College scholarships for young people of exceptional character
and non-traditional students through two distinct programs

Applicants must complete the
2019-2020 FAFSA before applying

To get scores in time to apply, applicants must take
the SAT or ACT on or before:
- SAT: November 3, 2018
- ACT: October 27, 2018

Learn more by watching the
Daniels Scholarship Program
& Application Information Video
Daniels Scholarship Program Overview

Daniels Scholar Video Profiles
Gabriela Arias
Marlon Peoples
Renae Bruning
Derek Patton
Sally Ho
Dominick Moreno
Anh Tu Chacon
Gary Stecklein
Nubia Madrid

Daniels Scholarship Program Trailer
Daniels Scholarship Program PSA

Daniels Scholarship Program


Daniels Scholarship Program banner

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 Program offers a comprehensive, four-year college scholarship that provides financial and personal support focused on helping Daniels Scholars succeed in college, and in life. The Daniels Scholarship can be used at any accredited nonprofit college or university in the United States. 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 March 2018, the Daniels Scholarship Program has provided more than $170 million in undergraduate scholarships to over 3,950 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
  • Commitment to serving their communities
  • 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 meet 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 a minimum SAT Math score of 470 and a minimum Evidence-Based Reading & Writing score of 450 or a minimum ACT score of 17 in each category (writing score not required). All scores must come from a single test. Super scoring is not accepted.

How does the Daniels Scholarship Program determine financial need?

Several factors determine financial eligibility. The income and assets of the applicant and their parent(s) or legal guardian(s), as well as individual circumstances, are considered.

Students do not need to be Pell eligible to be financially eligible for the Daniels Scholarship Program, but they must demonstrate the need for financial assistance.

The first step in the process is completing the 2019-2020 FAFSA. The FAFSA can be completed here starting October 1, 2018. According to the FAFSA website, if students submit their FAFSA electronically, it should take 3-5 days to receive their Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR will indicate their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is required to proceed with the Daniels Scholarship Program Eligibility Questionnaire.

Applicants must complete the Daniels Scholarship Program Eligibility Questionnaire which requires their EFC from their SAR and additional financial information from the applicant and his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s). The Eligibility Questionnaire collects information to determine if the applicant is financially eligible and if they demonstrate financial need. Those who do not satisfy the eligibility requirements will not be able to proceed to the application. Applicants who do meet the eligibility requirements will proceed to the application, and 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
  • Miscellaneous educational expenses

It is a "last dollar" scholarship, so it is secondary to all other grants and scholarships. After considering the student's other scholarships, financial aid (federal, state, and institutional), and any work-study accepted, as well as the determined Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the Daniels Fund pays toward the scholar's remaining education costs. Scholarship amounts are unique to each Daniels Scholar, and can vary from year to year.

Partner School Option
The Daniels Fund has partnerships with 23 of the most commonly selected colleges and universities in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. If a scholar chooses to attend one of these schools, the Daniels Fund will also 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.

Please visit for a list of all partner schools..

If the scholar meets all requirements, the scholarship is annually renewable up to a maximum of four academic years (8 semesters or 12 quarters).

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, and those starting at a two-year college must be on a path to transitioning to a four-year institution and earning 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. The Daniels Scholarship Program eliminates most or all of the financial burden of a college education, but this comprehensive program goes much further with many outstanding benefits:

  • Financial assistance toward a four-year undergraduate degree
  • Dedicated help and support from Daniels Fund staff and designated on-campus contacts
  • Recognition as a Daniels Scholar
  • Campus communities with events, activities, and support exclusively for Daniels Scholars
  • Assistance in planning for a rewarding career after college
  • Alumni Program offering ongoing support and a lifelong connection to a network of Daniels Scholars
  • A laptop computer

What are Daniels Scholars expected to do?

  • Meet all academic requirements while in college (including a minimum 2.0 GPA), and remain on track to graduate with a bachelor's degree within four academic years
  • Live on campus during freshman year
  • Work in a paid position during the academic year (5 hours/week first year and 10 hours/week every year after)
  • Complete the Daniels Scholarship Enrichment Program, a series of online workshops led by topical experts on subjects such as ethics, character, patriotism, civics, free enterprise, entrepreneurship, leadership, critical thinking, etiquette, and financial literacy
  • Follow the Daniels Scholar Code of Conduct at all times
  • Communicate regularly with their Scholar Relations Officer
  • Fulfill all scholarship requirements and submit required documents by their deadlines
  • Come to Denver for SHIFTCollege, the Daniels Fund's college orientation conference, held in June (all expenses are paid by the Daniels Fund)

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 October 1 and November 29, 2018. 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 late 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 early 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 (for which all expenses are paid by the Daniels Fund).

Application Period: October 1, 2018 - November 29, 2018 | Deadline: 4:00 p.m. MST

Sep-Oct: Application period open, Jan: Finalists announced, Feb-early Mar: Finalists interviewed, Late March: Daniels Scholars announced


Applications and recommendations must be submitted online through the Daniels Fund's application website between October 1 and November 29, 2018 at 4:00 PM MST. The application website will be linked from this website beginning October 1, 2018.

Application Period: October 1 - November 29, 2018 | Deadline: 4:00 p.m. MST