Merit Scholarship Recipients

Duke's merit scholarships are awarded to incoming first-year students by the Office of Scholars and Fellows. If you are receiving a merit scholarship, the sections below can help you make the most of your award.

Note: Currently enrolled students are not eligible for merit scholarship consideration with the exception of the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program which accepts a small number of first-year candidates.

What's Covered

All merit scholarships cover the following costs:

The following costs are not covered by merit scholarships:

  • Residential program fees
  • Quad/1st year housing fees
  • Post Office box charges
  • Parking Permits
  • Course fees
  • Books and Supplies
  • Summer School
  • Health Insurance (except for international students--see specifics on Health Insurance)
  • All other non-mandatory expenses 

Note: Trinity Scholars from North and South Carolina, MasterCard Foundation Scholars, and David M. Rubenstein Scholars may receive funding to cover the full cost of attendance at Duke and may be an exception to the exclusions above.

Housing and Meal Expenses for Merit Scholarship Recipients

Your scholarship can cover the cost of a standard dining plan. The standard dining plan for a for first-year students is Plan H, and for upperclass students, the standard is the averaged cost of plans D and E.

Merit scholarships can also cover your exact on-campus housing charges during the fall and spring semesters.  This means that whether you live in a single room or a triple, your scholarship will be adjusted based on your actual charges.  If you choose to live off campus, your scholarship will cover the cost equivalent to a two-bedroom suite on Central Campus. 

If you live off campus or choose a less expensive meal plan, your scholarship may exceed your charges for the semester. If this is the case, the Bursar’s Office will provide a refund of the difference to you to pay for off-campus housing and/or additional meals.  Refunds are issued by direct deposit to your bank account, so you will need to complete a Direct Deposit Authorization form (available on DukeHub) and submit it to the Bursar's Office to ensure the refund is deposited to your account. Should you have any questions about your refund, you can contact the Bursar's Office directly.

Health Insurance

Merit scholarships do not cover the cost of enrolling in Duke's health insurance plan, with the exception of international students. International students receiving merit scholarships can have their Duke health insurance costs covered by Duke merit scholarship programs (except for the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program, which does not cover health insurance for any student). 

All students at Duke are required to have health insurance coverage and must either show proof of existing insurance or participate in the Duke plan. If you have any questions regarding your health insurance policy, contact the Duke Student Health Insurance Manager at insurance@studentaffairs.duke.edu or 919-684-1481.

Students receiving need-based aid may be eligible to have their Duke health insurance costs covered by financial aid if they do not have access to other adequate insurance. Merit scholarship recipients must apply separately for need-based financial aid each year if they wish to determine if their health insurance cost can be covered. To do this, follow the steps listed on the apply for aid page.

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Study Away

Duke merit-based scholarships can be used to assist with the cost of approved study-away programs through the Global Education Office.   To use your scholarship funding, the following must be true:

  • Your program must be approved by Duke’s Global Education Office
  • The program must occur during the Fall and/or Spring term(s)

Your Program Cost

In cases where the total cost of attending a program (including tuition, fees, housing, meals, and books, supplies, visas, vaccinations, airfare, and approved miscellaneous expenses) is less than your scholarship amount, your scholarship will be reduced to reflect the actual cost of your program. Conversely, if you are attending a Duke-In or Duke-approved study-away program with a cost that exceeds the amount of your scholarship at Duke (including all the expenses listed above), you will be responsible for covering the difference.

Below are two examples that demonstrate how program costs may impact your merit scholarship or the amount you may need to pay:

Example 1: Program Exceeds Merit Scholarship
Tuition, fees, room, and meals: $33,290
Books, supplies, personal, and all other expenses: $4,480
Total Cost of Program: $37,770
Merit scholarship per semester: $33,000
Student responsible for: $4,770

 

Example 2: Program Less Than Merit Scholarship
Tuition, fees, room, and meals: $26,740
Books, supplies, personal, and all other expenses: $2,630
Total Cost of Program: $29,370
Merit scholarship per semester: $33,000
Merit scholarship reduced by: $3,630

To learn more about how scholarships are applied to semester study-away programs and to find out how to receive your funding,

visit our page on semester study away.

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Summer School

Merit scholarships do not cover the cost of summer school or summer study abroad programs, with the exception of the AB Duke Summer at Oxford and summer for Mastercard Foundation Scholars.

To receive summer funding, you must apply for aid on the basis of financial need. To do this, you will need to do the following:

Summer School I

Note: The CSS Profile is not available online after February, so contact your counselor if you are not able to complete the form

Summer School II

If you plan to attend during Summer Term II, your aid application should be submitted no later than May 1.  

Note: Need-based aid is not available for summer Duke-Approved study-away programs.  Only Duke-In summer study-away programs may be considered for need-based summer aid.

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Outside Scholarships

As a merit recipient, you may still be eligible to receive additional scholarships from sources other than Duke.  The total amount you may receive cannot exceed your total cost to attend Duke each year, and any funds in excess of your cost will reduce your Duke merit scholarship.  

For instance, if your total cost to attend Duke is $62,000 (including tuition, fees, housing, meals, travel, books, and miscellaneous expenses) and your merit scholarship is $58,000, you may receive up to an additional $4,000 in outside scholarships.  If you receive $5,000 in outside scholarships, your award would be adjusted to reflect $57,000 from Duke and $5,000 from other sources.

Notification

If you will be receiving outside scholarships, you should notify the Office of Financial Aid. Your scholarship will be used to reduce your semester bill and help you avoid any late fees. You can notify us through your DukeHub portal or by emailing our office.

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Need-based Aid and Work Study

As a merit scholar, you may apply for need-based financial aid to assist with summer or semester costs.  However, in some cases, the amount of your merit scholarship may exceed any need-based aid eligibility you may have during the academic year. Regardless of financial need, domestic students completing a financial aid application may qualify for federal loans and work study.  Since merit scholarships cannot be used to assist with summer costs, all scholars seeking assistance during the summer terms should apply for need-based aid. 

To apply for need-based aid, you should follow the instructions listed on this website.  Though the due dates listed may have passed, scholars may still be considered for aid for 2017-18 if the FAFSA, CSS Profile, and IDOC forms have been received by February 15, 2018. 

Note: Need-based aid is available only to domestic students.  International students who did not indicate financial aid interest at the time of admission may not apply for additional assistance.

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