How to Apply

McConnell Scholarship

McConnell Scholarship application, requirements, selection criteria and the most recent class profile

Create your account now. Deadline: December 15, 2018.


NOTE: Our criteria has recently changed. Please refer to this page for the most recent scholarship criteria. 

The McConnell Scholarship is open to graduating high school Kentucky residents with a minimum 3.5 GPA. Applicants must have demonstrated a capacity for intellectual and public leadership. The following must be provided:

  • Two (2) letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a high school teacher

Selection Criteria

Scholarships are awarded to talented, deserving high school seniors and to a geographically diverse group of students from the Commonwealth. Applicants must have demonstrated leadership and communication skills, outstanding grades and test scores and a passion for service. Applicants should foster and cultivate leadership, scholarship and service – core principles of the McConnell Center.

    Please Note

    McConnell Scholars must maintain programmatic requirements while attending the University of Louisville, satisfy course requirements for a minor in political science and participate in activities sponsored by the Center. Scholars need not major in political science nor be involved directly in politics, but may do so if interested.

    Approximately 26-28 applicants will be invited to interview for two days in late February or early March (Friday and Saturday interviews) in 2019. Scholarship recipients will be notified by April 1, 2019.

    Current McConnell Scholars

    • Average High School GPA: 3.97
    • Average ACT: 31

      Professional Development Opportunities

      The McConnell Center's Civic Education Program is a non-profit, non-partisan series established to assist Kentucky citizens in developing a better understanding of the American Constitution and history to encourage open and free discussion of perennial concerns that inform contemporary politics. Center at Ashland University

      Teachers Scholars Program:

      30 teachers; yearlong program in conjunction with the McConnell Center's Public Lecture Series, which includes monthly lectures and private discussions with professors and historians; culminates in summer travel (locations vary)

      Liberty Fund Co-Sponsored Conferences:

      15 teachers per conference; four-day sessions focused on primary source materials (locations vary)

      Visits to McConnell-Chao Archives:

      Request a free, guided tour of the Civic Education Gallery of the U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and former Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao Archives. Guided tours last approximately 90 minutes.

      Living History Series:

      Kentucky high school classrooms attend public lectures and private sessions with keynote speakers and scholars at the McConnell Center

      Programs for High School Students

      The McConnell Center provides programs for top high school students in Kentucky both in the summer and during the school year.

      Young Leaders Academy

      Kentucky students, grades 9-12, are eligible to apply for the Young Leaders Academy, a summer residential leadership conference at the University of Louisville. The McConnell Center offers this annual program to outstanding high school students to help hone their leadership skills and further their understanding of American history.

      Essay Contest

      Cash prizes are awarded to the top three essays submitted by Kentucky high school students. This annual contest is held in the spring semester.