The University Honors Program awards 20 Presidential Scholarships each year to high school seniors with a history of outstanding academic performance. These prestigious awards carry recognition for academic excellence, leadership and service.  

Presidential Scholarships provide $16,000 over four years ($4,000 per year) and stack with the Panther Impact Award for a total award amount of $30,000 over four years ($7,500 per year).  

But there is more to Presidential Scholarships than financial aid alone. 

In addition to active Honors participation, Presidential Scholars are part of special seminars and leadership experiences designed to enhance academic and civic engagement.  


  • First-Year Seminars
  • Sophomore Think Tank
  • Leadership Development 
  • Honors Thesis



Continuation of the scholarship requires a 3.50+ cumulative GPA and active status in the University Honors Program, including progress toward an honors designation.



First-Year Seminars

New scholarship recipients participate in scholars-only seminars during their first two semesters at UNI. Seminars are designed to challenge first-year scholars academically while also giving them an opportunity to establish a unique community of learners.  

Seminar Topics

Think Tank & Service Learning

Scholars identify and analytically approach a problem or issue affecting the campus or community in year two. The two semester service learning sequence encourages Presidential Scholars to grow intellectually while combining their strengths and talents for the benefit of our campus and community.


Leadership Discussion Series

Each spring UNI President Mark Nook offers a series of leadership discussions for junior Presidential Scholars. This is not a credit-based course (unless you complete an optional 1 credit independent study). Instead, these sessions give you special access to interact with and learn from President Nook!

President Nook

Honors Involvement

All Presidential Scholars are members of the University Honors Program and take specialized honors classes throughout the course of their time at UNI. Any credits earned through Presidential Scholars Seminars will count toward the honors designation.

 Honors Program Requirements

Application Instructions and Timeline

Application Criteria

  • 3.80+ GPA AND 29+ ACT Composite (SAT 1340+)       


  • GPA of 3.95+ if admitted by test-optional review

Deadline: January 15

To apply, complete an application for admission to UNI and submit the UNI Scholarship Application by January 15. Be sure to provide a clear and complete description of activities, honors and leadership positions in the Involvement section of the application. The essay question required of your major/college will also be used as the writing sample for the Presidential Scholarship review process.

Students who meet the application criteria above and submit a complete UNI Scholarship Application will be notified by email of their inclusion in the Presidential Scholarship review process within one week of the January 15 application deadline. Recipients will be notified by February 15.