Scholarships & Financial Aid

First-Year Scholarships

Merit scholarships are awarded to qualified students based on multiple facets presented in their application for admission. 

Important Dates

December 1
Application deadline for Brown Scholar and Dixon Scholar Award consideration.

February 1
Personal interview deadline for Brown and Dixon scholarships.

March 1
Deadline for any new information pertaining to scholarship consideration (improved class rank or standardized testing results, for example).

Merit Scholarships

Southwestern University considers all students for a merit scholarship through a holistic review process, with emphasis on academic performance, rigor of classes, SAT or ACT scores, personal essay, leadership, extracurricular and volunteer activities, a visit to campus, legacy connections, United Methodist Church membership, achievement/recognition in national programs, and other elements that help us get to know you better.

For your convenience, your application for admission also serves as your application for our general merit-based scholarships. No extra forms or essays needed! Merit scholarship notifications are typically sent electronically within 72 hours of a student’s offer of admission, and can be found by visiting the student’s Personal Application Portal.

Scholarship amounts range from $18,000 to $27,5000 annually. 

Competitive Scholarships

Competitive Scholarships offered by Southwestern University are awarded to students who demonstrate outstanding academic excellence. Unlike merit scholarships, where your application for admission is also the scholarship application, competitive scholarships have additional requirements listed below. 

The Brown Scholarship

The Brown Scholarship, (valued at $33,000 per year) is Southwestern’s most prestigious and competitive award. Candidates must rank minimally in the top 5% of their high school class or, if high school does not rank, have the equivalent of a 3.8 GPA on a 4.0 scale. In addition, students must score at least 1400 on the SAT (CR+M) or 31 on the ACT. All candidates must interview by February 1, and finalists must attend our scholarship weekend March 4 and 5.

Brown Scholarship Application Deadline: December 1
Interview Deadline: February 1

The Bishop Ernest T. Dixon, Jr. Scholarship

The Texas Methodist Foundation, in partnership with Southwestern, administers a competitive supplemental scholarship program to benefit high-achieving African-American, Hispanic and Native American students. Scholarship amounts are added to the Merit Scholarships listed above. Applicants must rank minimally in the top 10% of their high school class (or if high school does not rank, have the equivalent of a 3.7 GPA on a 4.0 scale). There is no testing minimum. A personal interview with a member of the admission staff is required to be considered.

Dixon Scholarship Application Deadline: December 1
Interview Deadline: February 1

Sarofim Fine Arts Awards 

Sarofim scholarships often will have the additional criteria of an audition or portfolio submission. Students choosing to major in the fine arts are eligible for awards in vocal and instrumental music, theatre (acting or design) or studio art. Final Sarofim Awards are based on an evaluation of talent and a holistic review of academics and will be determined after the required audition or portfolio review. Sarofim Awards are awarded by April 1.

Call 512-863-1504 or visit the Sarofim School of Fine Arts section for requirements, deadlines and general information.

Additional Awards

United Methodist Beneficiary Grants - Starting at $2,000 Per Year

As a United Methodist-related institution, Southwestern has restricted funds to assist dependents of United Methodist clergy. Candidates for this grant must submit a Beneficiary Grant Application by February 1. 

National Merit Scholar Recognition - $2,000 Per Year

Southwestern sponsors merit awards for named scholars in the National Merit Scholarship program. Students must name Southwestern as their first choice university by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s published deadline date.

Music Performance Awards - Up to $2,500 Per Year

Audition or evaluation required. Fine Arts Music Performance Awards are for students not majoring in music, but who wish to perform in ensembles. Additionally, students will receive a fee waiver for private lessons. Visit the Sarofim School of Fine Arts website for requirements, dates and general information.