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Presidential Scholarships

20 Presidential Scholarships are awarded by the University Honors Program to high school seniors with a history of outstanding academic performance worth $32,000 over four years ($8000 per year). Recipients will be those whose strong academic credentials are matched by personal involvement in leadership and service activities.

Scholarship Requirements

Maintenance of Presidential Scholarships over four years will depend on recipients meeting the following criteria:

  • Complete 1st year seminars

  • Participate in 2nd and 3rd year think tank and leadership experiences

  • Maintain a 3.50 cumulative GPA

  • Make progress toward honors designation including the senior thesis

Presidential Scholar Activities

The awards carry recognition for academic excellence, as well as the expectation for leadership and service. The following program features are designed to enhance the academic and civic engagement of Presidential Scholars.

First-year seminars

New scholarship recipients participate in scholars-only seminars during their first two semesters at UNI. The seminars are designed to challenge new scholars academically while also giving them an opportunity to establish themselves as a community of learners. The Honors Advisory Board selects honors seminars from proposals submitted by university faculty. Two seminars are selected each year to be reserved for incoming Presidential Scholars. 

Think tank and service learning

Sophomore scholars participate in two-credit hour courses that provide the opportunity to identify and analytically approach a problem or issue affecting the campus or community. During fall semester think tanks, teams of scholars, research and analyze selected issues, propose solutions, examine implementation options, and develop plans to be executed during a service learning course in the spring. The courses provide a structured way for Presidential Scholars to grow intellectually while combining their strengths and talents for the benefit of our campus and community.

2016-2017 Think Tank Projects

2015-2016 Think Tank Projects

2014-2015 Think Tank Projects

Honors involvement

All Presidential Scholars are members of the University Honors Program and as such take part in specialized honors classes throughout their program of study. Scholars can choose from a variety of honors sections that fulfill Liberal Arts Core requirements, as well as seminars developed specifically for the program. The honors experience concludes with an individual senior thesis/project guided by a faculty advisor. See Program Requirements for further information on the hours needed for an honors designation. 

Requirements for scholarship maintenance include a provision that scholars make progress toward an honors designation including the senior thesis/project. In order to show such progress, scholars should achieve a minimum of 9 hours of honors credit by the end of their sophomore year. The 2-hour first-year seminars can be included in the 9-hour minimum.