Outside Scholarships

Outside scholarships are a form of grant aid that is awarded to students by external organizations like community nonprofits or local businesses. If you're looking for outside scholarships, or if you've received one, you've come to the right place.

Report your outside scholarships here

"How do outside scholarships affect my aid?"

If you receive need-based aid from Duke, your aid will include work study and may include a student loan. Any outside scholarship you receive will first replace the loans and work study in your aid. If you receive more in outside scholarships than the total loan and work study you were offered, the additional amount will reduce your need-based Duke grant aid in most instances*.


  • Veterans benefits may be in addition to Duke aid, up to the full cost of attendance. These benefits are an exception to the policy above. Learn more about veterans benefits here.
  • Students with no expected parent contribution as determined by the CSS Profile may have outside scholarships replace the minimum student contribution.
  • Tuition benefits from an employer replace Duke aid dollar-for-dollar and do not reduce the loan or work-study in the initial offer.

Below is an illustration of how outside scholarships affect your need-based financial aid in most cases.

Below is an example of an award with no outside scholarships. The student's self-help (loan and work study) remain unchanged.


Example 1Award with no outside scholarships
Outside Scholarship$0
Work Study$2,200
Student Loan$5,000
Need-based Duke grant$30,000
Total Need-based Aid$37,200


Here is the same award, but after the student receives a $3,000 outside scholarship. We reduced the loan from $5,000 to $2,000, and everything else remains the same.

Example 2Same award, but with $3,000 in outside scholarships
Outside Scholarship$3,000
Work Study$2,200
Student Loan$2,000 ($5,000 initial less $3,000 outside scholarship)
Need-based Duke grant$30,000
Total Need-based Aid$37,200

The above is an example of an outside scholarship reducing part of a student's self-help.

Here is the same award, but now the student has received $8,200 in outside scholarships. The student's included loan and work study have been completely removed,* and this offset $7,200 of the outside scholarship. The Duke grant was reduced by $1,000 to offset the remaining $1,000 of the outside scholarship.

Example 3Same award, but with $8,200 in outside scholarships
Outside Scholarship$8,200
Work Study$0 ($2,200 initial less $2,200 outside scholarship)
Student Loan$0 ($5,000 initial less $5,000 outside scholarship)
Need-based Duke grant$29,000 ($30,000 initial less $1,000 outside scholarship)
Total Need-based Aid$37,200

The above is an example of an outside scholarship reducing the student's self-help and a portion of the Duke need-based grant aid.

*In this example, the work study and loans have been removed, but the student may still have eligibility for them if they would like. The student would just need to contact their financial aid counselor in our office to ask if work study and loans could be added back to the award (on top of all other aid).

*Note, students whose parents have no expected contribution to Duke according to the CSS Profile may have the student contribution eliminated prior to reducing Duke grant assistance.


"Where can I find outside scholarships?"

In our experience, students have the most success receiving outside scholarships from organizations they already know. We recommend you start your search by finding out what scholarships may be offered by:

  • Your high school
  • Clubs or organizations where you are a member
  • Your employer or that of your parent(s) 
  • Other local opportunities in your area (competitions, essay projects, etc.)

Once you've investigated local opportunities, you can expand your search to the web. Below are links to two online search engines recommended to us by current students and alumni:

We also keep a list of scholarships we've heard of from organizations who reached out to us to solicit Duke applications. We keep that spreadsheet here.

Start your applications early, and best of luck! 

Outside Scholarship List

Additional Outside Scholarship Information

All checks should be mailed to:
Duke University Cashiering
Box 90759
Durham, NC 27708

Students can also hand deliver checks to:
Duke University Cashiering
114 South Buchanan Boulevard
Bay 8, Room B-103
Durham, NC 27705

Once you've reported your outside scholarships to us (you can do that here), we'll note on your financial aid that you're expecting to receive it, and you'll also see that expected credit on your bill.

Most scholarships are split evenly in two (half in fall and half in spring), so if you received a $2,000 scholarship split this way, $1,000 will be credited toward your fall bill. Some scholarships are designated for just one semester; your outside scholarship organization will be able to tell you how yours should be split.

Yes. Please report your outside scholarships using our form here.

You can check your live account balance under "What I Owe" on DukeHub. When the Cashier receives and processes your check, you will see it there. You will also be able to see your financial aid adjusted in DukeHub.

If you don't see your scholarship, contact your outside scholarship organization to make sure they sent the check. If they have and it has been over two weeks since they sent it, please contact the cashiering office.

Yes. Payments made directly to you are still considered financial aid according to federal law and must be reported to Duke. Please use our outside scholarship reporting form to let us know about your scholarship.