Frequently Asked Questions

We recognize that there are many excellent students within each educational institution, but we ask that schools be selective in their nominations keeping in mind that the Presidential Scholarship is a highly selective process. Approximately 2,000 nominations are submitted every year for the Presidential Scholarship (25 total scholarships are available).

We will accept a maximum of six nominations from each high school. We will not accept more than six nominations from any individual school.  

It is possible that the email address your nominator entered on the nomination form was either incorrect or is blocking the message. Many high school accounts will reject our emails, or they may be filtered into a junk mail or spam folder. We can re-send the email confirmation, or send it to a different address, if you contact us at

Please make sure that is set as a safe sender in your email account.

If your nominator's nomination did not go through successfully for any reason, we will not be able to accept a nomination after 11:59 PM (EST) on December 1st.

Thus, it is in your best interest to contact us as soon as possible if you believe you should have received a confirmation email and have not.

Each Presidential Scholar is talented and unique, contributing to the University community both in and outside the classroom in diverse ways. Some common characteristics of Presidential Scholars are a love of learning and a commitment to enhancing their local community as well as the broader civic community. 

The Presidential Scholars Program seeks to attract academic, culture, and civic leaders who are actively engaged in learning both through the classroom and in their extracurricular activities. There is no GPA requirement.

Note: Villanova University is test-optional for the 2023-24 Admission Cycle. Under this policy, students may choose whether or not to submit SAT and/or ACT results for consideration when submitting their applications. SAT/ACT scores are not required for Presidential Scholarship consideration for the 2023-24 cycle. Click here for more information.

The Presidential Scholars Program (PSP) selection committees are sensitive to the financial needs of the Presidential Scholarship applicants and may take into consideration demonstrated financial need when making final decisions on the awards.

Award decisions are comprised of multiple factors including: demonstrated academic performance, active participation in their school and the broader civic community, leadership, civic engagement, creativity, expertise in a particular field, and ability to respond effectively to adversity.

The PSP selection committees take a holistic approach to understanding students within their contexts and look at multiple criteria in making a final award decision.

We recognize that Presidential Scholarship finalists are exceptional, talented students. Presidential Scholarship finalists (those who are invited to participate in the interview process) who are admitted to Villanova University are offered the highest of our partial scholarships ($16,000/yr) and can apply, if eligible, for other scholarships and awards through the Office of Financial Assistance. Students are encouraged to complete the process of applying for need-based financial aid since the vast majority of the University's financial aid budget is awarded primarily on the basis of need.

Although Presidential Scholars naturally choose to commit themselves to multiple academic and extracurricular activities, the University provides support and guidance for Presidential Scholars to help them reach their utmost potential. Presidential Scholars are provided with academic advising from the University Honors Program and are expected to participate in the University Honors Program to an extent that is appropriate to their course of study (some exceptions apply). Presidential Scholars are involved in cultural, intellectual, and service activities throughout the academic year. Additional guidance and support is provided by the Center for Research and Fellowships (CRF) and the Center for Access, Success and Achievement (CASA). Scholars are expected to meet regularly with CRF and CASA during their time at Villanova.

International students may be nominated for the Presidential Scholarship. Please note that admission to Villanova University for first-year international students is need-aware. Your family’s ability to pay for your education may be a factor in your admission decision, as well as in your eligibility to apply for the Presidential Scholarship. All students receiving funds are expected to contribute personally toward educational and personal expenses while attending Villanova University.

Each year, the University awards a portion of Presidential Scholarships to underrepresented students who have demonstrated leadership in their ability to make significant academic and social contributions to their school and communities. The purpose of the Underrepresented Presidential Scholarship for Diversity, Equity, and Social Change is to identify and recruit Scholars who will be agents for transformative social change. The University is committed to diversity within the classroom and campus climate and believes that learning is best achieved through sharing diverse perspectives and ideas. The Underrepresented Presidential Scholarship for Diversity, Equity, and Social Change is one way the University upholds its commitment to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. Students who wish to be considered for the Underrepresented Presidential Scholarship for Diversity, Equity, and Social Change are reviewed by BOTH their College selection committee and the Underrepresented Presidential Scholarship (UPS) selection committee. 

We ask Presidential Scholarship applicants to self-identify as underrepresented students if they wish to be considered for the Underrepresented Presidential Scholarship for Diversity, Equity, and Social Change. Underrepresented Presidential Scholar alumni and current Scholars demonstrate a sustained commitment and work toward social change. They also demonstrate their capacity to engage in dialogue about issues of equity, justice, and social change. Many have overcome significant social and/or economic barriers to achieve educational excellence and transform their communities and Villanova. Examples of underrepresented students include those who identify as low-income (normally Pell Grant eligible), those who are the first in their family to pursue a college education, and candidates who demonstrate a sustained commitment to social change. Eligible candidates for the Underrepresented Presidential Scholarship for Diversity, Equity, and Social Change must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, although international students are welcome to apply for the Presidential Scholarship. 

The Presidential Scholars Program is administered by the Center for Research and Fellowships.