All students from underrepresented groups who apply for admission by December 15 are automatically reviewed for Pitt diversity scholarships. Diversity scholarships are awarded based on academic performance in high school. Criteria includes weighted grade point average, strength of curriculum, class rank (if applicable), and the results of the SAT or ACT. These awards range from partial tuition to full tuition scholarships.


Academic criteria for diversity scholarship consideration include weighted grade point average, consistency of grades, strength of high school curriculum, SAT/ACT scores, class rank (if applicable). Quality of short answer responses submitted as part of the admissions application is also considered. Awards can be used for four years/eight semesters, provided the recipient maintains a 3.00 cumulative grade point average.

Scholarship Details

  • The Cathedral of Learning Achievement Scholarship – annual award amounts include $5,000, $10,000, and $15,000.
  • The Cathedral of Learning Prestige Scholarship – covers full tuition.

In addition, Pitt also awards approximately 24 full academic scholarships covering tuition, mandatory fees, and room/board to incoming freshman from underrepresented groups. The 24 full scholarships also include a one-time $500 book award and a $2,000 scholarship to be used for undergraduate research or study abroad. These competitive full diversity scholarships include:

  • Donald Henderson Scholarship: Swanson School of Engineering
  • Helen Faison Scholarship: Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
  • Robert Lavelle Scholarship: College of Business Administration
  • Adena Davis Scholarship: School of Nursing

Diversity Scholarship Recipient Profile

In recent years, Cathedral of Learning Achievement Scholarship eligible students possessed the following:

  • Minimum SAT score of 1340 or ACT composite score of 28
  • Overall ‘A’ average
  • Challenging high school curriculum consisting of AP/IB/Honors courses
  • Top 10% class rank (if applicable)

In recent years, Cathedral of Learning Prestige Scholarship eligible students possessed the following:

  • Minimum SAT score of 1440 or ACT composite score of 31
  • Overall ‘A’ average
  • Challenging high school curriculum consisting of AP/IB/Honors courses
  • Top 5% class rank (if applicable)

In recent years, Donald Henderson, Helen Faison, Robert Lavelle, and Adena Davis Scholarships eligible students possessed the following:

  • Minimum SAT score of 1520 or ACT composite score of 34
  • Overall ‘A’ average
  • Challenging high school curriculum consisting of AP/IB/Honors courses
  • Top 3% class rank (if applicable)

NOTE: The above criteria are provided for the purposes of guidelines only and not meant as diversity scholarship requirements or guarantees.

Meet Some Current Scholars

Daniella Ortiz

Daniella Ortiz
Neuroscience, Spanish Minor, Senior
Helen Faison Scholar
Pittsburgh, PA

With the location, reputation, and resources at Pitt — it felt like a no-brainer to come here. Since I’ve started at Pitt, I have had access to so much. In the summer following my freshman year, I studied abroad in Spain through the Pitt in Alcalá program. I have also been working on research in the Pitt Learning Research and Development Center since my sophomore year. I have had an awesome experience following the research in that lab over the course of two and half years, and now this semester I am working on my own independent project looking at correlations between memory and verbal IQ. I also completed a summer research internship in the Pediatric Nephrology Department at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital after my sophomore and junior years. I got to do further independent research and present a poster on my own projects through these internships. I am also a student tour guide with the Pitt Pathfinders, a member of the Premedical Organization for Minority Students, and the Education Chair for Global Medical Brigades. Beyond these amazing opportunities, at Pitt you also have all the resources of the city at your disposal without feeling like you are on a city campus. We get a classic campus environment in Oakland (with greenspaces and gorgeous buildings) — but we are just a short bus ride away from everything Pittsburgh has to offer.

Patrick Iyasele

Patrick Iyasele
Biomedical Engineering, Sophomore
Cathedral of Learning Prestige Scholar
Milwaukee, WI

I was drawn to Pitt by the EXCEL program, which is a support program in the school of engineering for diversity students. When I visited Pitt in my senior year, I met one of the leaders of the EXCEL program and I could tell the community there was close-knit, almost like a family. I remain involved in EXCEL now that I am here, working as a student mentor. This last summer, I did research on storing tissue samples for the long term with the McGowan Research Institute for Regenerative Medicine. I am also involved in the National Society for Black Engineers and Design Hub. In Design Hub, we are paired up with professors and doctors at UPMC and are asked to create a device that will make their work better. There is so much available at Pitt, everyone can find something to match their interests. It’s a very inclusive community, you will never be made to feel like you can’t fit here.

Jasmine Brown

Jasmine Brown
Nursing, Junior
Adena Davis Scholar
Marietta, GA

When I was searching for the perfect college, I knew I wanted to experience something new and go to a place with lots of opportunity. The more I looked at Pitt the more I saw that. Pitt offers me the resources to try a ton of different things without sacrificing my main priority, which is to be in a great nursing program. At Pitt, I got to start clinical experiences in my sophomore year, which means I’m already on my third semester now. I am now at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and Magee-Womens Hospital, getting very diverse experiences in each place. I’m also part of the Nursing Student Association. Last summer I studied abroad, learning about comparative healthcare in Austria. Pitt Nursing offers a really dynamic environment. Even when it’s finals season and everyone is stressed, you can tell that everyone is still excited to be here. It’s amazing to be around like-minded people who have committed their career path to helping others, who all want to be the best they can be, and who are supportive of each other. Pitt Nursing is a very collaborative environment, you can bounce ideas off each other and we’re all directed towards a common goal. There is so much opportunity at Pitt to go wherever we want and do whatever we want to do.

External Diversity Scholarships