Soka Scholarships

Institutional Grants and Scholarships are awards that are funded by the university to help students meet the challenge of funding his or her education at Soka University of America.  All Grants and Scholarships listed on this page are awards that are gifted to the student and do not need to be paid back to SUA. These awards may be merit-based or need-based. They carry with them specific criteria and terms and conditions for renewal.

Soka University is very fortunate to have had the opportunity this year to provide 100% of our freshmen class with at least one institutional grant or scholarship.  One hundred percent of our continuing students who were eligible for need-based financial assistance received a need-based scholarship or grant. Students may combine more than one institutional scholarship to cover costs up to the cost of attendance.

In order to maintain fairness and equity across our institutional grants and scholarships, all opportunities on this page are available for both international and domestic students. Unless noted, institutional scholarships and grants are available to all incoming students.

Need-Based Aid

Soka Opportunity Scholarship (SOS)

Up to the cost of tuition │ Renewable for 8 semesters

In an effort to promote greater diversity and access to higher education, all admitted students to the BA in Liberal Arts program whose annual earned family income is $60,000* or less, and who have neither graduated from college nor completed more than 3/4 of their required coursework towards their first undergraduate degree (e.g., BA/BS) at the time of application to SUA, will receive full tuition (room and board fees will still apply).  *Income includes wages, interest, dividends, capital gain, etc. SUA provides prorated awards for students who come from families with higher income levels and/or have significant assets.

Students who receive any combination of Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Cal Grant and Soka Opportunity Scholarship funds will see a reduction in the actual Soka Opportunity Scholarship award by the amount(s) awarded through Pell, FSEOG and Cal Grant. SUA's policy is to apply these funds towards tuition charges before awarding the Soka Opportunity Scholarship.  The end result is that the tuition will be fully covered by the combination of these funds.

Eligibility for the SOS is determined by your financial aid application.  Students must maintain a cumulative or term GPA of 2.0 to renew the SOS on an annual basis.  Domestic students should complete the FAFSA and international students should complete the Financial Aid Application for International Students.

Merit-Based Aid

Global Merit Scholarship 

Full Ride (up to cost of attendance) annually │ Renewable up to 8 semesters

SUA offers a select number of full ride scholarships to the top students of each entering class.  The scholarship covers the entire “Cost of Attendance” which includes not only the direct costs to the university such as tuition, room and board, but also  indirect costs like travel, personal expenses, books and supplies.

Eligibility is determined by taking into consideration materials submitted in the admissions application.  All admitted students are given equal and automatic consideration for this award.

Soka Merit Scholarship

Renewable up to 8 semesters

Students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievements are awarded the Soka Merit Scholarship upon entrance to Soka University.

Eligibility is determined by the admissions application information.

Makiguchi Scholarship

Full Ride (up to cost of attendance) annually│ Renewable up to 8 semesters 

Each year, an SUA Makiguchi Scholarship for Global Citizens award will be given to one international applicant who has graduated from high school in an African nation.  The student selected is outstanding both in character and academic standing, and has a financial need.

Eligibility for this award is determined by information submitted on the admissions and financial aid application.

Stem Scholarship

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Scholarship available from Edison International is available to select students majoring in Environmental Studies that excel academically.  Recipients may receive up to $5,000 for the academic year.  To apply, students must complete and submit the Southern California Edison STEM Scholarship application. Recipients are selected by an Environmental Studies Academic Committee and students are notified if they are nominated to receive the funds.

Athletic Scholarships


Gifted student athletes participating in one of the sports below may be offered an athletic scholarship in conjunction with other institutional, state or federal aid.

  • Men’s and Women’s Soccer                                      
  • Men’s and Women’s Cross Country
  • Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving                  
  • Men’s and Women’s Track and Field

*Awards are offered and renewed at the discretion of the Director of Athletics and the Directors of each sport.  Students wishing to inquire about an athletic scholarship should contact the director of the sport he/she is interested in.

John D. Montgomery Scholarship

This scholarship is named in honor of the late John D. Montgomery for his many years of service and dedication as a founding member of Soka University of America's Board of Trustees.  Montgomery was also the founding director of SUA's Pacific Basin Research Center, a research institute dedicated to the study of social and economic development that reinforces the humanistic aims of the university and its mission of service to others. The recipient of this $20,000 scholarship is chosen on the basis of academic merit and his or her record of service that best exemplifies the humanitarian goals and objectives of the university.

Student Employment

$1,000-$4,000 annually │ Dependent on application and job availability

While SUA does participate in the Federal Work Study Program which is outlined in the “Federal Aid” section, the university also makes jobs available to students who are not eligible for the Federal program.   All student employment jobs are open to all students.

Eligibility is determined by application for the specific job posting and may require a résumé and interview.

Awards for Continuing Students

A growing number of merit based scholarships are reserved for students already enrolled at SUA and exist to inspire talented freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to continue to push themselves in their academic and personal endeavors.  

Ikeda Scholarship

Full Ride (up to cost of attendance)│ Single year

The Ikeda Scholarship is the most prestigious scholarship program at Soka University of America. The scholarship covers the entire “Cost of Attendance” which includes not only the direct costs to the university such as tuition, room and board, but also indirect costs like travel, personal expenses, books and supplies.  The Ikeda Scholarship is awarded annually in May to one student going into the Sophomore class, the Junior class and the Senior class for a total of three scholarships per year.

Eligibility is determined on merit alone - academic accomplishment with experiences in leadership and service also taken into account.   The selection committee (Dean of Faculty and Dean of Students) makes final recommendations to the university president.  This scholarship is announced in the Spring of each academic year.

Soka Academic Merit Scholarship

$10,000 │ Single year

Each year, the Scholarship Committee selects the top five academic students from SUA's freshman, sophomore, and junior classes to receive the Soka Academic Merit Scholarship for the following academic year. Although the Soka Academic Merit Awards are given only for a single year, awardees can be selected again in subsequent years. In cases where recipients are already receiving financial aid, the student's financial aid package will be adjusted accordingly.

Selection is based on outstanding academic performance for that year and not on cumulative performance. A selection committee is formed each year making final recommendations to the university president, who announces the recipients of the Academic Merit scholarships in the Fall of each academic year.

Other Opportunities

Soka also administrates other opportunities available to current and graduating students. These awards are employed for extended learning opportunities.

Makiguchi Memorial Scholarship Fund, Graduate School Scholarship

$10,000 │ One-time award to be applied toward a graduate school program, 15 awards available each year

Any graduating senior who has been accepted for graduate studies next academic year may apply for this $10,000 Makiguchi Memorial Scholarship.  The scholarship must be used toward the first year of graduate studies. Applicants who have been accepted to graduate school and have demonstrated a high level of academic performance and strong commitment to the university as demonstrated through participation in student clubs and organizations will be considered for the scholarship.

Application for this scholarship will be available in April to all seniors.   

Soka Named Scholarships

Named Scholarships are available for SUA continuing students.

To apply:  Complete any of the following Named Scholarship Applications and submit along with the requested essay and documents.

The application deadline is 5pm on Friday, April 5, 2019.

The following Named Scholarships are available: