Scholarships and Financial Aid

types of financial aid

Attending college is an investment in your future, and SBU partners with you to make it as affordable as possible to come to SBU and achieve your goals. More than 98% of SBU students receive financial aid! Your admissions counselor will work with you to maximize your financial aid options at SBU.

Learn about the types of aid available at SBU

Scholarships

Grants

Work Study

Student Loans

Net price calculator

Be sure to check out the SBU Estimator, our cost calculator tool, which will help you get a better idea of which scholarships and financial opportunities may be available to you.

I think the biggest lesson I learned at SBU is how much the Lord provides. I see how He directed my steps to go to SBU and provided financially for me to go there. He revealed His faithfulness again when I had a job offer before my last semester at SBU.

Elizabeth Coleman '15, Software Developer at O'Reilly Auto Parts
Elizabeth Coleman, SBU alum

types of Scholarships

SBU offers a variety of scholarships to reward your achievement and make an SBU education financially possible for you.

Scholarships are available in the following categories:

academic scholarships

SBU wants to reward you for your academic achievements! Academic scholarships are available for both freshmen and transfer students.

Once you have been admitted to SBU, your admissions counselor will let you know of your academic scholarship eligibility. You will receive one academic scholarship that can be renewed annually while you are a full-time undergraduate student on the SBU-Bolivar campus.

Reminder: You can use the SBU Estimator tool to see which scholarships you may receive!

freshmAn academic scholarships

Every freshman student admitted to SBU will receive a merit-based academic scholarship based on ACT/SAT score and GPA. Select top-performing students also will be selected for academic-competitive scholarships.

Academic-Competitive Scholarships

If you qualify to receive an Ingman Distinguished Scholars Award or a Pike Scholars Award (see below), you will be invited to participate in Scholars Day to earn one of the academic-competitive scholarships.

Scholars Day participants may choose to come compete on either Saturday, December 2 or Saturday, January 27. If you have questions about Scholars Day or want to know if you qualify, please contact your admissions counselor at (417) 328-1810.

  • J. R. Maupin Founders Award - Full-tuition (3 awards offered annually)
  • Dutile Scholars Award - $500-$2,500 (awarded to each Scholars Day participant not selected for the J.R. Maupin Founders Award)

Merit-Based Scholarships

Unlimited amounts of each of these scholarships are given annually and are awarded based on the combination of your GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

  • Ingman Distinguished Scholars Award — up to $14,500
    Past recipients include Rachel, who had a 30 ACT and a 3.8 GPA, and Matt, who had a 28 ACT and a 4.0 GPA.
  • Pike Scholars Award up to $12,500
    Past recipients include Abigail, who had a 29 ACT and a 3.5 GPA, and Jon, who had a 25 ACT and a 3.75 GPA.
  • Board of Trustees Scholars Award — $10,000
    Past recipients include Steven, who had a 26 ACT and a 3.5 GPA, and Kim, who had a 21 ACT and a 3.6 GPA.
  • Presidential Scholars Award — $8,500
    Past recipients include Katelyn, who had a 21 ACT and a 3.15 GPA, and Daniel, who had a 19 ACT and a 3.0 GPA.

Transfer student academic scholarships

As a transfer student, you will receive an annual academic scholarship based off of your transferring college GPA.

  • J.C. Pike Scholars Award — $9,500
    To be eligible for this scholarship, transfer students must have a minimum college GPA of 3.75.
  • Board of Trustees Transfer Award — $9,000
    To be eligible for this scholarship, transfer students must have a college GPA between 3.00-3.74.
  • Presidential Transfer Award — $8,000
    To be eligible for this scholarship, transfer students must have a college GPA between 2.50-2.99.
  • Academic Transfer Grant — $6,000
    To be eligible for this grant, transfer students must have a college GPA between 2.0-2.49.

Performance scholarships

SBU offers a number of scholarships designed to both reward and develop your unique talents.

fine arts scholarships - Art, music, speech & Debate, Theatre

Interested in one of the fine arts areas? Performance-based scholarships are available in amounts beginning at $500/year and are given on a competitive basis. Contact your admissions counselor for details regarding application and audition processes.

athletic scholarships

SBU is a proud participant in 18 NCAA Division II sports. Teams are able to award athletic performance scholarships in amounts beginning at $500/year and are given by coach discretion based on your performance.

To let a coach know of your interest in joining an SBU athletic team, go to www.SBUBearcats.com and fill out the prospect questionnaire for your sport of interest.

Men's Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Soccer, Tennis and Track (Indoor and Outdoor)

Women's Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track (Indoor and Outdoor) and Volleyball

Co-Ed: Esports (member of National Association of Collegiate Esports)


Church-related ministry scholarships

As a Christian university, it is SBU's privilege to award scholarships to students entering the ministry and to partner with churches who want to assist their students in pursuing Christian higher education.

With the exception of the Church Matching Scholarship, application deadline is March 1. If you apply to SBU after March 1, your scholarship application is due within 30 days.

Church-Related Vocation Scholarship

Receive $2,000 per year if you are pursuing an academic degree in Biblical Studies, Christian Ministry, Church Music, Intercultural Studies, or Religion and Philosophy.

Church matching scholarship

SBU will match dollar-for-dollar up to $500 annually whatever amount your church contributes toward your education. Let your admissions counselor know if your church wishes to participate in this scholarship opportunity.

Church Matching Scholarship Form

Dependent of Church Minister Scholarship

Receive $1,000 per year if you are a dependent of a full-time church-related vocational professional.

dependent of missionary scholarship

Receive $1,000 per year if you are a dependent of someone currently serving full-time on the mission field for the International Mission Board (IMB), North American Mission Board (NAMB) or another approved missions organization.

APPLY FOR A CHURCH-RELATED SCHOLARSHIP


private scholarships

SBU is blessed by many private donors who fund private scholarships for full-time undergraduate students on the Bolivar campus who demonstrate financial need. These scholarships require you to maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA and be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student.

APPLY for private scholarships

sbU sibling scholarship

If you have a brother or sister attending SBU at the same time as you, you will both be eligible for a sibling scholarship of $500/year each. Ask your admissions counselor for details.


Grants

Submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to determine your eligibility for state and federal grants, which are financial awards that do not have to be paid back. 

federal pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is a free federal grant for eligible undergraduate students with financial need. Grants are awarded in various amounts up to $5,695 per year.

federal supplemental educational opportunity grant (SEOG)

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is a free federal grant for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. SBU award amounts range from $200-$1,000 per year.

state grant programs

State program grants are administered by the state of Missouri for eligible undergraduate students from Missouri with financial need. The Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program award amounts range from $2,000-$4,600 per year based upon available state funding.


Work study program

The Federal College Work Study Program is for part-time, on-campus job positions for students with financial needs. You can potentially earn up to a maximum of $1,950 for the school year through your work study job. You will receive a paycheck every other week. Work study eligibility is based on your FAFSA results.


Student loans

SBU students' average loan debt is half that of the national averageLoan eligibility is determined based on your submitted FAFSA. After SBU receives your FAFSA, you will receive a personalized financial aid award letter which will include loan documents for any loans for which you qualify. 

You can find detailed information about repayment of federal loans, including borrower's rights and responsibilities, by visiting StudentAid.ed.gov.

Types of Student Loans

  • Federal Perkins Loan — no upfront fees, no interest accrues while you are enrolled at least half-time, nine-month grace period before repayment begins
  • Federal Direct Student Loans loan is deferred while student is in school, six-month grace period before repayment begins
    • Subsidized Loan government pays the interest while you're in school
    • Unsubsidized Loan you are responsible for interest accruing while you are in school
  • Federal Grad Plus Loan available to graduate students
  • Federal Parent Plus Loan parents may apply for this loan in any amount up to cost of attendance; if parent plus loan is denied, student will receive additional unsubsidized direct loan eligibility

Parent Plus Loan Form

  • Alternative Loans You may seek out supplemental loan(s) from alternative sources up to the cost of attendance minus financial aid. You will be required to complete the application process with the lender of your choice. Search for student loan providers by doing a web search for "School Certified Educational Loans." Upon approval of an alternative loan, contact the Office of Financial Aid at (417) 328-1822 so the loan can be certified by SBU.

Questions?

At SBU, you can receive one-on-one personal guidance throughout the financial aid process.

If you are a new, incoming student please contact your admissions counselor with questions or concerns regarding financial aid. Current SBU students may call the Office of Financial Aid at (417) 328-1822.