complete a bachelor’s degree. If a scholar starts at a two-year college, they must be on a path to earn a bachelor’s degree. Daniels Scholarships may not be used at technical or trade schools, or for participation in certificate programs.

The Daniels Scholarship Program is much more than a check for college. It is a comprehensive program to help Daniels Scholars succeed in college and beyond. For those up to the challenge, the rewards and benefits are significant:

  • Financial assistance toward a four-year undergraduate degree
  • Dedicated help and support from Daniels Fund staff and designated on-campus contacts
  • Recognition as a Daniels Scholar
  • Campus communities with events, activities, and support exclusively for Daniels Scholars
  • Assistance in planning for a rewarding career after college
  • Alumni Program offering ongoing support and a lifelong connection to a network of Daniels Scholars
  • A laptop computer
  • Maintain minimum academic requirements (2.0 GPA) while in college and be on track to graduate with a bachelor’s degree within four academic years
  • Live on campus during freshman year
  • Work in a paid position during the academic year (5 hours per week the first year in college and 10 hours per week every year after)
  • Complete the Daniels Scholarship Enrichment Program, a series of online workshops led by local and national experts on topics including ethics, character, patriotism, civics, free enterprise, entrepreneurship, leadership, critical thinking, and etiquette
  • Honor and live by the Daniels Scholar Code of Conduct
  • Provide regular updates to and maintain communication with Daniels Fund staff
  • Meet deadlines to complete scholarship requirements and renewal documents
  • Attend our summer scholarship orientation conference in Denver

Getting into the Daniels Scholarship Program is highly competitive. Each year, thousands of applicants go through a rigorous application process and finalists go on to an in-person interview.

Applications and recommendations must be submitted online through the application website between October 1 and November 29, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. MST. As part of the application, students are required to submit documents that will be used to verify their eligibility, such as their Student Aid Report from the FAFSA; official ACT/SAT scores; citizenship and residency documentation; and other financial documents.

All applicants will be notified in January whether or not they have been selected as a finalist, and finalists will be invited to participate in a personal interview. Interviews are conducted in February and early March in the applicant’s home state by local community leaders. Daniels Scholars are announced in late March, and must attend our scholarship orientation conference in June (all expenses are paid by the Daniels Fund).

Application Period: October 1 – November 29, 2020 | Deadline: 4:00 p.m. MST


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