College scholarships for young people of exceptional character
and non-traditional students through two distinct programs

Daniels Scholar Video Profiles

Daniels Scholarship Program
Overview Video

Daniels Scholarship Program Trailer

The Daniels Scholarship Program provides a four-year annually-renewable college scholarship for graduating high school seniors who demonstrate exceptional character, leadership, and a commitment to serving their communities.

Click below to learn more.

Daniels Scholarship Program Overview

The Daniels Scholarship is an exciting and challenging program that provides the opportunity to obtain a four-year college education at any accredited nonprofit college or university in the United States, complete with financial and personal support throughout the journey. The Daniels Scholarship Program offers resources, encouragement, and inspiration far beyond the financial assistance needed to earn a college degree. Our goal is not only to help Daniels Scholars succeed in college, but to ensure that they thrive beyond their years in college.

Every year, Daniels Scholars are selected from our four-state region of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Daniels Scholars currently attend more than 200 colleges and universities in 44 states.

As of June 2015, the Daniels Scholarship Program has provided nearly $130 million in undergraduate scholarships to more than 3,250 students.

What are the selection criteria for the Daniels Scholarship Program?

Daniels Scholars are selected because they embody the principles and values Bill Daniels defined as hallmarks of the program:

  • Strength of character
  • Leadership potential
  • Academic performance or promise
  • Willingness to give back to the community
  • Well-rounded personality

In addition, there are a number of specific requirements to be eligible for the Daniels Scholarship Program. Please read the Eligibility section below for full details.


What are the eligibility requirements for the Daniels Scholarship Program?

To be eligible for the Daniels Scholarship Program, students must satisfy the following requirements at the time of application:

  Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  Be a resident of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, or Wyoming
  Be a high school senior graduating from a school in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, or Wyoming
  Earn ACT scores of at least 17 in each category (math, English, reading, science); or an SAT math score of at least 400 and critical reading score of at least 440. Writing scores are not required. All test scores must come from a single test, and must be submitted by the application deadline. Super scoring is not accepted.
  Demonstrate financial need

How does the Daniels Scholarship Program determine financial need?

The Daniels Fund assesses financial need by evaluating a number of factors such as the income and assets of the applicant’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s), the income and assets of the applicant, and individual circumstances.

Students do not need to be Pell eligible to be financially eligible for the Daniels Scholarship Program.

Unlike in previous years, applicants do not need to complete the FAFSA or College Board CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE as part of the application process.

Applicants must complete the first part of the online application, which is an eligibility questionnaire requiring financial information from the applicant and his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s). Applicants who do not satisfy the eligibility requirements, will not be able to proceed through the application. Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements, will be required to submit documents that will be used to verify their eligibility, such as official ACT/SAT scores; citizenship and residency documentation; and financial documents.

All sources of income are considered, such as:
  Salaries, wages, and tips   Rental income
  Interest and dividend income   Retirement and pension distributions
  Alimony and/or child support received   Disability and/or Social Security benefits
  Business and farm income   Housing, living, or food allowances
All assets are considered, such as:
  Cash and savings   Business or farm assets
  Retirement accounts   Investments
  Home equity   Additional real estate properties, such as rental properties or second residences
Individual Circumstances
Individual circumstances are taken into consideration, such as:
  Marital status of parents
  Number of parents’ children
  Number of parents’ children in college (undergraduate only)
  Legally independent status of students
  Who provides financial support

What does the Daniels Scholarship Program cover?

New this year! See the section below on partner schools for exciting developments

The Daniels Scholarship is a comprehensive college scholarship that pays toward the costs of tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and miscellaneous educational expenses. The amount of the scholarship is unique to each Daniels Scholar, and can vary from year to year.

The financial formula used to determine a scholar's Daniels Scholarship payment will be different depending on whether they attend one of the Daniels Fund's partner schools or a non-partner school. All current partner schools are located within our four-state region of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. While scholars may choose to earn their bachelor's degree at any nonprofit, accredited college or university in the United States, there is a distinct financial advantage to attending a partner school.

A focused effort by the Daniels Fund has established partnership agreements with several schools whose student populations have historically included a significant number of Daniels Scholars. Over time, we will add additional partner schools based on enrollment trends.

A current list of partner schools is available at

The Daniels Fund will continually add schools to this list as new partner schools are confirmed.

How does the financial formula differ between partner and non-partner schools?

Partner Schools
Daniels Scholars who enroll in one of our partner schools will essentially attend college on a "full ride" scholarship. This means the combination of resources from the Daniels Fund and their school, as well as other scholarships they earn, will cover all of the scholar's college costs, including their Expected Family Contribution (or "EFC").

Non-Partner Schools
For Daniels Scholars choosing to attend a non-partner school, the Daniels Scholarship functions as an unmet need or "last dollar" scholarship. Under this financial formula, scholars can expect to have most — but not all — of their college costs covered, and scholars will be responsible for covering their Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

A "last dollar" scholarship is supplemental, and therefore secondary, to all other grants and scholarships awarded to the scholar. After taking into consideration all other scholarships, financial aid (federal, state, and institutional), the scholar's EFC, and any work-study they accept, the Daniels Fund will pay toward the remaining costs of the scholar's education.

Daniels Scholarships are annually renewable up to a maximum of four academic years (8 semesters or 12 quarters) if all requirements of the Daniels Scholarship Program are met.

Where can the Daniels Scholarship be used?

Daniels Scholars may attend any two or four-year, nonprofit accredited college or university in the United States. Daniels Scholars must intend to complete a bachelor's degree. If a Daniels Scholar starts at a two-year college, they must pursue an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science degree with an intended path to earn a bachelor’s degree. Daniels Scholarships may not be used at technical or trade schools, or for participation in certificate programs.

Why apply?

The Daniels Scholarship Program is much more than a check for college. It is a comprehensive program to help Daniels Scholars succeed in college and beyond. For those equal to the challenge, the rewards and benefits are significant:

  • Financial assistance toward a four-year undergraduate degree
  • Campus communities with events, activities, and support exclusively for Daniels Scholars
  • Dedicated help and support from Daniels Fund associates and designated on-campus contacts
  • Assistance in planning for a career after college
  • Alumni Program offering ongoing support and a lifelong connection to a network of Daniels Scholars
  • Recognition as a Daniels Scholar
  • A new laptop

Expectations and requirements for Daniels Scholars

  • Maintain minimum academic requirements (2.0 GPA) while in college and be on track to graduate with a bachelor's degree within four academic years
  • Live on-campus during freshman year
  • While in college, work in a paid position during the academic year (5 hours per week the first year in college and 10 hours per week every year after)
  • While in college, participate in the Daniels Scholarship Enrichment Program, a series of online workshops led by local and national experts on topics including ethics, character, patriotism, civics, free enterprise, entrepreneurship, leadership, critical thinking, and etiquette
  • Honor and live by the Daniels Scholar Code of Conduct
  • Provide regular updates to Daniels Fund associates
  • Meet deadlines to complete scholarship requirements and renewal documents
  • Attend our scholarship orientation conference prior to freshman year

Application process and selection timeline

Getting into the Daniels Scholarship Program is highly competitive. Each year, thousands of applicants go through a rigorous application and interview process.

Applications and recommendations must be submitted online through the application website between September 14 and November 13, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. MST. As part of the application, students are required to submit documents that will be used to verify their eligibility, such as official ACT/SAT scores; citizenship and residency documentation; and financial documents.

All applicants will be notified in January whether they have been selected as a finalist, and finalists will be invited to participate in a personal interview. Interviews are conducted in February by community leaders in the state in which the finalist lives. Daniels Scholars are announced in March, and are required to attend our scholarship orientation conference in June.

Application Period: September 14 - November 13, 2015 | Deadline: 4:00 p.m. MST
The application period is now closed.


Thank you to all students who submitted applications for the Daniels Scholarship Program.

The application period is now closed.

All applicants will be notified in January whether they have been selected as a finalist.