Other Sources of Aid


While the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid considers students for need-based aid only, other sources of funding are available to help with the cost of Duke. Merit scholarships, scholarships from outside organizations, veterans benefits, tuition benefit programs, loans, and other sources of aid can all serve to make your education more affordable.


Merit Scholarships

Duke University offers a limited number of merit scholarships. Applicants are automatically considered for Duke merit scholarships by virtue of their admissions application. Of course, we encourage all prospective students to complete the FAFSA and CSS Profile applications to ensure consideration for need-based funds, but no aid application is necessary to receive merit-based scholarships.

Separate merit scholarship applications are not required and are not available, with the exception of the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program. While students who apply to Duke may be considered for the Robertson, completing the Robertson Scholars online application is the only way to ensure that the student’s materials will be reviewed by the Robertson selection committee. 

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. The Office of Undergraduate Scholars and Fellows (OUSF) is responsible for the selection of merit scholars. For more information, please visit the Office of Scholars and Fellows.  Scholarship descriptions are available below.

The Post 9/11 GI Bill® and Yellow Ribbon Program for Undergraduate Students

How do Veterans Benefits work at Duke?

Veterans benefits impact a students’ need-based financial aid in the same way as an outside scholarship: the need-based loan and work study are reduced first, and then the Duke Grant is reduced, if applicable. The family contribution is not reduced until all need-based aid has been replaced by the VA benefit.

The Office of the Registrar has provided step-by-step instructions regarding how to apply for your VA benefits.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Yellow Ribbon Program Description

Trinity College and the Pratt School of Engineering are proud participants in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which is an enhancement of the Post 9-11 Veteran's Educational Assistance Act of 2008. Yellow Ribbon awards are available to qualifying veterans or children of veterans (when the benefits have been transferred). Trinity and Pratt will each contribute up to $5,000 in Yellow Ribbon scholarship support and the VA will provide up to $5,000 in additional funding.

Trinity College awards 15 Yellow Ribbon scholarships each year. 

Pratt School of Engineering awards 3 Yellow Ribbon scholarships each year.

For initial application procedures, please visit our Registrar’s website on Veterans Benefits.

Once a student is granted a Yellow Ribbon Scholarship, he/she will keep that scholarship for each year until enrollment as an undergraduate at Duke ceases, as long as the student continues to receive GI benefits. When the student's GI Bill benefits expire, the student will no longer receive the Yellow Ribbon award.

After returning students have received funding (up to the maximum of 15 or 3 depending on your school), awards are then made to fill the remaining slots. A waitlist is established on a “first come first served” basis, according to Post 9/11 GI benefit and Yellow Ribbon regulations. 

The date we use to establish when the application has been received by our Certifying Official is the date stamp on the Certificate of Eligibility which must be submitted to the Duke University School Certifying Official (SCO) in the Office of the Registrar.  Certificates of Eligibility must be obtained from the Veterans Administration and can be submitted via email to veteranseducation@duke.edu or by fax to 919-684-4500.


Outside Scholarships

Depending on whether you're looking for an outside scholarship or you already have one and want to know how it might impact your bill or need-based aid, the answers below can help.



Tuition Benefits

Some employers, including Duke University and several other institutions of higher education, offer tuition benefit programs for employees and/or their dependents. Students attending Duke University who have been awarded aid through federal or university funding (including need-based, merit, and/or athletic sources) are required to report all tuition benefits received to the Financial Aid Office.  

Unlike outside scholarships, tuition benefits reduce Duke need-based grants first. The Parent and Student Contributions do NOT change with the addition of tuition benefits, though it is possible for the tuition benefit to exceed a student’s demonstrated need. Students who receive need-based, merit, or athletic aid in combination with a tuition benefit may not receive a total of assistance that exceeds the cost of attendance. Duke employees with questions about their tuition benefit eligibility or reporting should contact their Human Resources representative.

Other Sources