Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program FAQs

The Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program (formerly known as the Minority Scholars Program) was established in 1976 to honor Dr. Darwin T. Turner, an African American student who, at the age of 16, was the youngest person ever to graduate from the University of Cincinnati. 

The Office of Ethnic Programs & Services offers this scholarship program to promote academic excellence, foster diversity, and provide leadership and service opportunities to incoming students. In addition to providing full-tuition funding, Darwin T. Turner Scholars are expected to participate in programs and activities designed to improve their intellectual, personal, and professional development. 

The program’s goal is to enrich the educational environment for undergraduate students by supporting the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups with high potential for academic success at the University of Cincinnati. This emulates the program's core pillars of scholarship, service, and success. 

To qualify for consideration for the Darwin T. Turner Scholarship Program, the student must: 

  • Be a graduating high school senior or have not been previously enrolled post-high school as a student at a college/university
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (based on an unweighted 4.0 scale)
  • Have a minimum 24 Composite ACT or 1160 Combined SAT-R (Math and Critical Reading sections)
  • Seek admission to a baccalaureate degree program

For maximum scholarship consideration, students must have a complete UC Admission Common Application (including high school-submitted transcript and official test scores sent directly from testing agencies) by Dec. 1 of their senior year.

The Darwin T. Turner Scholarship Program does not involve a separate application process. Instead, eligible students who complete the UC admission process by Dec. 1 are invited to compete for awards. 

Preference is given to individuals who meet at least one of the following:

  • First-generation college student
  • Member of an underrepresented group with regard to race, ethnic or tribal background or heritage
  • Demonstrate involvement, leadership, and/or advocacy for the diversity and inclusion of marginalized populations, which includes, but is not limited to race, ethnicity, and gender

Admission applications are carefully reviewed with invited students asked to provide a statement on their diversity and/or leadership experiences. Scholarship awardees are chosen by a committee of faculty, staff and alumni representatives from across the university.

Students invited to apply for the Darwin T. Turner Scholarship Program are asked to provide a statement/respond to essay questions on their diversity and/or leadership experiences. 

These responses are carefully reviewed by a committee of faculty, staff, and alumni represenatives from across the university. Final decisions regarding scholarship recipients are made by Mid-March. Only applicants who have been accepted into the program will be notified of their application status via email. 

No, the Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program is not a race-based scholarship program. Students of all racial and ethnic identities are encouraged to apply should they meet the program eligibility requirements.

The scholarship includes: 

  • 8 semesters of in-state tution
  • Students fees
  • Book stipend per semester

The Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program requirements include the following: 

  • Students must complete at least 12 credit hours per semester.
  • Students are expected to maintain a minimum of 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA).
  • Students must participate in all program seminars and activities (fundraising, community service, meetings, etc.) held throughout the year.
  • Students must complete a minimum of thirty (30) community service hours. 
  • Students must sign in weekly to the Office of Ethnic Programs and Services. 
  • Students must complete a diversity project. 
  • Students must meet with a member of the EPS staff upon request.

Failure to meet any of these requirements can lead to termination from the program. 

The Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program is one of the oldest diversity scholarship programs in the country. Since its establishment in 1976 as a summer collegiate experience for 20 rising high school seniors from Cincinnati Public Schools, the scholarship program evolved to assist academically talented students of color at the university. 

Emboyding the programs core pillars of scholarship, service, and success, the Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program strives to address the varying backgrounds, experiences and needs of a diverse student population. The Turner Scholars Program is structured specifically to provide modular experiences for each class, to ensure the successful enrichment and retention of students through all years of college. 

The Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program has graduated more than eight hundred students who are now UC alumni worldwide and boasts an over 90% graduation rate among its students. 

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Ethnic Programs and Services at eps@uc.edu and/or at 513-556-6008. One of our staff members will be more than happy to address any questions that you may have. 

Please note that should you have questions specifically regarding financial aid or admissions, you should contact those respective offices.