McConnell Scholars

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 and 26 ACT or 1230 SAT. Applicants must at least minor in political science.

The amount of the award will be determined by a selection committee, and will vary up to full tuition. Additionally, each scholar will have the opportunity to participate in domestic and international travel experiences associated with the Center, as well as 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 who are eligible to apply for this scholarship will find their next steps in their UofL Application Gateway soon after they apply to UofL. The deadline to apply for this scholarship and submit materials is December 15.

A complete application includes:

  • One essay (not to exceed 750 words): 
    • McConnell Scholars study history, philosophy and politics, and meet contemporary leaders and scholars. What historical figure from the past would you like to meet? What would you discuss?
  • 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
  • Apply and participate in the University Honors program

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

Learn more about McConnell Scholars