Martin Luther King Scholars Program

The Martin Luther King Scholars is a mentored scholar program designed to develop critical thinking skills, engage in self-exploration, cultivate emerging leaders and establish an appreciation for civic engagement. This scholarship is historically awarded annually to ten African American or Latino/Latinx high school graduates from Kentucky or Southern Indiana. MLK Scholars enroll in courses focused on social justice and peace studies, engage in experiential learning through community service initiatives, and, during the second year, participate in a civil rights immersion travel experience.

The program includes full in-state tuition and up to an additional $10,000 per year to supplement educational expenses. A minimum high school GPA of 3.5 is required to apply. ACT/SAT scores are not considered. The MLK Scholarship award does not stack with Porter, Trustees', Vogt or Dataseam scholarships, and instead replaces these awards.

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 (500-1,000 words) responding to ONE of the following prompts:
    • UofL is dedicated to becoming a premier anti-racist community. What does being an anti-racist institution mean to you? When evaluating this construct, how will you contribute to UofL's anti-racist mission?
    • Social justice and community service are key elements of being a student at UofL. What is your understanding of social justice and what significance does it hold for you? If you were given the opportunity to develop and implement a social justice themed project, what would you be interested in pursuing for this project? Why?
  • 2 letters of recommendation (at least one must be from a high school teacher)
  • Resume (review resume scoring rubric)
  • 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.

Students with a demonstrated commitment to social justice, community service and UofL’s mission to pursue excellence and inclusiveness are encouraged to apply. Open to all eligible students regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. All applicants must also meet the Kentucky and Southern Indiana residency requirement in addition to the 3.5 cumulative high school GPA requirement. Contact your admissions counselor to have the Martin Luther King Scholarship application added to your New Cards Gateway.

Learn more about the Martin Luther King Scholars Program