WSU Foundation Scholarship Administration Office - University Advancement
209 Somsen Hall (507.457.5198)
In an effort to help students make progress toward their goals, Winona State University offers hundreds of scholarships. Students in almost all academic disciplines benefit from scholarship funds that come from a variety of sources, both on and off campus. Some scholarships are open to all students. Many have eligibility criteria based on major field of study, academic standing, financial need, affiliation with a particular organization, or other criteria established by the individual scholarship fund donors.
Early in the spring semester, many scholarship applications are posted on the WSU Foundation webpage. The following sections describe general categories of scholarships that are available through the University.
WSU Academic Scholarships
The Office of Admissions (Maxwell Hall) can provide students with information about first-year and transfer academic scholarships. Funds for these scholarships come from the University’s WSU Foundation and the Alumni Society.
Outstanding Academic Honors Awards: This $3,500 award recognizes outstanding academic achievement in high school and is available to any first-year student coming to WSU directly from high school. It is renewable the first eight consecutive semesters for a total of $14,000 if the student maintains a cumulative GPA of 3.50, attends WSU continuously as a fulltime student, and completes at least 12 credits per semester. A student is eligible if he or she is in the top 5% of his or her graduating class and has an ACT composite of 32 or greater. Awards are based on the date the student is accepted for admission to the University. Students are encouraged to apply for admission early. Recipients are required to live on-campus during their first two years unless they live with a parent or guardian. First-priority awards are made in early November.
WSU Foundation Board Scholarships: The WSU Foundation annually awards scholarships of $4,000 to six students coming to WSU directly from high school who rank in the top 5% of their high school graduating class and have an ACT composite of 28 or greater. An on-campus interview is required. Candidates are determined from a review of essays submitted to the WSU Foundation Board. The scholarship is renewable the first eight consecutive semesters for a total of $16,000 if the student maintains a cumulative GPA of 3.50, attends WSU continuously as a full-time student, and completes at least 12 credits per semester. Awards are based on the date the student is accepted at WSU; therefore, students are encouraged to apply for admission early. Recipients are required to live on-campus during their first year unless they live with a parent or guardian.
Note: Students who are selected as recipients of the WSU Foundation Board Scholarship are not eligible for the President’s Honor Scholarship awarded by the WSU Office of Admissions. The WSU Foundation Board Scholarship is in place of any WSU President’s Honor Scholarship.
President’s Honor Scholarships: The President’s Honor Scholarships are awarded to first-year students coming to WSU directly from high school in the following categories:
$2,500 Top 5% of graduating class and ACT 28 or SAT 1260
$1,500 Top 10% of graduating class and ACT 27 or SAT 1220
$1,000 Top 15% of graduating class and ACT 26 or SAT 1190
$1,000 Top 50% of graduating class and ACT 28 or SAT 1260
The scholarships are available for the first eight consecutive semesters if the student attends WSU continuously as a full-time student, maintains a 3.50 cumulative GPA, and completes at least 12 credits per semester. President’s Honor Scholarship recipients are required to live on-campus during their first two years unless they live with a parent or guardian. Early application for admission is encouraged.
Academic Awards: $300-$500 awards are made to students graduating from high schools in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Students are eligible if they are in the top 20% of their graduating class with a minimum ACT of 21 or if they have an ACT composite of 24 and are in the top half of class. The awards are based upon the date the student is accepted at WSU. Students are encouraged to apply to WSU early.
Transfer Honor Scholarships: Students can apply for this scholarship if they are transferring to WSU with 30 or more completed credits at time of application and have a minimum GPA of 3.35 on a 4.00 scale. Application forms are available in the WSU Office of Admissions.
Phi Theta Kappa Scholarships: $1,000 renewable Presidential transfer scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to transfer students who have completed study at a community college with a 3.5 GPA or higher, membership in Phi Theta Kappa, and an earned Associate of Arts degree. The student must be enrolled full-time to renew this scholarship.
Resident Tuition Scholarships
The Resident Tuition Scholarship (RTS) awards resident tuition rates to new, non-resident, non-reciprocity students. Based on the difference in the cost of resident and non-resident tuition, this scholarship is valued at approximately $4,700 annually. The Resident Tuition Scholarship is renewable the first eight consecutive semesters if the student maintains a cumulative GPA of 3.00 while attending WSU continuously as a full-time student and completing at least 12 credits per semester.
An RTS is automatically awarded to new students who meet the criteria above and who rank in the top 15% of their graduating class or have an ACT of 25 or above or an SAT score (combined Critical Reading and Mathematics) of 1600. Students are encouraged to apply to WSU early. Transfer students with 24 or more hours of completed transferable coursework with a GPA of 3.25 or higher are eligible. Transfers with fewer than 24 transferable credits will be awarded on high school criteria.
Talent Scholarships (Fine Arts and Athletics)
Students may apply for fine arts scholarships if they are talented in art, music, speech, or theater by contacting the chairperson of the appropriate WSU department. Students are encouraged to apply to WSU early. Students who are interested in intercollegiate sports should contact the appropriate head coach to be considered for athletic scholarships.
Scholarships Awarded by WSU Departments
Most WSU academic departments select recipients of WSU Foundation scholarships in their major fields with awards of $100 to $2,000. Students in good academic standing and majoring in the specific departments may apply for these scholarships. The application process begins early in spring semester. Students should contact the designated departments for information about application procedures and deadlines.
For more information regarding WSU Foundation scholarships, including application dates and specific requirements, contact the WSU Foundation Scholarship Administration Office, 209 Somsen Hall (507.457.5198).
Alumni Society Scholarships
WSU Alumni Affairs Office
206 Somsen Hall (507.457.5027)
The WSU Alumni Society awards multiple $1,000 scholarships to new, not previously registered students who are relatives of alumni. The applicant must be a child, a grandchild, a sibling, or a ward of a WSU graduate, and the applicant must be endorsed by a high school counselor or a community leader. Applications are available in the WSU Alumni Office.
Inclusion and Diversity Scholarships
Inclusion and Diversity Office
121 Kryzsko Commons (507.457.5595)
The WSU Inclusion and Diversity Office coordinates scholarships, incentive grants, internships, and summer opportunity employment programs for historically under-represented students.
Inclusion and Diversity Academic Honors Scholarship: This $2,000 award is available to incoming first-year students with a composite score of 24 or above on the ACT or a 3.00 high school GPA and ranking in the 50th percentile of their graduating class. The scholarship is renewable for three years if the student maintains a 3.00 GPA each semester. Applicants must submit one letter of recommendation from a high school teacher or counselor along with a typed autobiographical essay. Students who receive the Inclusion and Diversity Academic Scholarship are required to participate in the mentor program.
Inclusion and Diversity (Alliss) Scholarship/Grant: Scholarships/grants of $350-$1,100 are awarded to students admitted to WSU based on financial need and academic potential. Students must maintain a 2.75 GPA to remain eligible for the scholarship/grant as well as Federal Financial Aid. Applicants must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
Note: Effective fall 2007, scholarship requirements were modified to align with innovations at WSU as well as MN State’s definition of “underrepresented populations.” MN State defines underrepresented populations as “those who have been under-prepared for or traditionally under-represented or under-served in higher education, including students of color, first generation college students, students for whom English is a second language, and low income students.”
Scholarships Awarded by the Financial Aid Office
The Financial Aid Office selects recipients for the scholarships listed below. Awards are based upon financial need and other criteria as determined by the scholarship donor. To apply for these scholarships, students must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form, which is available through the Financial Aid Office . Scholarship amounts vary.
Charles and Ellora Alliss Foundation Scholarship
Etta Hudson Howell Scholarship
Arthur and Liola (Zeller) Mattson Scholarship
Winona County Bicentennial Scholarship
Other Sources of Scholarships
In addition to scholarships from WSU and the WSU Foundation, a number of organizations offer scholarships to their members, employees, and relatives. Each year, WSU students receive thousands of dollars in scholarships from businesses, government agencies, civic groups, professional organizations, fraternities and sororities, foundations, religious groups, education associations, and military/veterans organizations. Directories of these scholarship sources are available from a public library, high school guidance counselor, or financial aid office.
Private External Scholarships
These are private, external scholarships not associated with Winona State University.
Note: Please be aware of anything suspicious during your search for private scholarships. A few things to be aware of:
- asking for cash up front - never pay a fee to apply for a scholarship
- advertising a free seminar - often a sales pitch for unnecessary/overpriced “aid”
- rewards without entries - if you didn’t enter, you didn’t win
- time-sensitive scholarships - offering a “first-come-first serve” award
- sweeping claims - offers that appear too good to be true
More information on avoiding scams is available on the US News website or the Department of Education website.
Scholarships and deadlines:
Annual with Multiple Deadlines
- Autolist Used Car to Dream Car Essay Scholarship (Q1: March 1, Q2: June 1, Q3: Sept. 1, Q4: Dec.1)
- Form Swift Business Plan Scholarship (Q1: March 15, Q2: June 15, Q3: Sept. 15, Q4: Dec. 15)
- Skin Care Ox Importance of a Healthy Lifestyle Essay Scholarship (Q1: Jan. 1, Q2: March 31, Q3: June 30, Q4: Sept. 30)
- Smile Tutor College Student Scholarship (Q1: March 31, Q2: June 30, Q3: Sept. 30, Q4: Dec. 31)
- The Comfy Traveler Study Abroad Interest Esay Scholarship (Q1: March 20, Q2: June 20, Q3: Sept. 20, Q4: Dec. 20)
- Tree Center Scholarship Program (Q1: March 20, Q2: June 20, Q3: Sept. 20, Q4: Dec. 20)
- Tutor Plus Industry Improvement Essay Scholarship (Q1: March 24, Q2: June 23, Q3: Sept. 23, Q4: Dec. 24)
Specific Demographics (various deadlines)
Multiple Scholarship Sites