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Merit scholarships require yearly renewal to remain eligible. This renewal guide is specifically for the following scholarships:

  • National Merit Finalist
  • National Hispanic Scholars
  • Presidential
  • Ambassador’s
  • Transfer Academic Achievement
  • Gold and Blue Achievement
  • FIU RaiseMe (If you earned a RaiseMe micro Scholarship and are awarded a merit scholarship, your FIU scholarship has your RaiseMe amount included.)

To learn  how to apply for these scholarships visit  Admissions Scholarships or the FIU Scholarship Search.

How Much Is Covered?

  • Freshman Awards
    Your institutional merit scholarship has been awarded for a total of 120 credits or 4 years (whichever comes first), toward completion of your first undergraduate degree, (undergraduate majors requiring more than 120 credits will receive the scholarship for the total undergraduate credits required), provided you meet the following renewal criteria by the end of each academic year.
  • Transfer Awards
    Your institutional merit scholarship has been awarded for a total of 60 credits or 2 years of eligibility (whichever comes first), toward completion of your first undergraduate degree, (undergraduate majors requiring more than 60 credits will receive the scholarship for the total undergraduate credits required), provided you meet the following renewal criteria by the end of each academic year.
  • Other Covered Costs

    Depending on whether your scholarship is tuition-based or a flat rate, other things like books, room and board may be covered by your scholarship.


    A tuition-based scholarship is defined as an award that pays a specific percentage of the student’s tuition; the actual amount covered, varies based on cost of tuition. Students with tuition-based scholarships who enroll in 3 or more credits qualify to be awarded the tuition and/or fees portion of their scholarship during the summer (semesters A, B and C) in the same way they would during the academic year, based on the type of scholarship they have received. If the scholarship includes room, board and/or a book allowance component, those award amounts will be prorated based on the level of enrollment as follows: 

    Proration Rule for Room, Board and Book Allowance:

    • 12 or more credits: 100% room, board charges and/or book allowance
    • 9-11 credits: 75% room, board charges and/or book allowance
    • 6-8 credits: 50% room, board charges and/or book allowance
    • 3-5 credits: 25% room, board charges and/or book allowance

    Flat rate

    A Flat rate scholarship is defined as an award that pays a set amount regardless of the cost of tuition. If your scholarship is a flat rate scholarship, the award amount will be prorated based on the level of enrollment as follows:

    Proration Rule for Flat Rate Scholarship:

    • 12 or more credits: 100% of your flat rate scholarship
    • 9-11 credits: 75% of your flat rate scholarship
    • 6-8 credits: 50% of your flat rate scholarship
    • 3-5 credits: 25% of your flat rate scholarship


    Gold & Blue Achievement Award amounts may differ from student to student and are calculated based on academic credentials and vary by admission term. Students admitted prior to Summer 2020 have a flat rate Gold & Blue Scholarship. Students admitted after Summer 2020 are receiving a set rate per credit enrolled.

    • Students who also earned dollars, and were eligible for a Gold and Blue Scholarship received whichever award was highest, they cannot earn both.

How Many Credits Should I Take?

Annual Renewal Criteria

All new and continuing FIU merit scholars must successfully earn a minimum of 30 FIU credit hours by the end of each academic year with a minimum 3.00 FIU cumulative GPA. See semester criteria below for additional information. 

You must be continuously enrolled at the university (fall and spring) in order to have your scholarship renewed for the next academic year. Any break in enrollment without an approved deferment on file with the scholarship office will result in a loss of your scholarship. Please see the withdrawal/deferment section below.

Per Semester

You must remain enrolled in FIU courses as a full-time undergraduate student with a minimum of 12 FIU credit hours each fall and spring semester in order for your scholarship to disburse. Although your scholarship will disburse at 12 FIU credit hours, FIU highly recommends you complete 15 credit hours per semester to ensure you successfully complete a total of 30 FIU credit hours by the end of each spring. If you enroll for fewer than 12 FIU credit hours and your scholarship did not disburse, you forfeit that semester’s award, (students in their last graduation term may be granted an exception, contact the Office of Scholarships for specifics). However, your scholarship may still be renewed as long as you meet annual renewal criteria. See Renewal Criteria above for total annual credit hour requirements for renewal. Scholarships are awarded on a per semester (fall/spring/summer) basis.

Qualifying Types of Credit

Credits That Do Satisfy

The following courses do satisfy credit-hour requirements:

  • FIU-sponsored study-abroad courses (scholarship will pay if FIU courses).
  • Transient Courses (FIU Transient Student Application Approved by FIU).

Credits That Do Not Satisfy

The following do not satisfy credit-hour requirements for renewal eligibility; however, these may be used toward your overall credits for degree completion:

  • Repeating a course, receiving an incomplete or auditing a course.
  • AP credits, transfer credits from other colleges/universities or correspondence courses.
  • Credits earned at FIU before the start of your admitted academic year. However, note that FIU grades earned before the start of your admitted academic year are used to calculate your FIU cumulative GPA.

Scholarship Eligibility

Citizenship/Visa Status

To receive scholarship aid at FIU students must be a citizen of the United States, a U.S. lawful permanent resident ,an international student with an F-1 visa, or an eligible non-citizen*.

*Eligible Noncitizen as defined by Federal Student Aid:

A U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swains Island), U.S. permanent resident (who has an I-151, I-551 or I-551C [Permanent Resident Card]), or an individual who has an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing one of the following designations:

  • "Refugee"
  • "Asylum Granted" -Applicants for Asylum are not eligible.
  • "Cuban-Haitian Entrant (Status Pending)"
  • "Conditional Entrant" (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)
  • Victims of human trafficking, T-visa (T-2, T-3, or T-4, etc.) holder
  • "Parolee" (You must be paroled into the United States for at least one year and you must be able to provide evidence from the USCIS that you are in the United States for other than a temporary purpose and that you intend to become a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.)
  • Students who do not fall under these categories are not eligible for scholarships at FIU in compliance with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which limits public benefits available to non-citizens/residents.

Other Requirements

National Merit and Corporate Sponsored

National Merit College and Corporate sponsor recipients must also fulfill separate National Merit Scholarship Corporation renewal requirements and procedures, in addition to meeting FIU renewal requirements and procedures.

Residency Status

Changing from a non-resident to a resident will result in the adjustment of budget, scholarship and financial aid amounts. If meeting renewal criteria, certain eligible scholarship amounts will be adjusted to the equivalent resident award in your first year of eligibility. Please be aware that after your scholarship is either adjusted or cancelled, you will be responsible for payment of any resulting charges on your student account. 


Conditions for Losing Scholarship

Code of conduct

FIU students are expected to abide by the Student Code of Conduct. Violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct resulting in a suspension, expulsion, or administrative withdrawal will result in the loss of your scholarship. This decision may not be appealed.

Withdrawals or Deferments

  • If you require a withdrawal, check FIU’s current readmissions requirements and/or FIU’s withdrawal policies (Select the current year>Undergraduate>Admissions and Registration Information>Undergraduate Rules and Regulations). To retain your scholarship for use after withdrawal, your deferment must be approved by the Financial Aid Office and Office of Scholarships before you leave.
  • Acceptable deferment reasons are circumstances outside of your control or a unique learning experience related to your studies at FIU. If you leave the university without an approved deferment on file, you will forfeit your scholarship.
  • Qualified deferments are permitted only after completing at least one successful semester at FIU.
  • If you're a National Merit Finalist, you will also need to notify National Merit directly of your deferment.
  • If you leave FIU to attend another post-secondary institution, you will forfeit your scholarship.

Failing to Meet Renewal Requirements

If you do not meet or exceed the renewal criteria by the end of each spring semester, consider the following options:

  • Advisors - Make sure to contact your advisor via your student dashboard if you need help reviewing your progress or to discuss possible FIU summer enrollment options to meet the renewal criteria this year.
  • MyFIU - View your student dashboard, Panther Degree Audit, and unofficial transcript.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) - Counseling and mental health services are provided at each FIU campus. Counseling staff have training and experience in issues facing university students and are committed to helping you adjust to campus life and meet your academic goals.
  • University Learning Center - The University Learning Center offers free academic support resources for all students including tutoring, writing support, structured study groups, success courses or a place to study on your own.

Summer Make-up Policy

Enroll in FIU summer session courses: If you need to complete additional FIU credit hours or increase your FIU cumulative GPA to meet renewal criteria, you can take summer classes to make up these deficiencies. If you do not meet renewal criteria after taking summer session courses, you may not file an appeal unless you have significant, extenuating circumstances. It is your responsibility to work with your advisor to determine the feasibility of the FIU summer enrollment option. You may use your scholarship funds to assist with paying for summer courses and those credits will count towards your total credits allowed.

Credits paid for summer enrollment will count against the total credits for which the scholarship is intended. (120 for Freshmen and 60 for Transfer Students)


Consider an appeal if you experienced significant, extenuating circumstances beyond your control. You may submit an appeal by September 10th.  

Scholarship appeals are for use if you are unable to utilize the summer option to meet criteria AND you experienced significant, extenuating circumstances beyond your control (such as an extended, serious medical emergency). 

If you experienced other challenges throughout the year, such as difficulty with classes, time management, work or family responsibilities, or other co-curricular commitments, be aware that these are not considered extenuating circumstances. In these cases, it is important to consult with your academic advisor to determine feasibility of the FIU summer enrollment option and utilize FIU resources earlier in the semester to ensure that you receive the guidance and assistance necessary to remain on track academically.

Changes to qualifying information or revisions of federal, state, or institutional policy may result in updates to scholarship eligibility and adjustment of financial aid awards. Information is subject to change.

To submit an appeal, review the instructions below:

  • Log into your MyFIU account
  • Click “Student Tools”
  • Click “Student E-Forms”
  • Click: “Office of Scholarships”
  • Select “Merit Scholarship Appeal Form”