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Automatic Merit Scholarships

Carthage awards automatic merit scholarships (non-need-based grants) to incoming freshmen at the time of admission, eliminating the need for an additional application. These scholarships are based on grades and standardized test scores, and are completely funded by Carthage.  

All Carthage non-need-based scholarships and grants are reserved for full-time undergraduate students seeking their first bachelor’s degree. Renewal requires an annual minimum cumulative GPA and full-time enrollment status. A student may compete or be eligible for a combination of non-need-based scholarships and grants but, when combined, cannot exceed tuition unless otherwise noted. The number of scholarships awarded is not limited. Please call the Office of Admissions for additional information at 800-351-4058. 

A student is awarded these grants and scholarships based exclusively on test scores and academic background as reported on an official transcript, and on information provided on the admissions application. In the event that scores improve over time, Carthage will use the student’s best scores through the ACT or SAT December testing date of the student’s senior year, received by January 15.

Academic Scholarships

Unlimited number
Please note: We use the ACT score for scholarship purposes if you submit both the ACT and SAT. Carthage will accept either test, and it is not necessary to take both the ACT and SAT for admission and scholarship consideration at Carthage. *SAT scores listed are Reading + Math. GPA is based on an unweighted 4.00 scale.

Carthage superscores your ACT/SAT results. That is, we consider the highest section scores from multiple test dates.

ACT/SAT Chart for Academic Scholarships 

  2.75-2.99 GPA 3.00-3.49 GPA 3.50-4.00 GPA
21-22 ACT
(1060-1120 SAT*)
Torch Scholarship
Carthaginian Scholarship
Springfield Scholarship
23-25 ACT
(1130-1230 SAT*)
Carthaginian Scholarship
Springfield Scholarship
Founders Scholarship
26-29 ACT
(1240-1380 SAT*)
Springfield Scholarship
Founders Scholarship
Academic Honors Scholarship
30-36 ACT
(1390-1600 SAT*)
Founders Scholarship
Academic Honors Scholarship
Highest Honors Scholarship

*SAT scores listed are Reading + Math, and are for tests taken March 2016 or later. A different merit scholarship grid applies for SAT tests taken before 2016.


Unlimited number — $1,000 per year, renewable
A four-year renewable grant of $1,000 per year (four-year value: $4,000) is awarded to children of Carthage alumni. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required for renewal.


Unlimited — $1,000 per year, renewable
A four-year renewable scholarship of $1,000 per year (four-year value: $4,000) is awarded to students who have attended Boys State or Girls State. Proof of attendance from the student’s high school is required and must be submitted by January 15 (prior to enrollment). A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 is required for renewal.


Up to $1,000
Carthage is a Collegiate Partner of Scholarship America and the Dollars for Scholars family of community scholarship foundations. Carthage has agreed that Dollars for Scholars awards up to $1,000 per student will not adversely affect scholarship funding provided by Carthage.


Unlimited number — $500 per year
The Early FAFSA Filers Award is for students who submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), officially signed by applicant and one parent, to be received by the Federal Processing Agency by February 1. Renewable with FAFSA completion by February 1 each year. Students may receive this award regardless of financial need.


Unlimited number — $1,000 per year, renewable
A four-year renewable grant of $1,000 per year (four-year value: $4,000) is awarded to members of congregations affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required for renewal.


Unlimited number — $1,000 per year, renewable
A four-year renewable grant of $1,000 per year (four-year value: $4,000) is awarded to children of ELCA ministers. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required for renewal.


Unlimited number, renewable
These four-year renewable scholarships are awarded to students of diverse backgrounds. The student must be admitted to Carthage as a new freshman or transfer.

Note that we use the ACT score for scholarship purposes if you submit both the ACT and SAT. SAT scores listed are Reading + Math. GPA is based on an unweighted 4.00 scale.

ACT/SAT Chart for the Multicultural Grant 

  2.00-2.99 GPA 3.00-4.00 GPA
18-21 ACT
(940-1090 SAT)
$1,000/year $1,500/year
22-24 ACT
(1100-1190 SAT)
$1,500/year $2,000/year
25-27 ACT
(1200-1300 SAT)
$2,000/year $2,500/year
28-29 ACT
(1310-1380 SAT)
$2,500/year $3,000/year
30-36 ACT
(1390-1600 SAT)
$3,000/year $3,500/year


$1,000 per year
A four-year renewable grant of $1,000 per year (four-year value: $4,000) is awarded to each sibling enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at Carthage. To receive this grant, both students must be enrolled full time. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required for renewal.


Unlimited number — $1,000 per year
A four-year renewable grant of $1,000 per year (four-year value: $4,000) is awarded to all students who reside in Kenosha, Racine, or Walworth counties. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required for renewal.

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2018), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wins, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …