Early decision or regular decision admission to Davidson is offered without regard to financial circumstances except in the case of international students. In 2009-10, Davidson students will receive over $19 million in financial assistance from college sources. These funds are combined with grants and employment funds from federal, state, and other outside sources to form aid “packages” for Davidson students. Since August 2007, students’ demonstrated financial need has been funded entirely through grants and student employment. While most financial aid is designated for students with demonstrated financial need, Davidson sets aside significant funds for merit-based scholarships. Students receiving need-based packages are eligible for merit-based aid.
Prospective students who wish to be considered for need-based financial aid must complete the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit completed tax documents to the College Board IDOC service. FAFSA and PROFILE forms should be completed online.
Financial Aid Policy
Davidson maintains a strong financial aid program to assist students whose families may not be able to finance the entire cost of a Davidson education. Determination of a student’s financial need begins with the assumption that the parents and student have the primary responsibility to meet education costs to the extent they are able. Once need is established, Davidson makes every effort to help families meet college expenses through a combination of federal and state programs and Davidson’s own financial aid funds.
Merit-based scholarships are offered to a small number of entering students. These awards are made without regard to financial need and are intended to recognize outstanding accomplishments and exceptional potential for future contributions to society.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
In order to receive any grant, loan, or work assistance, a student must maintain satisfactory academic progress in the course of study he/she is pursuing at Davidson. Students who fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress do not receive the following types of financial aid: Federal Pell Grant; Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant; Federal Work-Study; Federal Stafford Loan; Federal PLUS loan; Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant; SMART Grant; North Carolina Student Incentive Grant; North Carolina State Contractual Scholarship Fund; or Davidson College scholarships, grants or employment.
Satisfactory academic progress is reviewed annually prior to the beginning of each academic year. Because the definition of satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes parallels the definition of “good standing” as defined by the faculty, a continuing student who is deemed to be in good academic standing also will meet the standards of academic progress for financial aid. First-year students, all of whom are required to meet rigorous admission criteria, are presumed to be in good standing throughout their first year provided they carry at least a half-time course load. Satisfactory progress for these students is assessed at the end of their first year.
Need-based grant support is available for a maximum of eight semesters (pro rated for transfer students). A student may not receive Federal Title IV assistance for more than twelve semesters.
In cases where a student may be allowed to continue at Davidson even though academic standards have not been met, financial aid may be offered on a probationary basis for one semester if mitigating circumstances so warrant. If standards of progress are not met at the end of that semester, financial aid eligibility is lost until the student regains good standing.
Written notice is given to all students whose financial aid eligibility is rescinded for lack of academic progress. Students may appeal such decisions by writing the Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid. Appeals should include an explanation of why satisfactory progress was not maintained; any additional reasons why financial aid should not be withheld; and supporting documentation from the Dean of Students and/or the College Registrar.
After financial aid has been withdrawn for failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress, students may re-establish eligibility by improving their grade point average and grade point totals at their own expense. Approved classes may be taken during summer sessions as well as the academic year. Students wishing to regain financial aid eligibility also must be re-admitted to the college by the Executive Committee of the Faculty and make proper application to the Financial Aid Office for reinstatement of their financial aid eligibility.
Honors, Awards, and Scholarships
A limited number of first-year students are awarded merit-based scholarships. Selection criteria are generally based on scholastic promise, ability, character, leadership, and promise of contribution to society, as evaluated in the application for admission by the admission staff and the Faculty Committee on Admission and Financial Aid. In the case of area or talent specific scholarships, selection may also be based on the outcome of an audition, interview, portfolio review, or writing sample. Scholarship specific application deadlines may apply. Please refer to the admission application for details.
General Scholarship Awards
Every admitted student is considered for general scholarships. Selection is made by the Director of Merit Programs and the admission staff on the basis of the strength of the candidate’s application for admission. Scholarships can be renewed throughout the recipients’ upper-class years, provided grade point average and progress toward degree requirements are met. No separate scholarship application is required for these awards.
Special Competition Scholarships
Each admitted student is considered for the scholarships described below. No separate scholarship application initiated by the student is required. Nominees are selected by the Davidson admission staff, the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, and the Director of Merit Programs. Finalists will be required to participate in a scholarship interview. The scholarships are renewable, providing the recipients meet grade point average requirements, make standard progress toward their degrees, and are significantly involved in the life of the college community.
Thompson S. and Sarah S. Baker Scholarships: These scholarships, valued annually at the level of comprehensive fees, were established by this Class of 1926 alumnus whose prominence at Davidson foreshadowed his later civic and business leadership, and by his wife. They are offered to first-year students whose accomplishments, purposefulness, service, and maturity mark them as capable of the highest achievement.
John Montgomery Belk Scholarships: These scholarships were established by John Montgomery Belk, a member of the Class of 1943, whose career has been marked by extraordinary leadership and service in business, civic affairs, and the church. They are for students whose leadership in academics, student government, athletics, or service distinguishes them as capable of the highest achievement; and are valued annually at the level of the college’s comprehensive fees. Scholars also receive two summer stipends of $3000 each.
Lowell L. Bryan Scholarships: Two $30,000 scholarships are offered to first-year students who have the capacity and ability to contribute in a superlative manner to their sport and to the academic and co-curricular life at Davidson. The scholarships were established by Lowell L. Bryan, Class of 1968.
Erwin Scholarship: This tuition award (not to include fees) is offered to a first-year student on the basis of leadership, academic excellence, and integrity. The scholarship was established by Goudyloch Erwin Dyer and her husband, Robert C. Dyer, in memory of her brothers, George Phifer Erwin and Edward Jones Erwin, Jr.; her father, Davidson professor of English, Edward Jones Erwin; and her grandfather, George Phifer Erwin. (Not awarded every year.)
Missy and John Kuykendall Scholarships: Three awards are offered annually in each first-year class. Established by the college family in honor of Davidson’s fifteenth president, John Kuykendall and his wife Missy, the Kuykendall Scholarships are for students who, through their habits of mind, leadership, and character, offer the potential to provide the college community the kind of servant leadership that characterized the thirteen-year presidency (1984–1997) of John Kuykendall, Davidson Class of 1959. Scholars are chosen for their personal character, academic accomplishments, generosity, thoughtful leadership, humane interests, and sense of kindness. The scholarships are valued at $10,000 each.
Amos Norris Scholarship: This full cost award was created by Robert Norris, Davidson Class of 1972, in honor of his father, Amos Norris. The award is offered to an outstanding first-year student athlete with integrity, a strong work ethic, and excellent leadership qualities. Nominees are identified by the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid and the Director of Athletics. (Not awarded every year.)
John I. Smith Scholars Program: These two full-tuition awards, established by the John I. Smith Charities, Inc. of Greenville, S.C., in honor and memory of College Trustee, John I. Smith, Davidson Class of 1924, are offered annually to first-year students on the basis of leadership, academic excellence, and a commitment to community service.
Snider Scholarship: Two awards are offered annually to students with significant personal, community, and academic accomplishment; and are valued annually at the level of the college’s comprehensive fees.
William Holt Terry Scholarships: These two full-tuition awards, created to honor Dean Terry (Davidson Class of 1954 and Dean of Students for 23 years), are offered annually to first-year students who have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills and personal qualities through student government, athletics, service, or other activities.
Special Application Scholarships
These scholarships are defined with specific reference to particular areas of study or talent and require a separate application for consideration. Detailed information is included in each student’s admission application materials.
Special application scholarships can be renewed throughout the recipients’ upper-class years at the college, provided grade point average and progress toward degree requirements are met. Any additional renewal requirements are listed in the scholarships’ descriptions.
Rupert T. Barber Scholarship: One $2000 award will go to a student who demonstrates exceptional talent and passion for theatre upon entering Davidson. The award is renewable for four years of study at Davidson, based on grade point requirements and active involvement in the theatre program throughout all four years of attendance. This scholarship is not awarded every year.
Romare Howard Bearden Scholarship: This $10,000 award is offered to a student with exceptional ability and promise as a studio artist. Preference is given to African-American students. The recipient must declare a major in art (either studio or history) to retain the award for all four years. (Not awarded every year.)
Patricia Cornwell Scholarships in Writing: This $20,000 award was established by Patricia Cornwell, award-winning novelist and member of the Class of 1979. Offered to two first-year students, the Cornwell Scholarship recognizes students with exceptional ability and promise in writing. Cornwell Scholars may be creative writers of poetry or fiction, drama or film; writers who combine creativity with a knowledge of science or technology; journalists; or other writers who demonstrate extraordinary talent. Cornwell Scholars are expected to be actively involved in the writing community.
Julius Dobson Neely and Joseph Dobson Scholarship: This $5,000 award is offered to one student in each first-year class who expresses an interest in Latin as a major field of study and who has shown significant experience and success in the field.
Wachovia Teaching Scholarship: This award is offered annually to exceptional first-year students interested in pursuing a career in teaching. The number and size of awards will vary.
Music Performance Scholarships: The music department offers five $8,000 scholarships, which are provided through the Donald B. Plott, J. Estes Millner, and James C. Harper endowments. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of auditions which are held on specific weekends during the year. The scholarships are renewable subject to annual evaluation. In addition, music majors are eligible to apply for grants to study away from campus.
Pepper Visual Arts Scholarship: One $5,000 award is given each year to a first-year student. Selection is based upon the Art Department’s review of slides and/or photographs in the applicant’s portfolio. The scholarship is renewable on the basis of satisfactory academic progress and active involvement in studio art. The recipient must declare a major in art (studio or history) to retain the award for the junior and senior year.
W. Olin Puckett Scholarship: One $10,000 award is offered in each first-year class to a student leader with academic distinction who is preparing for a career in medicine or in the sciences.
Williams Challenge Scholarship: One $10,000 scholarship is available annually to a first-year student as a challenge to consider the ministry or other church-related vocations. An additional $2,000 annually helps support an internship or conference attendance.
National Merit Scholarships
Three awards are offered annually to first-year students selected from among those who have been identified as National Merit finalists and who have designated Davidson as their first choice college. In compliance with National Merit directives, the size of the award is linked to established financial need: the minimum award is $750; the maximum award is $2,000.
A limited number of students who are nationals of countries other than the United States receive financial assistance each year. These funds vary in amount and are based on a combination of need and merit. The International Student Financial Aid Application of the College Scholarship Service should be submitted to the Office of Admission and Financial Aid along with Davidson’s application for admission.
Children of Presbyterian Ministers
Davidson College, in recognition of its long and significant relationship with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), ensures that all Davidson students who are children of ordained Presbyterian (U.S.A.) ministers will receive at least $1,000 in renewable, annual grants from Davidson. Students not receiving this amount through other merit-based or need-based grants are funded through the John Richards Hay and Sara Craig Hay Scholarship Program.
The Julian and Robert Lake Scholarship is a $15,000 merit-based scholarship awarded to a member of each first-year class who is the child of a minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Selection is made by the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid and the Scholarship Coordinator based upon the student’s application for admission.
In addition to awards controlled by the college, students at Davidson receive funds from a variety of external sources, including the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and many others. Information about locating and applying for such assistance may be obtained from high school counselors or the Office of Admission and Financial Aid.
Army ROTC Scholarships: Awarded on merit, not need, to both men and women. Army scholarships pay full tuition and mandatory fees, a book stipend each semester, and a personal expense allowance of $250 to $500 a month during the school year, depending on the cadet’s class status. Four-year scholarships are awarded annually to high school seniors for the following academic year with an application deadline of December 1. Two-, three-, and four-year scholarships are available to enrolled Davidson students. Interested students may obtain an application and further information by contacting the Davidson College Department of Military Studies (Army ROTC).
Davidson students also have access to financial aid provided by Air Force ROTC, by participating in the program at UNC-Charlotte. Registration in this program is possible following the Charlotte Area Educational Consortium (CAEC) cross-registration procedures.
Federal and State Grant Programs
Federal Pell Grants: Pell Grants provided by the federal government are a form of gift aid based on a federal need-analysis formula. They range in value up to $5,350 for 2009–10. Information is available in high school guidance offices, college financial aid offices, and from the U.S. Department of Education.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants: These federal grants of up to $4,000 per year are available to students who demonstrate high financial need according to Davidson’s analysis of the FAFSA and the PROFILE.
North Carolina Legislative Tuition Grants: The State Legislature of North Carolina provides a tuition reduction grant each academic year to all full-time undergraduate students who are legal residents of North Carolina attending private institutions in the state. In 2008-09 this grant was $1,950.
North Carolina State Contractual Scholarship Fund: These grants of up to $5,000 per year are available to residents of North Carolina who demonstrate financial need according to Davidson’s analysis of the FAFSA and the PROFILE.
North Carolina Student Incentive Grants: Grants of up to $1,500 per year are made by the State of North Carolina to residents who demonstrate high financial need according to the State’s analysis of the FAFSA.
Other State Programs: Students who do not live in North Carolina should ask their guidance counselors about possible funding from their own states.
Federal Stafford Loans: Through this federal program, participating banks and other lenders make loans of up to $5,500 for the first year of an undergraduate program, $6,500 for the second year, and $7,500 per year for the third and fourth years of undergraduate study. Additional information is available from Davidson’s Office of Admission and Financial Aid.
Federal PLUS Loans: Through this federally guaranteed loan program, parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other aid. The variable interest rate is adjusted annually. Monthly repayment begins within 60 days of disbursement. Applications and more information are available in Davidson’s Office of Admission and Financial Aid.
Other Loan Programs: Students may wish to pursue loans through alternative loan sources. Information about these loan programs is available from the Office of Admission and Financial Aid.
More than 300 Davidson students have on-campus jobs awarded as part of the need-based financial aid package. Assignment to a specific job is made by the Office of Admission and Financial Aid. Entering students usually are able to work ten to twelve hours a week without handicap to their academic work. Funding is available through the Federal Work-Study Program and from Davidson College. A portion of federal work-study funds is earmarked for students employed in community service activities. Campus work opportunities for students who may not have financial aid eligibility are available in several departments. Off-campus employment opportunities may be explored through various college publications.
Student employees are paid monthly by direct deposit on the 15th of the month following the pay period.