Three things every Morehead-Cain Scholarship applicant should know

Blog | September 18, 2023
The Morehead-Cain Class of 2027 just went through this process—and we’re so glad they did! (Photos by Ira Wilder ’24)

Every year, it is our honor to read thousands of essays where young leaders from around the world put forth their very best selves.

We hope our applicants see the process as an opportunity as well: a chance for self-reflection to clarify your values. As you’re working on your Morehead-Cain application, we hope you’ll keep the following three things in mind.

1. We love reading application essays that represent YOU.

We love when the topics or causes you write about really represent who you are and when we can see your core identity through how you act out your values.

Imagine your best friend were to read your essays without knowing who’d written them. We’d want your friend to immediately (and happily) identify you as the author. We love reading essays that would make your friend exclaim, “This is so YOU.”

2. We believe our applicants know their own interests and motivations best.

We appreciate all the well-meaning adults in your life, including family members, teachers, counselors, mentors, advisors, etc. Where would any of us be without people like that?

But this is your process. Each applicant signs a statement of honesty to verify the integrity of their work. That means only students should log in to their application portal, and only the student should write and edit their responses.

We are confident that you know yourself and can describe yourself best.

This is reflective of the way we treat scholars in the Program as well. We trust that Morehead-Cain Scholars are capable young adults who can navigate the selection process and other elements of the Program independently.

3. Our job is hard—because you’re all wonderful!

The best and most challenging part is seeing so many strong candidates. We spend hours and hours poring over applications and incorporate the professional expertise of a team of readers with a wealth of experience.

We want our applicants to know that, whether they advance in our process or not, they will all go on to do great things in the world. It’s a challenging and lengthy application process, but we hope it provides an opportunity for purposeful reflection.

Overall, we want the experience to be positive and empowering for all our candidates, regardless of the outcome.

We wish you all the best as you work on your applications over the next few weeks!