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Scholarship, Obama Scholars, and CAG deferment application

Students awarded specific institutional merit scholarships and students participating in the President Barack Obama Scholars Program or ASU College Attainment Grant Program must begin study at ASU in the fall semester following high school graduation. Consecutive enrollment in fall and spring semesters is required for renewal. Institutional merit scholarships, President Barack Obama Scholars Program and ASU College Attainment Grant Program funds may be awarded for a maximum of eight semesters.

A student may apply to defer the scholarship/program under certain circumstances. The student must be meeting the criteria of the scholarship/program and be in good academic standing at the time of the deferment.

This policy pertains to the following scholarship programs:

  • Academic Decathlon Scholars (first place team member or top score).
  • All-Arizona Academic Team Scholars.
  • ASU College Attainment Grant.
  • ASU Next Generation Service Corps.
  • ASU Scholastic Award.
  • Dean’s Scholars.
  • Flinn Finalist Scholars*.
  • Leadership Scholarship program.
  • National Achievement Scholars.
  • National Merit Scholars†.
  • National Hispanic Scholars.
  • President Barack Obama Scholars program.
  • President’s Scholars.
  • Provost Scholars.
  • Regents High Honors Endorsement Scholars.
  • University Scholars.

*This policy only applies to Flinn Scholarships awarded by Arizona State University.

†National Merit Finalist Scholars must contact the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and request a leave of absence in addition to completing ASU’s deferment process.

Deferment process

Students receiving scholarships or participating in one of the programs named above may apply for deferment for the purpose of taking part in activities that would interrupt their required continuous enrollment at Arizona State University. The following conditions apply:

  1. Deferment applications should be submitted no later than 30 days prior to the start of the semester of the requested leave of absence and must be approved prior to the planned departure.
  2. Length of deferment will be based on the circumstances, not to exceed two academic years. Religious missions can be approved for up to two and one-half years.
  3. Students may not attend another educational institution during the deferment period.
  4. Any changes to the deferment that do not receive prior approval by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Services office may result in loss of the scholarship or participating program.
  5. Students must be meeting the criteria for renewal prior to their planned departure.
    1. Institutional Merit Scholarship: Students must successfully complete 30 ASU credit hours for the academic year with a minimum 3.00 ASU cumulative GPA to be eligible for deferment of their institutional merit scholarship. If the student attends for only one semester in the academic year, a minimum of 15 ASU credit hours must be completed with a minimum 3.00 ASU cumulative GPA in the semester prior to departure. For more information, visit
    2. President Barack Obama Scholars Program: Students must achieve the renewal criteria for the year they entered the program. For more information, visit
    3. ASU College Attainment Grant Program: Students must achieve the renewal criteria for the year they entered the program. For more information, visit
  6. Each application for deferment will be considered independently according to the circumstances of that leave of absence. Common examples of eligible activities include:
    1. Involuntary U.S. military service (in the event of a military crisis or when draft is in effect).
    2. Non-ASU-sponsored study abroad programs and non-ASU-sponsored internship. Note: Scholarships may be used for ASU-sponsored study abroad programs and ASU-sponsored internship programs, but the student may defer their scholarship for these programs as well.
    3. Religious missions.
    4. Other requests (i.e., medical leave and special learning experiences) are by special review.
    5. Catastrophic and extenuating circumstances such as medical situations and death in the immediate family are done by special review. The deferment application with corresponding documentation should be submitted to the ASU Financial Aid and Scholarship Services office.
  7. Students must submit all required documentation for leave of absence with a deferment application request. Incomplete applications may be denied.

Returning to ASU

Students must return to ASU and enroll in the semester immediately following the completion of the approved deferment activity. In order to have your scholarship and/or program reinstated you must submit a reinstatement request along with appropriate documentation that supports the entire duration of the approved activity. It is recommended that you submit the reinstatement request at least 30 days before the start of the semester to ensure timely processing. For more information, visit

If your scholarship and/or program is reinstated, you will continue to receive this award until you reach the maximum terms allowed for your scholarship and/or participation in the program. However, failure to meet the renewal criteria may result in the cancellation of your scholarship and/or participation in the program.

†National Merit Finalist Scholars must also contact the National Merit Corporation ( to request reinstatement of their scholarship.

Source of policy