The Morehead-Cain Scholarship application is live! Now what?

Blog | August 21, 2023
(From left) Liam Furlong ’25; Keenan Baker ’25; Neha Saggi ’25; Maggie Kern ’25; Steph Momanyi ’25; Willow Taylor Chiang ’25; Layah Clinton ’25; and William Dahl ’25 in Baltimore, Maryland, during their Civic Collaboration summer.

Hooray! The Morehead-Cain application went live last week! It’s time to dig down and start filling out your application for the nation’s first merit scholarship (founded at its first public university!).

This is a huge step in your college path. It’s understandable to be nervous and even a little intimidated by the whole process. Below we’ve answered some common questions students have about starting their application.

  1. What should my first steps be?

The first thing to do once you log in to the application portal is to choose and notify a recommender. For more information on that, check out our post titled “Application First Steps.”

When you open the application, you should fill out the “Recommender” and “School Information” sections first. Your recommender and your school counselor have the same deadline as you do to complete their portions of your application, so it’s nice to give them as much advance notice as possible.

2. What should I write my essays about?

We want to share a note about what not to write about. Be sure that you aren’t basing your decision on someone else’s opinion—whether that’s your parents or your teachers or anyone else. We don’t want your essays to be about what you feel you “should” or “ought to” write about.

Do write about what you think is important in your own life. Write about things you’re committed to because you believe in their inherent value, and in their potential to make you a better person and your community stronger and your world a better place.

We want to know what makes you tick, and why you care about the things you do. Plus, interviewers often ask about things candidates write about, so you’ll want to write about things you’re eager to discuss and comfortable talking about.

3. The application is so long! How can I get through it all without running out of things to say?

It is a long application. Our scholars are multidimensional people! We want to give you as much opportunity as possible to share about yourself in the written portion of the application process.

Start early! Take it one prompt at a time. There’s absolutely no need to do all of it in one day, or one weekend. In fact, rushing like that would probably not result in your showing us your very best self!

Take your time. Don’t forget to occasionally take a step back and think objectively about what elements of your life best represent who you are. And then sit down at your computer and tell us about it.

We can’t wait to get to know you in this way!