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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 or students who face substantial challenges in accessing a university education. 

Overview of benefits

Twenty-five students are selected as finalists and attend the OSP interview day. These twenty-five students will be named St. Louis Scholars and receive an $8,000 UMSL merit scholarship. Five of these St. Louis Scholars will be selected as Opportunity Scholars. Opportunity Scholars will be awarded a scholarship to cover their full tuition, fees, on campus residence, laptop and books for up to four years. 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. 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:
    • Have earned a 3.5 cumulative high school GPA
    • Have a composite score of 26 or higher on the ACT
    • Rank in top 10% of high school class
      •  If your school does not rank, you only need to meet one of the two other criteria
  • Demonstrated involvement and potential for leadership through extracurricular activities or community service
  • Preference is given in this scholarship to individuals who identify as first-generation or face substantial challenges in accessing a university education. Students will be asked in an essay to comment on the specific challenges they face.

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

More about the Mission, Vision and History of the Opportunity Scholars Program

Contact Us

Ed Munn Sanchez
Dean of the Honors College

Dan Gerth
OSP Faculty & Director of Student Services

Kim Baldus
Associate Dean

Audri Adams
Academic Advisor