Freshmen Overview

Application will open October 2, 2023

The Terry Scholarship for incoming freshmen provides four-year scholarships for Texas residents. Taking into account other scholarships you may receive and your family’s financial resources, the Terry Scholarship is individually adjusted to cover tuition, fees, books and on-campus living expenses.

UNT will review all applications and nominate incoming freshmen for the Terry Scholarship. From these nominees, the Terry Foundation will award scholarships to approximately half of our nominees, with the number of awards likely not exceeding 24.

The deadline for freshmen applications for the 2024 academic year is 01/12/2024 at 11:59pm.



To be considered for the Terry Scholarship as an incoming freshman, you must:

  • be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • be a Texas resident.
  • be a graduate from a Texas high school or be homeschooled while residing in the state of Texas and receive a Texas high school diploma or equivalent.
  • have a high school graduation date in Spring 2024 and be an incoming freshman college student for the Fall of 2024
  • have a record of leadership in school and community.
  • demonstrate strong academic abilities, as evidenced by grades.
  • demonstrate financial need AND complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Note: per the Application Summary and Deadlines below, the deadline for UNT Terry Applicants to file the FAFSA is (March 15th), later than the Terry application deadline.
  • be admitted to UNT as a full-time student in the fall semester of the year awarded.

Selection Criteria

The University of North Texas will review all applications and nominate a select number of candidates to the Terry Foundation, which will review the nominations and interview candidates before making awards. The Terry Foundation will award scholarships to approximately half of our nominees, with the number of awards likely not exceeding 24.

The selection criteria used by the Foundation include financial need, academic achievement, and demonstrated leadership potential. Although financial need is an important factor in the selection process, a student need not qualify for federal assistance in order to meet the Terry Scholar selection criteria. Nevertheless, all applicants must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

Please know that the University of North Texas serves as a nominating body only; the Terry Foundation makes all final decisions regarding scholarship awards.


Application Summary and Deadlines

  • Before applying for the UNT Terry Scholarship, applicants must apply, and gain admission to, UNT. Stated otherwise, UNT Terry Scholarship applicants should complete their application for the Terry Scholarship after being notified of their acceptance to UNT, and prior to the UNT deadline for completing their UNT Terry Scholarship application. To facilitate this sequence, applicants for the UNT Terry Scholarship are encouraged to first apply for admission to UNT no later than Dec. 15, 2023.  
  • To be considered, submit your completed Terry Scholarship application together with your other supporting materials, electronically to the UNT Honors College: C/O Lily Geilhausen by 11:59 pm on January 12th, 2024
  • Your application must be filled out completely to be considered. All of your transcripts and your letter of recommendation must be received by the UNT Honors College: C/O Lily Geilhausen by 11:59 pm on January 12th, 2024. There will be no exceptions to this deadline.
  • File a FAFSA online between December 2023 and March 15, 2024.
  • Apply for on-campus housing in Spring 2024. For more information, please refer to the UNT Housing website. First-year Terry Scholars are required to live on-campus in a designated Terry Scholar living-learning community.

The Terry Foundation does not accept applications directly from students. Further information about the Terry Foundation may be found on their website.

Selection Timeline and Applicant Notification

The UNT Terry selection process spans the academic year. A general timeline is outlined below.

  • UNT Terry applications open in October and close in January.
  • Applicants will receive notification of their application status in March (subject to change)
    • The Terry Foundation will contact and schedule an interview with a limited number of applicants.
    • Applicants who will not be moving forward will receive email notification from the UNT Terry Scholarship Program.
  • Interviews typically occur in late-March to early-April.
  • Students who interview with the Terry Foundation will receive final notification from the Terry Foundation before May 1st (subject to change).

Submitting your Terry Foundation Freshman Application

As you prepare your application, you are advised to download and save a copy of it so that you can prepare a rough draft with full and complete answers before submitting those online. When you are satisfied with your answers, you should begin the online application. Be sure to edit your essays carefully and stay within in the word limits. At the end of each essay response that has a word limit, state the number of words you have used.
*When filling out the application online, be sure to hit the “next” or “previous” page buttons, NOT the browser’s “back” button. You could lose your work if you hit the back button. * 

Completed applications are composed of the following components:

  1. Application - Complete, digitally sign, and electronically submit your application.  The application includes the items listed below.  Please prepare these documents (.doc, .docx, .pdf) beforehand to upload with your application
  2. Official Transcripts - Submit official transcripts from every high school and college you have attended. It is your responsibility to request a copy of your transcript(s) far enough in advance so that you may have them before the upload deadline. You will be asked to upload your transcript(s) at the end of the application. 

    If you have completed 12 or more hours of dual credit hours at the time of application, you are required to submit a copy of your transcript from the institution(s) from which you received the credit hours.

    If you do not have direct access to your official transcript(s),and thus cannot upload them with your application, you are responsible for having that sent by your high school by the stated deadline to Lily Geilhausen ( or Lily Geilhausen, UNT Terry Scholars, 1155 Union Circle #310529, Denton, TX 76203. 

    Late transcripts will disqualify applicants. Transcripts in transit at the time of the deadline will be deemed late.  It will thus be your responsibility to check with your institutions, in advance of the deadline, to make sure that your transcripts are in our possession by 11:59pm on Jan 12th, 2024. 
  3. One Letter of Recommendation – Your recommendation letter should be written by one of your core subject teachers (English, math, history, science, language). The letter should speak to your academic and leadership abilities.

    You will be required to enter the email address of your recommender into the application. At the time of your application submission, an automatic email will be sent to the recommender’s email address that you entered in the application requesting a letter of recommendation on your behalf. The recommender will submit their letter by following the instructions in the automatic email. Make sure, therefore, to check the accuracy of the email address that you enter on the application.

    Letters of recommendation must be received by the 11:59 pm deadline of Jan. 12th, 2024. Late letters will disqualify applicants. Letters in transit will be deemed late. It will thus be your responsibility to check with your recommender, in advance of the deadline, to confirm the status of the letter.

*Remember: Your application must be filled out completely to be considered. Your completed application, transcript(s), and one letter of recommendation must be received by the 11:59 pm January 12th, 2024 deadline. There will be no exceptions to this deadline.*

Apply Now (available October 2, 2023)