Cincinnatus Distinction Scholarship

The University of Cincinnati is committed to supporting academically promising students with the drive to succeed in a college environment. The Cincinnatus Distinction Scholarship recognizes the strong academic achievements of National Merit Scholarship Program Finalists and National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars.

Please review the Scholarship Benefits as well as the Steps to Becoming a Cincinnatus Distinction Scholar. If you have additional questions, do not hesitate to contact the Undergraduate Office of Admissions or Kendra Dewberry at

Scholarship Benefits

In-state tuition – an annual value of approximately $11,000 (a $44,000 value over four years)

  • The scholarship will cover the cost of current University of Cincinnati full-time, in-state tuition and fees. Non-Ohio residents are required to pay applicable Metropolitan (Metro) Rate or other non-resident tuition surcharges.
  • Students who are not eligible for the in-state tuition rate, Metro rate, Reciprocity rate, or the National Outreach Award will receive the Cincinnatus $3,000 Out-of-State Award in addition to their Cincinnatus Distinction Scholarship

Please Note: Recipients remain responsible for all expenses not specifically described as a benefit of the Cincinnatus Distinction Scholarship. This includes but is not limited to books and supplies, supplemental texts, housing and meal plan, room charges while on cooperative education (co-op) or other experiential learning opportunities while students are not enrolled in classes, and other personal expenses.

Steps to Becoming a Cincinnatus Distinction Scholar

Step 1

Submit a complete application for admission and all required supplemental materials to the University of Cincinnati by December 1 of your senior year

Step 2

Notify the University of Cincinnati of your status as a National Merit Scholarship Program Finalist or National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar by March 1 of your senior year

  • Email a copy of the award notification letter (not certificate) that was mailed to the student’s home address to or send by US mail to:


Attention: Kendra Dewberry
University of Cincinnati
PO Box 210091
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0091


Step 3

Wait to view your financial aid package, which will be made available online. At this time you will be notified of your Cincinnatus Distinction Scholarship award. This typically occurs prior to March 31 of your senior year.

Step 4

Declare the University of Cincinnati as your first choice school through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation website by May 1 of your senior year (National Hispanic Scholars are not required to complete this step)

Step 5

Confirm your admission and complete paper or electronic scholarship acceptance forms by May 1 of your senior year


Terms and Conditions of the Cincinnatus Distinction Scholarship

The award is renewable for 8 full-time, in-class semesters provided the 3.2 GPA and annual 30-hour community service requirement are met.

The scholarship can be used fall, spring, and summer semesters for full-time tuition and fees for a maximum of eight (8) full-time semesters or within five (5) years of the initial scholarship semester, whichever is less (co-op terms are not charged full-time tuition and are therefore not counted toward the 8-semester limit nor are they eligible for scholarship funding).

Enrollment: The recipient is required to be a full-time student during each semester that is covered by the scholarship.

Academic requirements for renewal/continuance:

  • Recipients must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward a bachelor’s degree, earn 12 credit hours each semester, and maintain a 3.2 minimum university GPA
  • Recipients must complete 30 hours of community service per academic year, submitted each June to the Scholarship & New Student Financial Aid Center
  • If the recipient is suspended, expelled, or otherwise removed from the university for any reason, the scholarship is automatically terminated

Important Notes

  • A maximum of 60 Cincinnatus Distinction awards are offered annually; awards will be made in the order of receipt to Finalists who complete all the Steps to Becoming a Cincinnatus Distinction Scholar
  • Learn about our university scholarship guidelines
  • The Cincinnatus Distinction award supersedes all other Cincinnatus Scholarship awards with exception of the Cincinnatus Presidential Scholarship, which is awarded to the top scholars in the Cincinnatus Scholarship Program
  • Cincinnatus Distinction program limits: Students otherwise awarded funding for tuition will see their award adjusted accordingly
  • Cincinnati Scholarship maximum: Students who receive a university scholarship package in excess of the Cincinnatus Distinction Award assurance should note that total institutional award funds may not exceed the direct costs of attendance plus the University of Cincinnati-budgeted book allowance. This award and all Cincinnati awards are subject to the undergraduate scholarship limits