Financial Support & Scholarships

Shoals Marine Laboratory is committed to making our courses affordable for all!
  Two out of three Shoals Marine Laboratory students received financial assistance last year!
  Every student who qualifies for need-based assistance receives an SML scholarship.
•  Financial support includes need-based, merit-based, and multi-course awards... and more!

Need-based scholarships are available to undergraduate students only, and applying is easy! If you have already completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then you already have a Student Aid Report (SAR), and know your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

To apply for a need-based scholarship, send an email to or fax to (603) 862-3151 with the following information:

  1. The SML course(s) you want to enroll in
  2. Cornell and UNH students should include their student ID number
  3. PDF of your most recent SAR with EFC (from FAFSA)

Once you have your need-based award, go to our Admissions Page and follow the steps to enroll and register.

Important note: If you apply for both a need-based and merit-based scholarship, your need-based assistance will be recalculated based on the amount of merit received.

Merit-based scholarships are available to undergraduate students only. GPA of at least 3.2 required. Merit awards range from $1000 to full tuition plus room and board costs, depending on number of applicants and available funding. Deadline for receipt of all application materials is:

Cornell undergraduates: 11:59pm on February 14, 2020

UNH undergraduates: 11:59pm on March 1, 2020

Other undergraduates: 11:59pm on March 1, 2020

To apply for a merit-based scholarship, send an email to or fax to (603) 862-3151 with the following information:

  1. The SML course(s) in which you want to enroll
  2. All college transcripts (include as PDFs or have sent from your Registrar's office – official copies required)
  3. Cornell and UNH students should include their student ID 
  4. One-page essay stating what it would mean for you to take a course at SML
  5. (If applicable) PDF of your most recent SAR with EFC (from FAFSA)

 If you receive a merit-based award, go to our Admissions Page and follow the steps to enroll and register.

Important note: If you apply for both a need-based and merit-based scholarship, your need-based scholarship may not be processed until the merit decisions have been made.

SML offers automatic awards to students (undergraduate and high school) who enroll in multple SML courses in the same summer. All students pay standard Tuition and Fees for their first course, then for additional courses:

Second Course Award $500.00
Third Course Award $1,000.00
Fourth Course Award $1,500.00

Students who enroll in Field Ornithology, Integrated Ecosystem Research Management, Marine Parasitology and Disease, or Sustainable Fisheries will automatically be considered for an award of up to $1,000. A limited number of awards will be given on a rolling basis in 2020.

Field Ornithology Scholarship

Thanks to generous funding from a Cornell donor, we also have need-based funds available for students taking Field Ornithology, in addition to the automatic award. Please reference the need-based scholarships section of this page for information on how to apply.

Shark Biology and Conservation Scholarship

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy and its Gills Club are offering one full-ride scholarship for Shark Biology and Conservation at SML this summer! Click here for scholarship details and application instructions.

Deadline to apply: March 1, 2020

Logo for the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy's Gills Club

Bringing back a Shoals alumni favorite! Students who refer a friend or classmate to enroll at SML in 2020 will receive a $500 award towards their own 2020 course fees. If you have previously taken a course at SML and want to take another, this award is designed specifically for you. Help us spread the word about SML! Students are our best ambassadors! 

photo of smiling shoals students and friends in the intertidal
Shoal-mates are the best mates!

Institution-specific scholarships:
SML works with a variety of other institutions to provide scholarships for students interested in SML courses or research opportunities. Students from these schools should contact their SML Academic Coordinator (Dr. Liz Craig, for details about the institution-specific scholarships for which they might be eligible. The following institutions are some of our current partners:

logo for Dartmouth College       logo for the University of New Haven in Connecticut

logo for the Five College Coastal and Marine Sciences Program 


Other relevant organizations: Beyond scholarships provided by SML, our partner institutions, and our generous supporters, a wide variety of organizations (locally, nationally, and globally) offer external scholarships that are relevant to SML students. This is not an exhaustive list, but a selection of several scholarships that could apply to SML students:

Offset the cost of taking an SML course by getting a student staff job before or after your course (you cannot work during your course). SML student staff is open to all students who enroll in an SML undergraduate summer course, regardless of Federal work-study status. You must be taking an undergraduate course at SML to be eligible for a student staff job.



E-mail for help or contact an SML Academic Coordinator:

Cornell Students

E-mail Dr. Eugene Won

UNH Students

E-mail Dr. Gregg Moore

Other College & High School Students

E-mail Dr. Liz Craig

Funding and Support

Support for need-based scholarships is provided by named endowment funds:

  • Art Borror Fund
  • Bartels Fund
  • Jackson Fund
  • Parker Fund
  • Parson Fund
  • Spaulding Fund
  • Quaker Hill Fund
  • Ragonese Fund
  • Rosalind Holt Fund
  • Rutman Fund
  • Williams Fund
  • Wood Fund

Support for merit-based scholarships is provided by named endowment funds:

  • Bartels Fund
  • Director’s Discretionary Fund for Microbiology
  • Rutman Fund
  • Tuttle Fund

We are grateful to the creators of these funds, as well as generous donors whose money goes to support scholarships every year!

Our programs would not be possible without their kindness! If you would like offer support, please click here.