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The Opportunity Scholars Program provides a unique opportunity for St. Louis-area high school students to receive an all-inclusive, four-year scholarship to the University of Missouri–St. Louis, and opportunities to develop career experience.

The program focuses on academically gifted first-generation college students and/or students who are underrepresented in the work force from certain academic fields – primarily, but not limited to, the sciences, technology, engineering, and math.

Overview of benefits

The 25 students who are selected as finalists and attend the OSP interview day will be named St. Louis Scholars and receive an $8,000 UMSL merit scholarship. Five St. Louis Scholars will be selected as Opportunity Scholars. Opportunity Scholars will be awarded a scholarship to cover their full tuition, fees, a laptop and books for up to four years. In addition, they will live in Oak Hall, our residential life building, and be active participants as a cohort in the Opportunity Scholars Program and in the thriving Honors College academic community at large. The Opportunity Scholars Program will cover the normal costs of room and board for the five students selected as Opportunity Scholars. Finally, Scholars in the program will receive unique opportunities for advising, mentoring, and career experiences.

General Guidelines

Interested candidates will need to meet these general criteria: 

  • Graduates of high schools in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area
    • Missouri Counties: Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, St. Louis City, Warren, and Washington
    • Illinois Counties: Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair
  • Current high school seniors, starting college in the Fall Semester following the application deadline, who meet 2 of these 3 criteria:
    • Rank in top 10% of high school class
    • Have earned a 3.5 cumulative high school GPA
    • Have a composite score of 26 or higher on the ACT
  • Demonstrated involvement and potential for leadership through extracurricular activities or community service
  • Preference will be given to first-generation college students and/or underrepresented students.

For more detailed information and deadlines, please review the Scholarship Criteria.