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. 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

Lauren Benn

Lauren Benn
Nursing, Sophomore
Adena Davis Scholar
East Brunswick, NJ

Prior to coming to Pitt, I made the decision to look for the best nursing schools in the country that were not too far from my hometown. I visited the Pitt campus and it instantly stood out — I liked the environment and the fact that it was in the city but it did not feel as crowded as other urban campuses. Pitt really is its own close-knit community! As a nursing major, I have had professors who are great at teaching but also have real-life experience in the field. Aside from great faculty, I get to learn around like-minded people in the nursing program which is really special. I am currently doing my clinical at UPMC Montefiore with the rehab unit and I have really enjoyed the hands-on experience so far. Outside of the classroom, I like to participate in Project Potter; a Harry Potter themed organization that focuses on charity for children through volunteer work. I have built great friendships through this program because I share similar interests with many of the members. Staying active and in good shape is important to me and I accomplish this by practicing Taekwondo. I was unsure if this was something I would be able to keep doing when I moved to Pittsburgh but then I found the Taekwondo Club and have been able to continue my practice. The Davis Scholarship has been extremely helpful in the sense that I don’t have to worry about finances and can focus on planning other experiences like studying abroad in China to learn about their healthcare and traditional Chinese medicine.

Justin Carter

Justin Carter
Computer Engineering Major, Junior
Donald Henderson Scholar
Lorton, Virginia

Before committing to Pitt, I knew that I wanted to move out-of-state, but I needed resources to support that goal. I visited the campus and loved the Oakland community and everything that was happening around here. The Henderson Scholarship really sealed the deal for me because it gave me the ability to get a quality education with financial support. As student, I have been part of the National Society of Black Engineers, the FAME Academy (Fund for the Advancement of Minorities through Education), and Pitt EXCEL. All of these organizations have helped me build friendships and grow my experience in the engineering field, while also helping future STEM students do the same during their middle and high school years. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to get research experience in Auburn, Alabama and have recently received an internship offer with the Aerospace Corporation in California. Overall, my opportunities at Pitt seem to be endless! I have met so many people who have made a positive impact in my life and helped me grow personally and professionally.

Matthew Jones

Matthew Jones
Economics and Finance, minor Chinese, Junior
Robert Lavelle Scholar
Marlboro, NJ

I found Pitt through word-of-mouth. I had a good friend that was looking into this university, so I decided to come visit and learn more about it. My visit showed me the opportunities that I have to combine my different passions, rather than segmenting myself into one area of study. As a direct result of this, I was able to major in both finance and economics while also minoring in Chinese. The majority of my campus involvement consists of the Socially Responsible Investment Portfolio, an organization that gives students the opportunity to analyze and invest in a real-stakes investment portfolio. Former members of this club truly helped me navigate through college as a freshman, and I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to give back in a similar fashion in my role as the organization’s current president. Due to the experiences I have had here at Pitt, I have been able to obtain an internship opportunity with Goldman Sachs — which has been a longtime goal of mine. I was able to secure an internship in the Sales and Trading Department at Goldman Sachs, and although it was a fast-paced experience and certainly almost overwhelming at times, I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and am excited to go back. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to study abroad in Germany to see how business works there. Pitt has played a large role in fostering the friendships that I have made on campus, while also allowing me to enjoy the diverse personalities that live here. I am glad that I ended up here.

Chisom Obasih

Chisom Obasih
Neuroscience and Japanese, Senior
Helen Faison Scholar
Brookfield, WI

When I started the college search process, I was constantly worried about costs and how I could afford a good education. After extensive research, I learned that Pitt had a great neuroscience program. But as an out-of-state student, I needed to make sure that I could afford coming here. I visited the campus and saw how kind and friendly people were. Once I learned I was awarded a scholarship, I knew that Pitt was it for me. My experience here has been incredible and I am most proud of the research that I have been allowed to conduct independently. I was looking to tie both of my majors into a research study but didn’t quite know how. I joined a research lab, and through the help of the Brackenridge Summer Research Fellowship, I was able to design and implement research on incidental auditory learning. The research study seeks to teach English speakers how to better perceive Japanese sounds. Pitt has been supportive of my double-major and helping me identify the connections between both programs. The resources from Pitt Honors have also been enormously helpful — I received guidance to apply for the Critical Language Scholarship to study abroad in Japan. Pitt Honors advisors walked me through the process of applying for the scholarship. This experience was a monumental moment in my life because it pushed me to only speak Japanese and completely improved my skills in the language. I also love being involved in Investing Now — this program allows me to tutor high school students in the area. Aside from academics, I also love being part of the Ruckus Improv Team, where I can improve on my comedic and performance skills. Overall, my education was made possible through the generosity of the Faison Scholarship.

External Diversity Scholarships