McConnell Scholars

The Fall 2021 McConnell Scholars Program application is now open.

The McConnell Scholars Program is a prestigious enrichment program aimed at Kentucky residents who have demonstrated outstanding leadership potential and are committed to the principles of scholarship, leadership and service. There are 10 awards given each year, and the program has produced more than 200 successful alumni. The program is open to Kentucky high school graduates with a minimum 3.5 GPA. Applicants must at least minor in political science.

The amount of the award will be determined by a selections committee, but typically will include full tuition, and an allowance for room, board and books. Additionally, each scholar will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., an extended study abroad to China and annual leadership retreats throughout Kentucky. In addition, each Scholar may apply for funding to support individual travel and internship plans. Recipients develop leadership skills through liberal arts seminars, great book discussions, domestic and international internships and a variety of networking opportunities. Past participants have met world leaders including two sitting presidents, two Supreme Court Justices, six Secretaries of State, and numerous U.S. Senators, ambassadors and leaders of foreign nations.

To Apply:

Students wishing to apply for this scholarship must submit an application admission to the University of Louisville by December 15. Supporting materials such as transcripts may be submitted until January 15.
Students who are eligible to apply for this scholarship will find their next steps in their UofL Application Gateway soon after they apply to UofL (whether they applied to UofL with or without test scores). The deadline to apply for this scholarship and submit materials is January 15.

A complete application includes:

  • One essay (not to exceed 750 words): Each year McConnell Scholars meet with local, state and national leaders.  If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would you choose, and what would you ask them?
  • Resume - should include high achievements, community service, and employment history (review resume scoring rubric).
  • Two letters of recommendation - one of which must be from a high school teacher


If you have questions about scholarships or award amounts and criteria, please email  with "Scholarships" in the subject line.

Learn more about McConnell Scholars