Skip to content


Scholarships for First-Year and Transfer Students

Clark Merit Scholarships

Clark University has several different merit- and achievement-based scholarships, outlined below. Every applicant to Clark will be considered for these scholarships. No separate application is required, except where noted. 

Admitted students who have excelled in secondary school and whose academic achievement and personal qualities indicate they will perform at the highest level when they enroll at the University will be given top consideration for these awards. Decisions about which scholarship, if any, an admitted student will receive are based on academic qualifications as indicated in their application for admission, not on family need. Students who are awarded a merit-based scholarship will be notified of this when they receive their admissions decision. Approximately 60% of our students receive merit-based awards.

Students whose financial need is greater than the amount of the scholarship may be eligible for additional assistance through a combination of grants, loans and work-study. Information about need-based financial aid.

The scholarship amounts and descriptions below will be in effect for students starting in Fall 2023.

Awarded to incoming students who have shown a tireless commitment to leadership, scholarship, and community. One of Clark’s top-level scholarships and honors, the Traina Scholarship is named after the late Richard P. Traina, the former University President who saw a better world was possible through listening, learning, and connecting.

Eligible students will receive a $112,000 four-year award ($28,000 per year) regardless of their family’s financial need.

Awarded to incoming students who have demonstrated strong academic potential to achieve in and out of the classroom on projects of meaning. Named after Robert H. Goddard—Clark graduate and faculty member and the founder of modern rocketry—whose bold approach to learning envisioned and anticipated a world that did not yet exist.

Eligible students will receive a $104,000 four-year award ($26,000 per year) regardless of their family’s financial need.

Awarded to incoming students who have shown potential to challenge convention and change the world. Named after our founder, Jonas Clark, who aspired to champion an educational model that would create freethinking and bold students and citizens of the world.

Eligible students will receive a $84,000 four-year award ($21,000 per year) regardless of their family’s financial need.

Awarded to incoming students who have demonstrated remarkable devotion to their academics or community endeavors. Named for Clark’s school color, Scarlet — a bold color traditionally associated with courage and passion.

Eligible students will receive a $64,000 four-year award ($16,000 per year) regardless of their family’s financial need.

Awarded to incoming students who show promise in creativity, research, and the life of the mind. Named for the year Jonas Clark founded Clark University as one of the first all-graduate institutions in the United States, with special interest in research in the field of psychology.

Eligible students will receive a $52,000 four-year award ($13,000 per year) regardless of their family’s financial need.

  • Awarded to approximately five students each year, the Presidential Scholarship is a prestigious award for students whose academic record and leadership potential places them at the very top of Clark’s applicant pool.
  • Full tuition, on-campus room and board for all four years, regardless of a family’s financial need 
  • Requires two additional scholarship essays due Feb. 1 for all applicants. Regular Decision applicants have until Feb. 1. EA/ED applicants who submit scholarship applications after Dec. 1 but before Feb. 1 will receive notification of their scholarship status in March.

How to apply

If you are interested in the Presidential Scholarship, simply check that option when you fill out the Common Application or Coalition Application with Scoir (available Aug. 1).

You’ll then receive detailed information — including the topics of the two short essays — on how to apply for the scholarship. The final deadline for submitting the essays is Feb. 1, for Early Action, Early Decision and Regular Decision candidates.

Students will be notified in March if they have been selected for an interview.

The Admissions Committee chooses finalists based on the strength of their applications for admission and other criteria identified by the committee. Last year, the committee reviewed more than 450 scholarship applications from the U.S. and around the world before inviting 15 finalists for interviews; of those 15, five were awarded the scholarship and became members of the incoming class.

Segal AmeriCorps Education Award

Clark University’s commitment to community service is embodied in our motto.

“Challenge Convention. Change Our World.”

To support those efforts, Clark University, beginning with the 2018/2019 academic year, will match your Segal AmeriCorps Education Award dollar for dollar to any full-time undergraduate day student admitted into a degree program at the University.

To access your Segal AmeriCorp Education Award and University match award:

  • Log into your Segal AmeriCorp Portal, choose the Education award and enter Clark University as the certifying institution
  • Our Office will receive notification from AmeriCorp requesting certification of your enrollment
  • Once certified your AmeriCorp Award and the match will be added to your financial aid award

Please remember you will need to do this each semester that you wish to use the education award. Renewal of the scholarship and matching award from semester to semester will be in accordance with the University scholarship guidelines and the student’s continued eligibility for the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award

Private Scholarships

There are many resources available to you independent of Clark University and the federal/state processes. Local organizations as well as statewide and national organizations have funds available for students who meet their criteria. The hardest part can be locating these opportunities. This page provides some useful information when conducting a search for private scholarships.

As with any online search you want to be careful to avoid anything that may be a scam. You may want to watch out for the following things that can potentially make the search a waste of time and a potential headache for you:

  • There is a charge for the service being provided. Scholarships are meant to help students and if you are paying for the service you may want to skip it altogether.
  • No essay is required. If you are only providing personal information and no other information is required it could mean this is an organization looking to sell the information. Never provide your social security number or other sensitive information unless you know the scholarship is from a legitimate source.

IMPORTANT: All sources of private student financial aid need to be reported to the Clark University Office of Financial Assistance in writing. Private scholarships are considered part of your aid package and will be applied first to unmet financial need, then to replace loans and/or work study, and if necessary, to reduce institutional grants. Scholarships from non-meritorious sources, such as a parent’s employer, will reduce the Clark grant dollar for dollar.

Scholarship Source How to Start Additional Information/Tips
Your High School Ask teachers, guidance counselors, school librarian if there are any school sponsored scholarships. Start early! No need to wait until your senior year.
Your Parents’ Employer Ask your parent(s) if there are any scholarship opportunities provided through their employer. If they are unsure call their Human Resources department for more information. In many cases parents may be unaware that their company offers a scholarship. Ask for a contact or call the HR office directly and let them know you are a child of an employee and you would like to know if there are any scholarships for college available to you.
Your Current Employer Ask your employer if the company offers any scholarships for graduating high school students. Your after school job can offer you more than just spending money. You may be eligible for private scholarships without even knowing it!
Your Place of Worship Ask the office staff or leadership about any scholarship possibilities or assistance with college expenses. Fundraiser events may be allowed if a scholarship is not already in place.
Service Club (Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus, YMCA/YWCA) Ask your local branch or national office about scholarships. Fundraiser events may be allowed if a scholarship is not already in place.

Scholarship Search Engines to Consider:

Current Clark students have received scholarships from the following organizations:

Contact Information

Office of Financial Assistance

Mailing Address
  • Clark University
    Office of Financial Assistance
    950 Main Street
    Worcester, MA 01610

  • 1-508-793-7478
  • 1-508-793-8802 (Fax)
  • finaid[at]clarku[dot]edu
Office Hours
  • Monday – Friday

    8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.