First Year Merit Scholarships

First Year Students

All first-year student applicants to UNH are considered for merit scholarships at the time of application review. There is no additional application and/or essay required. Students must meet all listed criteria to be awarded the merit scholarship (there is no sliding scale).  Scholarship decisions take place through a comprehensive, holistic review process.  The University establishes admission guidelines based on the rigor of a student’s program of study, performance relative to one’s peers (as measured by class rank), trend of achievement, essay, recommendation(s), extra-curricular activities and standardized test scores. 

The current criteria and dollar amounts listed are in effect for first-year students entering UNH in fall 2015 and spring 2016. Merit scholarship criteria are reviewed and updated for each enrollment cycle and the criteria, GPA requirements, and dollar values are subject to change.

In addition, please note that it is the university’s policy to not award both a merit scholarship and the tuition-discount available through the New England Regional Student Program (NERSP); students may receive one or the other, but not both. Our practice is to award the student the award (either the merit scholarships or the tuition discount associated with NERSP) that provides the greatest cost reduction for the student. This decision reflects the institution’s commitment to prudently manage its fiscal resources.

Award amounts listed below are per year, for four years. Scholarships are renewable for up to 8 consecutive semesters of academic coursework at UNH provided that the recipient makes appropriate progress towards their degree, meets the GPA requirements (3.2 on a 4.0 scale) and demonstrates acceptable standards of citizenship and character expected of all members of the university community.

All tests must be taken before the application deadline.


Presidential Scholarship

NH Residents: $5,000

Non-Residents: $10,000

Rank in top 10% of graduating class (or equivalent level for unranked schools as determined by GPA and/or information on the school profile)

Strong college preparatory curriculum and consistent achievement

Standardized test scores of 1970+ SAT / 29+ ACT composite


Dean’s Scholarship

NH Residents: $1,500

Non-Residents: $6,000

Rank in top 15% of graduating class (or equivalent level for unranked schools as determined by GPA and/or information on the school profile)

Strong college preparatory curriculum and consistent achievement

Standardized test scores of 1760+ SAT / 26+ ACT composite


Director’s Scholarship

NH Residents:  $1,000

Non-Residents: $4,000

Rank in top 30% of graduating class (or equivalent level for unranked schools as determined by GPA and/or information on the school profile)

Strong college preparatory curriculum and consistent achievement

Standardized test scores of 1670+ SAT / 25+ ACT composite


Governor’s Success

NH Residents: $10,000

Selection is very competitive, is not automatic, and limited to NH applicants who apply by the early action deadline. A limited number are awarded each year to the highest caliber in-state students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement coupled with notable leadership skills in the school/community. Note: Recipients will be required to participate in the UNH Honors Program.

Rank in top 1-3% of graduating class (or equivalent level for unranked schools as determined by GPA and/or information on the school profile)

Challenging college preparatory curriculum characterized by the exhaustion of all academic options in the high school curriculum

Standardized test scores of 1970+ SAT / 29+ ACT composite. 

Letter of recommendation that supports leadership qualities and potential of the student

We suggest applying by the November 15, early action deadline for preferred consideration


Hamel Scholarship

NH Residents: $5,000 to $10,000

The Hamel Scholars Program seeks to help exceptional in-state students develop their full potential and graduate from UNH poised to become active, engaged leaders in communities throughout the state. The scholarships are funded through a gift from Dana Hamel, a resident of New Hampshire and a long-time supporter of UNH.

The scholarship provides substantial financial support in the form of a yearly scholarship plus special opportunities for academic and co-curricular engagement. The Admissions Office will determine the amount of each award, which is a supplement to any merit or need-based financial aid awards.

Selection is very competitive, is not automatic, and limited to in-state applicants who apply by the early action deadline. A limited number are awarded each year to the highest caliber in-state students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement coupled with notable leadership skills in their school and/or communities. Renewable for all four years of a recipient’s UNH undergraduate career, provided he or she meets the renewal criteria.

Candidates will have academic credentials in line with those of students who are invited to the University Honors Program and demonstrate meaningful involvement in school or broader community and a strong interest in and capacity for sustained community engagement. 

Students invited to the Honors Program have an average GPA of just over a 4.0 on weighted 4.0 scale

Rank in the top 10% of their class (or equivalent level for unranked schools as determined by GPA and/or information on the school profile)

Demonstrate a challenging college preparatory curriculum

Standardized tests scores of 1970+ SAT /29+ ACT composite

We suggest applying by the November 15, early action deadline for preferred consideration

Learn about current Hamel Scholars


College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Industry Scholarship (additional application required)

The University of New Hampshire has partnered with Whelen Engineering Companies, Inc. and Tyco International to create two undergraduate scholarships to recognize excellence in first-year students entering the University’s College of Engineering & Physical Sciences (CEPS).

Each scholarship covers a significant portion of a student’s tuition, fees, and room & board for four years of undergraduate education at UNH.

Criteria for Eligibility

Students who wish to be considered for the scholarship must present credentials that reflect outstanding academic achievement and promise. These include:

  • Rigorous program of study including a minimum of four years of mathematics and four years of science, with preference given to Pre-Engineering Programs, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate courses
  • Grades that indicate excellence
  • Class rank in the top 10 percent (for schools that provide class rank) or equivalent for unranked schools as determined by GPA and/or information on the school profile.
  • SAT Reasoning Test score of typically 1970+, or higher; or a composite ACT score of 29+, or higher.
  • Demonstrated financial need (Whelan only)- must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1
  • Submit a supplemental essay by January 28, 2016
  • We suggest applying by the November 15, early action deadline for preferred consideration

Peter T. Paul Scholarship (Business)

$5,000

Students who apply to a major in the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics are automatically considered and notified at the time of admission. The scholarships are competitive and are awarded in addition to other UNH merit aid. They may be renewed annually for up to four years provided student maintains academic standards detailed in the offer letter.

Competitive applicants for this award generally:

  • Rank in the top 15% of the graduating class (or equivalent level for unranked schools as determined by GPA and/or information on the school profile)
  • Show a strong college preparatory curriculum and consistent achievement
  • Achieve standardized test scores of 1860+ SAT / 27+ ACT composite

These are the minimum criteria to be considered for the Peter T. Paul scholarship. Meeting the minimum criteria does not guarantee an award as the pool of applicants is competitive and the number of scholarships available is limited.

UNH alumnus Peter T. Paul funded these scholarships to support and recognize the most academically promising students majoring in business administration, economics or hospitality management at UNH. Additional benefits for this select group of scholars include, but are not limited to:

  • Expanded academic and career readiness support from academic advisors and Paul College Career Counselors
  • Priority access to hands-on collaborative research opportunities with faculty mentors
  • The option to join a designated living/learning community in a residence hall near the Paul College building.

Apply to UNH by Feb. 1 to be considered.

Additional Scholarship Information

Athletic Grants In-Aid

Financial assistance is available to male and female student athletes. The Director of Athletics, in consultation with the appropriate coaches, recommends the recipients and amount of awards. Interested students should contact the Athletic Department directly.

It is the policy of the University of New Hampshire that men and women will have equal access to funds for athletic scholarships. Criteria and procedures for awarding such scholarships are decided by the Department of Athletics.

International Student Scholarships

International students are eligible to receive all scholarships listed for out-of-state students. In addition to these, a limited number of scholarships are available. No additional application is required as students are considered based on materials submitted during the admissions process.

Other Scholarship Resources

Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship

Financial Aid Resources:  Includes more information on other scholarship opportunities and financial aid resources. 

UNH Parent’s Association Scholarships