Saint Mary's offers need and merit-based scholarships, renewable for up to four years. Scholarships are available to all first-year, transfer and international students.




To renew a scholarship you must maintain satisfactory academic progress.



Freshman Scholarships


Entering First Year Student Merit Scholarships

First time freshman applicants may receive a maximum of three merit based Saint Mary’s College scholarships.  The maximum amount of gift aid an entering student can receive (including Pell, Supplemental Educational Opportunity, and Cal grants) is the cost of tuition;  merit scholarships and Cal grants can only be applied toward tuition costs. MAPS scholarship recipients are the sole exception.

Presidential Scholarship:  $24,000 annually

Honors at Entrance Scholarship:  $18,000 annually

Gael Scholar’s Award:  $14,000 annually

Leclercq Scholarship: $14,000 annually

Merit scholarships are awarded to first-time freshmen based on academic achievement, including GPA, test results, and rigor of curriculum. These awards are renewable for an additional three years of continuous full-time study and contingent upon satisfactory academic progress. Students do not need to apply separately for merit scholarships; consideration is automatic with a complete application to the college. The total of merit scholarships cannot exceed Saint Mary's College tuition. Merit awards are applicable towards need based aid eligibility. Students who receive the combination of the Presidential and Lasallian Leadership scholarships may not compete for any other merit awards. If the combination of merit scholarships and Cal Grant or the Tuition Exchange award exceed tuition, the merit scholarship will be reduced.

Lasallian Leadership Scholarship:  $13,000 annually

For first-year applicants from Lasallian high schools with an academic GPA of 3.5. Recipients are also eligible to be considered for other merit scholarships.


Need Based Aid 

Saint Mary's College General Scholarships:  $1,000-$28,000 annually. 

These need-based grants depend on student demonstrated financial need as determined by the FAFSA. Other endowed scholarships have additional criteria, such as geographic qualifications or ethnic heritage. (e.g., the Joseph David Cardoza scholarship for students of Portuguese decent). 


Selected Departmental Scholarships 

Saint Mary's offers scholarship opportunities for students who are interested in majoring in the following subjects: 

Students may only compete for one Departmental Scholarship.

Awards are worth $13,000 per year awarded to entering first time freshman for each of four years of consecutive full-time study.

Applicants must submit all application materials (Common Application, high school transcript, a letter of recommendation, ACT or SAT scores on or before the application deadline of January 15.

See below to find which scholarships require a separate application. These application materials must be submitted via email to [email protected] on or before noon, Jan. 15, 2017.

Invited applicants must interview or compete on campus on February 25, 2017 with faculty from their department of interest. The college may be able to assist in travel costs to students outside of Northern California; inquire at [email protected] for more information.


Brother Cornelius Video Arts Scholarship - Art and Art History Department

Application Materials:

  • An essay (<500 words), describing the applicant’s interest and qualifications for the scholarship
  • Two letters of recommendation from teachers and/or others addressing the applicant’s qualifications
  • A DVD or online portfolio of original work (video as well as artwork of other digital or traditional mediums
  • A list of software skills
  • A list of any relevant video media art projects including titles, duration's, and synopses.


The recipient must major in Art Practice and is expected to annually contribute in several capacities to the Art & Art History Department.  Such contributions may include working closely with a faculty member as a production or research assistant on a video or media arts project, coordinating screenings of student video work, leading the department’s art club.

Brother Dominic Barry Mathematics Scholarships - Department of Mathematics & Computer Science

Saint Mary's College Department of Mathematics and Computer Science invites applications for the Brother Dominic Barry Mathematics scholarships. Each scholarship is awarded in the amount of $13,000 annually and is renewable for four years. The scholarships will be awarded to the two highest scorers on the Math Problem Solving Competition to take place on the afternoon of Saturday, February 25, 2017. 

Following the competition, there will be an opportunity to participate in fun math events and share dinner with current Saint Mary's math majors. 

Students interested in participating in the Scholarship competition must sign up before February 13, 2017.

Students who take part in the scholarship competition must have complete applications and will have their application fees waived.

English Department Scholarship

Application Materials:

  • Two letters of recommendation, one to be written by the applicant’s junior or senior year high school English teacher. 
  • Two essays.  One explain (<750 words) why the applicant wishes to major in English; the second (1000-1750 words) analyzing a literary text.  Applicants may also include an example of their creative writing.

Expectations: The recipient must major in English, and contribute to English Department activities.  Such contributions might include assisting with the department website, working on the literary magazine, or helping to organize English Club events.

Integral Program Scholarship

Application Materials:

  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals testifying  to the applicant’s interest in the Integral Program
  • A portfolio illustrating a commitment to inquiry based on the reading and discussion of primary texts. Applicants are invited to be inventive in constructing their portfolios.

Expectations: The recipient must be an Integral major, and contribute actively to the department’s work.  Such contributions might include assisting with the department website, assisting with student recruitment, and organizing departmental events.

The Louis LeFevre Scholarship for History 

Application Materials:

  • A list of history classes taken in high school including the titles of texts read in each class
  • Essay:  500 words addressing why you want to study history
  • Essay:  250 words describing your leadership ability experience
  • Two letters of recommendations from teachers with one from a history teacher

Expectations:The recipient must major in History and collaborate with faculty and students to facilitate participation and leadership in History Club activities and events.

Performing Arts Scholarships - Performing Arts Department

Saint Mary’s College offers $13,000 scholarships for students majoring/minoring in music, dance and theater/technical theatre. Awards are renewable for four years, and are merit-based for demonstrated artistic excellence. Auditions for the upcoming terms can be found at the performing arts department website. Contact the Director of your program of interest for more information. Please note that the auditions for the Performing Arts Scholarship will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2017

Physics Scholarship

The Physics department scholarship is based on an exam. The hour-long exam is designed to test a student’s creative problem solving skills. It cannot be studied for or prepared for and does not test specific knowledge of Physics – we seek students who have the ability to think outside the box and examine problems from multiple perspectives.

Eligible students must:

  • Submit a self-nomination form
  • Score a 600 or better on the math sub-section of the SAT, or a 26 on the math sub-section of the ACT
  • Visit campus Saturday, February 25, 2017, to take the exam 

Politics Scholarship

Application Materials:

  • A letter of recommendation from an individual testifying  to the applicant’s interest in politics
  • A personal essay (<750 words) addressing the applicant’s interest in politics and providing evidence in the form of personal experience, study, service, or career expectations

Expectations: The recipient must major in politics and contribute actively to the Department’s work.  Such contributions might include assisting faculty research and teaching activities and organizing department events. 

Theology and Religious Studies Scholarship

Application Materials:

  • A personal essay of <1000 words addressing the following:
  • Why are you interested in pursuing the academic study of theology and/or religion and  related topics that most interest you
  • Providing evidence of such interest in the form of personal experience, study, service, or career expectations. 
  • Describing why Saint Mary’s College would be a good place to pursue the study of theology and/or religion.
  • Two letters of recommendation addressing your intellectual interests in studying  theology and/or religion: at least one from an academic professional (e.g. teacher or guidance counselor)

Expectations: The recipient must major in Theology & Religious Studies and contribute actively to the Theology & Religious Studies department’s work.  Such contributions might include organizing events for students or the larger community, engaging in research with the faculty, leading study groups, and/or assisting with the department’s website.

Wilder Business Scholarship - Accounting and Business 

The School of Economics and Business Administration encourages students to “Think Globally, Lead Responsibly”. And in that spirit, we offer a $13,000 per year scholarship to one highly qualified first-year student. To be eligible, students must major in Business Administration or Accounting and interview on campus during Scholarship Saturday (February 25, 2017). Students can self-nominate by filling out the self-nomination form and applying to the college before the January 15th deadline. Selected students will be invited to campus to interview during Scholarship Saturday on February 25. Not all students who self-nominate will be selected to interview. 



Mentored Access to Programs in Science Scholarship (MAPS)

MAPS Scholarship

Saint Mary's MAPS Scholarship program offers full tuition for four years of consecutive full-time study. If selected to interview, students can compete for a MAPS scholarship and a Math or Physics scholarship on February 25, but they must choose between Math and Physics. Additionally, if a student receives a MAPS scholarship they are not eligible to receive a Math or Physics scholarship as well, as MAPS covers full tuition, but if they interview for and are not selected for a MAPS scholarship, they may receive a Math or Physics scholarship


  • Must major in Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry (Biology and 3+2 Engineering students are not eligible for a MAPS scholarship) 

  • Must have at least finished Pre-Calculus

  • Show demonstrated need via FASFA

  • Competitive applicants will have a 3.5 ( Weighted) GPA or higher



Transfer Merit Scholarships

Transfer Honors at Entrance Scholarships:  $14,000 annually

Effective as of spring 2014, transfer studdents entering with 30 or more transfer academic semester units or the equivalent and a 3.5 college GPA at the time of acceptance will receive this award, which is renewable annually given satisfactory academic progress. Students do not need to apply seperately for the award; consideration is automatic upon application to the college. 

Local Colleges Partnership Awards: $2,000

Entering transfer students from Chabot College, Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College, Las Positas College, and Los Medanos College will receive a $2,000 scholarship.

Cordero Scholarship: $6,000 annually

Entering international transfer students from Diablo Valley College with a minimum of 30 transferable units and a GPA ranging between 3.00 - 3.24 will be awarded a $6,000 scholarship. This scholarship cannot be combined with the Benildus Scholarship or Transfer Honors at Entrance. 

Benildus Scholarship: $8,000 annually

Entering international transfer students from Diablo Valley College with a minimum of 30 transferable units and a GPA ranging between 3.25 - 3.49 will be awarded an $8,000 scholarship. This scholarship cannot be combined with the Cordero Scholarship or Transfer Honors at Entrance. 



Non-SMC Scholarships

Private organizations and corporations offer a variety of scholarships, which can be used to fund your education at Saint Mary's. See Private Scholarships and Scholarship Websites That Work for more information.


Continuing Student Scholarships:

January Term Travel Scholarship

Scholarship assistance is available for students who would otherwise be unable to afford a January Term travel course. The 2017 Jan Term Travel Scholarship Application is due September 12th by 4:30pm to the Financial Aid Office. No late exceptions.

Study Abroad Scholarships

Student may receive scholarships to study abroad in a non Saint Mary's program. One common scholarship is the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

Study Abroad programs might also have their own scholarships available to students. For more information, please contact the Office of Internation Programs

Macken Collegiate Forensics Scholarship: $300-$13,000 annually

Saint Mary's Macken Collegiate Forensics program offers a variety of scholarship opportunities to incoming freshman, transfer students, and currently enrolled SMC student.

Students are selected to receive scholarships based on their level of commitment to the Macken team, their competitive potential and contributions, and their academic standing.

In order to compete for one of the Macken Collegiate Forensics Scholarships, please submit a self-nomination form.

Self-nomination form

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

This scholarship is available to both new and continuing students who are the children or grandchildren of Saint Mary's College alumni. The application requires a no more than 500 word statement answering the attached prompt below. Following intial review, select students will be invited to participate in on campus interviews during Scholarship Saturday on February 25, 2017. < More information

Application for the Legacy Scholarship

Please submit essay and specific Alumni Scholarship applications (not your Common Application) to Samantha Davison ’12, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at [email protected].  The deadline for submission will be Friday, January 29, 2017 by 4:30 p.m. P.S.T.