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Powell Scholar Program

Annual Award: $36,000

The Powell Scholarship is the University's premier academic merit award, and is designed to cultivate future leaders through mentoring, instruction, and service.

Qualification of Candidates | To Apply | Terms and ConditionsFAQ | Key Dates

In addition to the generous scholarship award, Powell Scholars will have special access to research opportunities, study abroad programs, and nationally recognized speakers visiting Pacific. They participate in extensive mentoring and leadership development.  Each Powell Scholar will have access to up to $5,000 for research projects and up to $2,500 for international travel.

To view the components of the program and some accomplishments of our Powell Scholars, go to: » go.pacific.edu/powellscholars.

Students apply for the Powell Scholars Program in their senior year of high school. The application deadline is December 1. Students enter the program as college freshmen: upperclassmen and transfer students are not eligible. The Powell Scholars award is renewable each year of your undergraduate studies assuming a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 is maintained.  The award may be accompanied by additional need-based financial aid, but not other merit-based scholarships from Pacific (including the President's or Regents' awards).  If you are selected for more than one of these scholarships you will receive the most advantageous award.

Given the opportunities in research, fellowships, study-abroad, cultural experiences and community service supported by the scholarship, the Powell Scholars Program is designed to coincide with a four year undergraduate curriculum. Therefore, students who apply for and are offered admission to the Powell Scholars Program AND a Pacific accelerated program must choose either the Powell Scholar Program OR an accelerated program for enrollment by May 1st. All Powell Scholars must earn an undergraduate degree.

Qualification of Candidates

University of the Pacific is seeking Powell Scholars candidates who have:

  • A cumulative high school GPA of 3.7 or higher (on an unweighted 4.00 scale)
  • Undertaken a rigorous academic curriculum - Honors, AP, and/or IB courses
  • Demonstrated superior leadership skills in two or more areas, including but not restricted to student government, community service, cultural groups, research or creative activities
  • Combined SAT Critical Reading and Math score of at least 1350 or ACT composite score of at least 30

Students who meet these minimum criteria are encouraged to apply. A select number of finalists will be invited to campus to interview with the Powell Scholars selection committee.

To Apply...

Powell Scholarship Application
(Complete by the deadline)

Selected students will compete for up to 10 scholarships awarded annually by the university. Selection will involve a personal interview designed to assess each candidate's potential for intellectual and leadership development, international study, research and creative endeavors, and the ability to make a difference in the world.

Apply Now!

Terms and Conditions

  2015 Terms and Conditions

 Common Questions (FAQ)

What if my test scores or GPA doesn't meet the minimum?

Students are at a disadvantage if they do not meet the minimum requirements. The average test score and GPA for recipients in the past have considerably exceeded the minimum requirements.

What kinds of leadership qualify?

Any kind of leadership is fine, but some are more common than others.

  • Common Types of Leadership Experiences: Student Government, Band Leader, Camp Counselor, Sunday School Teacher, Girl Scouts, Eagle Scouts. Note: Students involved in these activities should try to explain the uniqueness of his/her particular experience....how is it different than all of the other student body presidents?
  • Uncommon: Leader/organizer of club of special cause (Save Darfur, Breast Cancer, etc), Founding of a club, Exceptional research or creative activity.

Can I receive more than one merit scholarship?

Recipients of the Powell Scholarship are not eligible for other merit scholarships at Pacific (specifically, the Regent's, President's, Provost's, Dean's, or Pacific). Other need-based financial aid is permitted.

What GPA is required to renew my Powell Scholarship?

At the end of the academic year (spring term) satisfactory academic progress is assessed for all students. If a Powell Scholar fails to attain the minimum cumulative GPA required for renewal, the scholarship will be withdrawn.

  • 3.0 is minimum GPA for renewal for students who entered in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
  • 3.5 is minimum GPA for renewal for students who entered on or after the fall of 2014.

If I'm below the required GPA standard after spring term and not eligible to renew my Powell Scholarship how can I regain my eligibility?    

The scholarship may be regained once the minimum cumulative GPA has returned to the appropriate level.

  • 3.0 is for students who entered in 2011, 2012, or 2013) or
  • 3.5 for students who entered in fall 2014 or after.

Students may regain their scholarship at any time during their four years at Pacific. 

  • Use of Summer Courses              
    • A student who does not meet the appropriate GPA standards after spring semester may take summer courses at Pacific to improve their GPA. If the GPA for summer raises their GPA above the required standards, they may request the scholarship to be reinstated for fall semester. (Note: Students, who take summer courses which result in a reduction in cumulative GPA below the minimum, are not penalized for the upcoming academic year - the GPA at the point of satisfactory academic progress review in spring term preceding summer is used as the basis for renewal of the scholarship for the academic year.)
  • After Fall Semester
    • You may also regain eligibility at the end of fall term if your cumulative GPA is above the requirement after fall grades are posted.  You should contact the Financial Aid Office and request reinstatement. 

If I've failed to meet the academic standards for receiving my Powell Scholarship, am I still part of the Powell Scholars Program?

"For two semesters beyond the loss of scholarship, you may remain in the program including having access to Callison Hall, and continue to attend related cultural events. However, you may not receive Powell funds for study abroad or research until the required GPA minimum has been reached and the scholarship is reinstated.

  • In addition, if you do not meet the GPA minimum by the end of your final semester at Pacific you will not graduate as a Powell Scholar and that designation will also be removed from the appropriate records.

Can I receive a fifth year of Powell Scholarship?

School of Engineering students who entered in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and have a 3.0 or above are eligible to receive a fifth year of funding as a Powell Scholar. Fifth year benefits are not available to students who entered in fall of 2014 and beyond. 

Powell Scholarship Program Key Dates (Fall 2015 Applicants)

December 1, 2015
Powell Scholarship Application Deadline

Month of February 2016
Students selected as finalists will be invited to campus to interview with the Powell Scholars Selection Committee

February 15, 2016
Priority application date (FAFSA) for need-based grants, loans, and work-study

March 15, 2016
Powell Scholarship winners announced

May 1, 2016
Freshman Confirmation Deadline