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 45 states.

As of June 2016, the Daniels Scholarship Program has provided nearly $138 million in undergraduate scholarships to nearly 3,500 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
  • Willingness to give back to the community
  • Academic performance or promise
  • 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:

  • Demonstrate financial need
  • 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.

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.

The first step in applying is completing the 2017/2018 FAFSA, which can be completed here starting October 1, 2016. After completing the FAFSA, it will take 3-5 days to receive the scholar's Student Aid Report (SAR), which will indicate their Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This information is required to proceed with the application.

Applicants must complete the Daniels Scholarship Program Eligibility Questionnaire requiring information from their SAR and additional 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 to the application. Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements, will be required to submit documents that will be used to verify their eligibility, such as their SAR; 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
  Business and farm income   Disability and/or Social Security benefits
  Alimony and/or child support received   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?

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. It is a supplemental or "last dollar" scholarship, and therefore secondary to all other grants and scholarships awarded to the scholar. After considering the student's other scholarships, financial aid (federal, state, and institutional), and any work-study they accept, as well as their Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the Daniels Fund will pay toward the remaining costs of the scholar's education. The amount of the scholarship is unique to each Daniels Scholar, and can vary from year to year.

Partner School Option
Driven by our commitment to help students graduate free of education-related debt, the Daniels Fund has established partnerships with 24 of the most commonly selected colleges and universities in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. If a scholar chooses to attend one of these institutions, the Daniels Fund and the school will cover their EFC. Scholars may attend any nonprofit accredited school in the country, but there is a financial advantage to attending a partner school, as the EFC varies each year and can be significant.

A current list of partner schools is available here.

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. Scholars must intend to complete a bachelor’s degree. If a scholar starts at a two-year college, they must be on a 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 staff 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 laptop computer

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 staff
  • Meet deadlines to complete scholarship requirements and renewal documents
  • Attend our summer scholarship orientation conference in Denver

Application process and selection timeline

Getting into the Daniels Scholarship Program is highly competitive. Each year, thousands of applicants go through a rigorous application process and finalists go on to an in-person interview.

Applications and recommendations must be submitted online through the application website between September 30 and November 30, 2016 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 thier Student Aid Report from the FAFSA; official ACT/SAT scores; citizenship and residency documentation; and other financial documents.

All applicants will be notified in January whether or not they have been selected as a finalist, and finalists will be invited to participate in a personal interview. Interviews are conducted in February and March in the applicant's home state by local community leaders. Daniels Scholars are announced in late March, and must attend our scholarship orientation conference in June (all expenses are paid by the Daniels Fund).

Application Period: September 30 - November 30, 2016 | 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 or not they have been selected as a finalist.