I want to convey that I received the highest amount of scholarship (For example: if scholarship amounts range from $1000 to $10000, I got $10000) given to the top 1 or 2% of the class. I want to write it as precisely as possible. What would be the apt sentence?

This is what I am thinking:

Recipient of highest XYZ scholarship (Awarded to top 3% of incoming class)

Not sure if the word highest is appropriate.

  • 3
    Uh, largest ? – Hot Licks Oct 16 '16 at 19:19
  • Recipient of largest xxx department scholarship amount (Awarded to top 3% of the incoming class) - Is this sentence correct? – manoj Oct 16 '16 at 19:25
  • 1
    Go with largest. – ab2 Oct 16 '16 at 20:59

Yes, you can use "highest" to compare relative monetary amounts.

For example, OED definition IIIb:

Of a price, rate, amount, percentage, etc.: having a large numerical value. Also: (of a commodity) high-priced, expensive, costly; (of money) lent out at a high rate of interest; (of a currency) having a relatively high exchange rate.

But "highest" in the context of "scholarship" also means "the best," for example, this page from the University of Washington is titled "High Scholarship Recognition" and deals with dean's lists and Latin honors.

High Scholarship Recognition

Please refer to the General Catalog page on Dean's List for information about Quarterly Dean's List; Annual Dean's List; Baccalaureate Honors; Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and President's Medals; and Honorary Societies.

In this context, I would read "highest scholarship" to mean the most prestigious scholarship offered, in terms of prerequisites. In other words, there's no scholarship for the top 1%. That said, it doesn't necessarily imply the money is the largest available (but it's likely); there could be a larger scholarship for really good football players, for instance.

If you want to emphasize how hard it was to get, "highest" is a good choice. If you only want to point out how much money it was, "biggest" or "largest" might be a slightly more accurate choice.


Although it may sound awkward to you, the term "highest scholarship" is 100% correct. Here is the term "highest scholarship award" used by Florida Atlantic University on the page http://www.fau.edu/admissions/pdf/scholarships.pdf:

"Participants will be considered for our highest scholarship awards. Selected students will have completed an Honors College application or, if they received an invitation to join the Honors College, submitted a resume by December 15."

Largest/biggest scholarship is generally used to refer to the scholarship program as a whole.

To be as precise as possible go for:

Recipient of highest dollar amount XYZ scholarship (Awarded to top 3% of incoming class).

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