Hagan Scholarship

The Hagan Scholarship is a prestigious merit-based scholarship for high-achieving students seeking a 4-year undergraduate degree. Founded in 2011 by the Hagan Family Foundation, the scholarship aims to provide financial support to empower students to achieve their fullest potential.

With up to $48,000 in scholarship funds, the Hagan Scholarship can make a huge difference in covering college costs. But competition is fierce – on average, only 10-15% of applicants are selected.

This comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know about the Hagan Scholarship, from eligibility criteria to the application timeline and tips. We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions to help you submit a strong, competitive application.

Hagan Scholarship Overview

The Hagan Scholarship is awarded to students based on merit. Financial need is not considered. The key eligibility criteria are:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Plan to enroll in an accredited 4-year university
  • Have a minimum 3.75 GPA
  • Score 23+ on the ACT or 1200+ on the SAT

Up to 230 Hagan Scholars are selected each year from across the nation. The scholarship provides:

  • Up to $6,000 annually for 4 years
  • Mentoring services
  • Job placement assistance
  • Networking opportunities

Since 2011, over 1,900 students have been awarded the Hagan Scholarship totaling over $80 million.

Benefits of the Hagan Scholarship

The Hagan Scholarship provides more than just financial assistance. Here are some of the key benefits:

Significant Financial Support

The scholarship provides up to $6,000 annually for 4 years of undergraduate study. This helps cover tuition, room and board, books, and other expenses.

Over 4 years, scholars can receive up to $24,000 in funds. Adding in the summer internship stipends, the total scholarship amount can reach up to $48,000.

This level of funding can make earning a bachelor’s degree affordable and prevent student debt.

Mentoring & Networking

All Hagan Scholars gain access to mentoring services throughout college. Mentors provide guidance, support, and networking connections.

Scholars also join the Hagan Scholars Network – an alumni group of past scholarship recipients. The network offers career help, professional development, and continuing education scholarships.

Personal & Professional Growth

In addition to financial support, the scholarship emphasizes holistic personal growth.

Hagan Scholars complete self-development programs focused on:

  • Leadership skills
  • Career preparedness
  • Communication abilities
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Confidence building

This focus on growth helps scholars gain skills beyond academics to excel in college and their careers.

Hagan Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

Hagan Scholarship Application

The Hagan Scholarship has strict eligibility requirements focused on academic performance, leadership, and involvement. Meeting the criteria is essential to advance to the application stage.

Here are the key eligibility requirements:


  • Must be a high school senior graduating between January and June 2024
  • Planning to enroll in a 4-year undergraduate program in Fall 2024
  • Minimum 3.75 unweighted GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Rank in the top 25% of class

Standardized Test Scores

  • Minimum 23 composite ACT score
  • Minimum 1200 SAT score (math + verbal/critical reading)

Residency & Citizenship

  • U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Permanent U.S. residency

Enrollment Status

  • Must enroll full-time each semester
  • Cannot defer enrollment
  • Eligible for in-state tuition

Leadership & Activities

  • Demonstrated leadership in extracurricular activities
  • Significant involvement in community service
  • Strong personal character

Meeting just the minimum GPA and test scores does not guarantee eligibility. A strong record of leadership and service boosts candidacy.

Financial Need

  • The Hagan Scholarship is merit-based – financial need is not considered

Hagan Scholarship Application Timeline

The Hagan application process takes place during the final year of high school. Here is an overview of the timeline:

  • September 2023: Application opens
  • November 2023: Application deadline
  • December 2023 – February 2024: Application review
  • March – April 2024: Finalists selected and interviewed
  • May 2024: Recipients notified
  • Fall 2024: Scholarship funds awarded for freshman year

Students must submit the online application and all required materials prior to the November 30 deadline.

We’ll provide more details on the application process in the next section. But it’s vital to note the deadlines and allow sufficient time to prepare a strong application.

How to Apply for the Hagan Scholarship

The Hagan application has two main components – an initial online application and a secondary application. Here are the steps:

1. Online Application

The first step is submitting the online application before the November 30 deadline. The application asks for:

  • Personal information
  • Academics
  • Test scores
  • Activities and honors
  • Short answer responses

The short answers allow applicants to demonstrate writing skills and potential.

2. Secondary Application

In January, selected semi-finalists are invited to submit the full secondary application. This application requires:

  • Official high school transcripts
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Counselor recommendation
  • Essays

Essay Prompts

The essays are a critical part of standing out. Applicants have to respond to several prompts in 750 words or less.

Here are some examples of previous Hagan essay questions:

  • Why do you want to attend college?
  • How will you leverage your college experience to achieve your dreams?
  • What motivates you most in life?
  • How will you contribute to your chosen field of study?

The essays allow students to share their background, goals, and personality. Thoughtful, well-written responses can boost candidacy.


The final step is interviews for selected finalists. The interviews take place in person or virtually in March – April.

Interviews enable the selection committee to further assess applicants. Key focus areas include communication skills, critical thinking, and scholastic merit.

Preparing responses to common scholarship interview questions can help applicants come across as strong candidates.

Hagan Scholarship Application Tips

Here are some top tips for submitting a standout Hagan Scholarship application:

Start Early

Give yourself ample time to prepare each component of the application – don’t wait until the last minute!

Pick Recommenders Carefully

Choose teachers and counselors who know you well and will emphasize your strengths. Provide them with your resume and any other materials that capture your accomplishments.

Ace the Essays

Draft your essays well in advance. Be sure to directly respond to the prompt. Showcase what makes you unique through compelling storytelling.

Highlight Activities

Feature your most significant leadership roles, community service commitments, and extracurriculars. Quantify your impact and achievements when possible.

Watch Interview Videos

Review sample scholarship interview videos on YouTube to get comfortable with the format and practice fluency.

Proofread Carefully

Double check for any errors or typos that could tarnish your application. Ask teachers and parents to review as well.

With meticulous preparation and presentation, you can develop a standout Hagan Scholarship application.

Hagan Scholarship Criteria & Selection Factors

So what exactly are the Hagan selection committee members looking for?

According to the scholarship foundation, these are the key evaluation criteria:

Academic Record

  • Consistently high grades and course rigor
  • Strong class rank consistent with GPA

Test Scores

  • High ACT and/or SAT scores comparable to GPA
  • Well-balanced subscores


  • Variety of substantive extracurricular activities
  • Significant leadership roles and honors


  • Strong personal character based on recommendations
  • Commitment to community service

Financial Need

  • Not a consideration

Essentially, the selection process aims to identify well-rounded, high-achievers who will maximize the scholarship investment.

Competitive applicants excel academically while demonstrating leadership ability and personal ethics through their activities and service.

Hagan Scholarship Stats & Success Rates

The Hagan Scholarship is highly competitive, with a low acceptance rate. Here are some key stats:

  • Approximately 6,000 students apply each year
  • Only 230 scholars are selected annually
  • 3-4% acceptance rate

To put this in perspective, it is more competitive than admission at most Ivy League colleges!

Successful applicants typically have:

  • 3.9+ GPA – B grades can remove eligibility
  • Top 5% class rank
  • 30+ ACT score / 1400+ SAT score

Meeting the minimum GPA and scores is rarely enough. The most competitive applicants far exceed the requirements.

Even as a top student, the odds are low. But it’s worth applying with the right preparation and application strategy.

How are Hagan Scholarships Paid?

Hagan Scholarship funds are paid directly to the recipient’s college each year. Here is the breakdown:

  • $6,000 awarded for the 1st two semesters of freshman year
  • $6,000 awarded for the 1st two semesters of sophomore year
  • $6,000 awarded for the 1st two semesters of junior year
  • $6,000 awarded for the 1st two semesters of senior year

The total possible amount is $24,000 over 4 years.

There are also two $3,000 summer stipends – one after sophomore year and one after junior year.

These stipends support unpaid internships in the student’s field of interest. This brings the maximum total scholarship to $48,000.

The funds can be used to cover any allowable costs billed by the college – including tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, and more.

Hagan Scholarship Renewal Requirements

The scholarship is awarded yearly, but recipients must meet requirements each year to renew the funding. Renewal is not guaranteed.

Here are the key renewal criteria:

  • Maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA
  • Successfully complete 30 credit hours per academic year
  • Submit transcripts and progress reports
  • Participate in scholar development programs
  • Maintain full-time consecutive enrollment
  • Continue strong moral character

Failure to meet any of the above requirements can result in the loss of the scholarship. Renewal is also contingent on available funding.

Responsible stewardship of the scholarship is taken very seriously. Recipients must remain committed students and community members.

How to Use Hagan Scholarship Funds

Hagan Scholarship funds are extremely flexible. The award money can be used for nearly any educational expenses billed by the university.

Here are some examples of allowable costs:

  • Tuition and mandatory fees
  • Room and board (on or off campus)
  • Meal plans
  • Books, supplies, and equipment
  • Computer and software
  • Transportation
  • Health insurance through the college
  • Personal expenses like clothing and snacks
  • Study abroad program costs
  • Disability services
  • Printing costs

The key is that the expenses must be billed to the student’s account by the college itself.

Finding Other Scholarships Like Hagan

Since the Hagan Scholarship is so competitive, it’s wise to apply to multiple awards. There are many other top national scholarships with similar criteria.

Here are some to consider if you are eligible for the Hagan Scholarship:

Many top universities also offer prestigious merit scholarships that can provide full tuition or more.

Cast a wide net with both national and college-specific scholarship applications. This maximizes your chances of earning multiple awards to help cover education costs.


The Hagan Scholarship can be a life-changing opportunity for exceptional high school students. While highly competitive, the scholarship offers tremendous benefits beyond financial assistance alone.

Carefully reviewing the eligibility requirements, application components, and selection criteria is key. Top candidates present a consistently stellar academic record paired with noteworthy leadership experiences and community commitment.

With diligent preparation and strategic submission, the intensive effort invested into the application process can certainly pay off. Earning this prestigious scholarship opens doors to rewarding undergraduate experiences, mentorships, and networks.

Remember to explore similar national and university-specific scholarship options as well. Finding multiple funding sources can help maximize your college investment returns.


Do you have to be a certain race to qualify?

No, the Hagan Scholarship does not consider race or ethnicity in the selection process. It is open to eligible high school students nationwide regardless of demographics.

Is the Hagan Scholarship only for first-generation college students?

No, the scholarship application does not ask about parents’ education level or first-generation status. Students from all family backgrounds are encouraged to apply if eligible.

What majors or programs are eligible?

The Hagan Scholarship supports students pursuing any 4-year undergraduate degree at an accredited college or university in the U.S. All fields of study are eligible.

Is homeschooled applicants eligible?

Yes, homeschooled students can apply if they meet the eligibility criteria. Grade transcripts from a home school program are accepted along with ACT/SAT test scores.

Can I use the Hagan Scholarship at community college?

No, the scholarship can only be used for a 4-year bachelor’s degree program. Students earning an associate degree at a 2-year college are not eligible.

When are scholarship funds disbursed each year?

The annual award amount is typically split into two equal disbursements at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters each year of college.

Can the scholarship be deferred?

No, recipients must enroll in college the fall semester immediately following high school graduation. Deferrals are not allowed.

Can I re-apply if not selected?

Yes, applicants who are not chosen can apply again the following year as long as they continue meeting the eligibility criteria. There is no limit on how many times you can apply.

How are scholars mentorship matched?

Hagan matches each scholar with a mentor based on their career interests, background, and personality assessment. Mentors provide general guidance, not just field-specific advice.

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