Presidential Diversity Scholarship

What is a Presidential Diversity Scholarship?
The Presidential Diversity Scholarship (PDS), a $128,000 scholarship ($32,000 per year) was first awarded in 2000-2001 to encourage further diversity in the student body, and thereby ultimately enhance educational benefits for all students. In celebration of the 10th year of the Presidential Diversity Scholarship, the dollar value of the scholarship was increased and the program expanded to include students of any racial background who have demonstrated commitment to, and appreciation for, racial and ethnic diversity. Once on campus, Presidential Diversity Scholars are expected to participate in activities planned for this group of students and coordinated by the Dean of Student Life, including participation in a mentorship program.

Who is named a Presidential Diversity Scholar?

Eligible students include:

  • Students of any race/ethnicity who have demonstrated leadership, commitment, and activism for racial and ethnic diversity, or other areas of diversity as identified below.
  • Students of African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic American or Native American heritage on the basis of leadership and service to community within their demographic.
  • Students who identify as LGBTQ, students who are members of non-Christian religions, and students with disabilities may also apply on the basis of leadership, service, or activism within their demographic.

Student who are US citizens or are US permanent residents, applying as first-year or transfer students are eligible to apply for this scholarship. In addition to the merit scholarship award, students who demonstrate additional financial need will be awarded need-based financial aid.

How Do You Apply?

First-year students interested in applying for the Presidential Diversity Scholarship must submit a complete St. Lawrence application (Common Application) by February 1. Students who are applying Early Decision must submit scholarship material with their completed application. Transfer students who are interested in being considered for this scholarship must complete the scholarship essay and submit it with their application. 

Students may apply for the scholarship by completing an essay responding to the following:

Describe how you have demonstrated leadership, service, or activism through diversity, and how will that experience contribute to diversity at St. Lawrence University.

Essays should be 200-500 words and may be submitted online.

Counselors may also nominate students by completing a brief form.

Students selected as Presidential Diversity Scholars are invited to visit the St. Lawrence campus in April.

Apply Online