First-Year Scholarships

Scholarships are available to students from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. The scholarships can range from $2,000 to full tuition per academic year. Undergraduate scholarships are awarded on a need and merit basis and many are renewed yearly.

Merit Scholarships | Lasallian Leadership AwardAlumni Legacy ScholarshipDepartmental Scholarships | Other Saint Mary's Scholarships


First-Year Merit-Based Scholarships

Scholarships are determined and awarded at the time of acceptance, no additional forms are required to be considered for these merit-based scholarships. Your merit-based scholarship will be automatically applied to each of your four years of consecutive full-time undergraduate study at Saint Mary's College.

Merit-based scholarships are contingent upon successful academic progress while enrolled at Saint Mary's College. These amounts may be combined with other Saint Mary's College scholarships, possible additional need-based aid for which students might qualify.

A Note about Merit-Based Scholarships: The total of merit-based scholarships cannot exceed Saint Mary's College tuition. Merit-based awards are applied towards any demonstrated need-based aid eligibility. Students who receive the combination of the Presidential and Lasallian Leadership scholarships may compete for any other merit awards; the maximum number of merit awards a student may receive is three. If the combination of merit scholarships and Cal Grant or the Tuition Exchange award exceeds tuition, the merit-based scholarship will be reduced.


scholarships 22

Lasallian Leadership Award

Scholarships are determined and awarded at the time of acceptance, no additional forms are required to be considered for this scholarship. The scholarship will automatically be applied to each of your four years of consecutive full-time undergraduate study -- toward your first bachelor's degree -- at Saint Mary's College.

This award is available to admitted first-year students graduating from De La Salle Christian Brothers high schools. Students from other historically Lasallian affiliated schools (Carondelet High School in Concord, CA; San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno, CA;  Garces Memorial in Bakersfield, CA) may also qualify. Recipients can combine these awards with one of the listed merit-based scholarships determined at the time of acceptance.

Scholarship amount per year: $13,000
Total Scholarship Amount over four academic years: $52,000

Saint Mary's chapel with blue sky and clouds behind it

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship valued at $2,000 is available to new first-year and transfer students who are admitted for the upcoming Fall or Spring term, and who are the immediate children or grandchildren of Saint Mary’s College alumni. Qualification as an 'alumni' constitutes successful completion of an Undergraduate (B.A. or B.S.) or Graduate (M.A., M.S., MBA, MFA, M.Ed, Ed.D) degree from the college. The scholarship amount of $2,000 is awarded for four years of consecutive full-time undergraduate study and is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress. 

To apply: Eligible legacy applicants will be automatically awarded upon contingent acceptance to the college.

A Note about the Legacy Scholarship: This award may be combined with other Saint Mary’s College Scholarships for up to a maximum of three separate awards, which may not exceed the cost of tuition. These awards will be applied against any financial need that you may demonstrate through the filing of the Free Application of Federal Student Aid. Please note that should you later prove eligible for any Pell and or California Grant aid, the maximum amount of gift aid that you will be awarded will not exceed the cost of tuition.

You may contact Jenna Sciarrino, Associate Director of Admissions, at if you have any questions.


Departmental Scholarships

Students may only compete for one Departmental Scholarship. To be considered, applicants must submit all Saint Mary's application materials including their application, and high school transcript on or before the admissions Regular Decision Application Deadline of January 15, 2022.

  • Additional materials and letter(s) of recommendation can be emailed to

  • Performing Arts candidates will be invited to this year's auditions, which will take place the same day as Scholarship Saturday, February 26, 2022. We will accept applications through February 1, 2022, or until all slots are filled.

  • Invited applicants must interview with faculty from their department of interest on-campus during our Scholarship Saturday event held on SaturdayFebruary 26, 2022.

Annual departmental scholarships have an award amount of $13,000 ($52,000 in total for four years of consecutive study) and are available to selected incoming first-year students.

Departmental programs will also award a total of three merit-based full-tuition scholarships to students for notable academic excellence. 

Name of Departmental Scholarship Application Materials Application Link

Accounting and
Business Administration

  • A brief 1-page essay (describing your academic goals and career pursuits)
  • Submit the self-nomination form
  • *Only a handful of students who self-nominate will be selected to interview*
  • **Declaration of SEBA major (Business Administration or Accounting) is required at entrance
Apply Here

Art Practice and Art History
(Brother Cornelius Visual Art Scholarship)

  • 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 (artwork of other digital or traditional mediums). *Art Practice majors only.
  • List of software skills.
  • List of any relevant art projects including titles, durations, and synopses.
Apply Here
  • A letter of recommendation addressing the applicant’s interest in science and/or chemistry 
  • A personal essay addressing all of the following (500 words or less): If you had the skills, technology, and resources to
    conduct any type of chemistry research, what question would you try to answer, and why? How would you go about the investigation?
Apply Here
  • Two letters of recommendation, one to be written by the applicant’s junior or senior year
  • high school English teacher.
  • Two essays.
    • The first should explain (in 500 words or fewer) why the applicant wishes to major in English.
    • The second (1,000-1,250 words) should analyze a literary text.
  • Applicants may also include a sample of their creative writing.
Apply Here
Environmental Science
  • Two letters of recommendation addressing the applicant’s interest in science and the environment.
  • A personal essay addressing all of the following (250 words for each):
  • Essay 1: What environmental issue(s) is most concerning to you?
  • Essay 2: How does this environmental issue impact communities and environments?
  • Essay 3: What scientific methods might we use to help solve these problems? Describe a scientific investigation that could help solve this problem.
  • Essay 4: What impact do you hope to make in addressing the issue you identified above OR other environmental issues?
Apply Here
  • A list of history classes taken in high school including the titles of texts read in each class.
  • Essay 1: 500 words addressing your interest in studying history.
  • Essay 2: 250 words describing your leadership ability experience.
  • Two letters of recommendation from teachers, at least one being from a history teacher.
Apply Here
Integrated Liberal Arts and Sciences
(the Integral Program)
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals testifying to the applicant’s interest in the Integral Program.
  • A portfolio illustrating a commitment to inquiry-based reading and discussion of primary texts.
  • Applicants are invited to be inventive in constructing their portfolios.
  • A short cover letter (no more than 250 words) introducing the portfolio and indicating the student's interest in the Integral Program.
Apply Here
(Bro. Dominic Barry Math Competition)
  • Students interested in participating in the Scholarship Competition must participate in the competition to be eligible to receive the scholarship.
Apply Here
Performing Arts
Auditions Required

Annual merit-based scholarships of $13,000 are available to selected incoming first-year students
who major or minor in Theatre, Dance, or Music. The Performing Arts department will also award up
to two merit-based full-tuition scholarships for combined artistic and academic excellence.

Apply Here
Physics Students will be asked to participate in a lab activity. You must participate in the lab activity to be eligible to receive the scholarship. Apply Here
  • 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, and/or career expectations.
Apply Here
Theology and Religious Studies
  • A personal essay of (<1000) words addressing the following:
    • Your interest in pursuing theology and/or religion, providing evidence of such interest in the form of personal experience, study, service, or career expectations.
    • Describe 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 of which should be from an academic professional (e.g. teacher or guidance counselor).
Apply Here

Other Saint Mary's Scholarships

The Macken Collegiate Forensics Scholarships
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. To apply students must complete and submit the following items. 

  • You will need to apply for admission to Saint Mary’s College

  • Complete the Macken Collegiate Forensics application

  • Available to incoming first-year, transfers, and currently enrolled SMC students

  • Scholarships range from $2,500 - $13,000 annually

Apply for the Macken Collegiate Forensics Scholarship HERE!

Robert W. Summers Scholarship in Communication and Journalism
This scholarship in Journalism and Communication offered to one eligible entering first-year student and one transferring or continuing junior each year. This merit-based award is for Communication majors or those with a demonstrable commitment to journalism. To apply students must complete and submit the following items. 

  • You will need to apply for admission to Saint Mary’s College

  • Complete Scholarship Application

  • Provide a brief (500 words) statement of interest

  • Provide proof of a 3.0+ GPA

  • Your Portfolio of work on journalism (broadly defined)

  • One letter of reference

  • The scholarship amount is $6,000 per year

Apply for the Robert W. Summers Scholarship HERE!

Library Student

Need-Based Aid 

Typically, students receive a combination of state and federal grants, Saint Mary's grants, and need-based and non-need-based government and private loans. Those are all in addition to the many merit-based scholarships from noteworthy academic performance and specific department honors. Many find the best combination of these resources, making the average Saint Mary's financial aid package approximately $36,780 for the 2020-21 academic year.

To apply: These need-based grants depend on student demonstrated financial need as determined by the FAFSA. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have additional questions.

Veterans & Dependents Benefits

Saint Mary's College of California proudly participates in the GI BILL® and Yellow Ribbon Program! Saint Mary's is committed to providing our veteran students and their dependents access to all of the benefits they may be eligible for, in addition to the other financial aid options such as federal, state, and/or institutional grants, loans, and scholarships. Through our campus's Registrar Office, we can provide an array of benefits to veterans and their eligible dependents under the various public laws that come under the direction of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Learn More About Our Veterans/Post 9-11 GI BILL® Benefits Here

Learn More About Our Yellow Ribbon Program Benefits Here

Financial Resources for Students

Are you looking for more financial assistance to pay for your education? Not only may students be eligible for Saint Mary's specific merit scholarships, as well as, need-based aid, but we also accept outside and private scholarships that students may receive to cover the cost of attendance. The links provided below are additional resources for students and their families. 

Private 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.

Students gathering