University of Iowa

The Presidential Fellows Program

Purposeful engagement with extraordinary challenge requires us to know ourselves as well as we know our disciplines.

The Presidential Fellowship was established to identify and reward some of the most thoughtful, curious, and motivated UI Honors students early on in their education and create a space where they are challenged to develop a knowledge of the self that will deepen their intellectual life, strengthen their engagement with their academic community, and foster authenticity and confidence in their personal and professional relationships.

Eligible students are invited to apply to be a part of the Presidential Fellowship program through Honors at Iowa’s Universal Scholarship application in the Iowa Scholarship Portal at scholarships.uiowa.edu

Like all opportunities connected to the Universal application, the application process involves a written application, a faculty recommendation, and, for the approximately 25 to 30 first year students selected as finalists, a video response to an additional question that will be reviewed by a committee of Honors at Iowa faculty and staff.  In some cases, finalists may also be invited to participate in an in-person conversation with committee members. 


Important Dates

  • Honors at Iowa Universal Application Deadline - February 20, 2019 at 11:59 PM
  • Invitations to interview go out to finalists - March 28, 2019
  • Finalists submit video response to selectors - 12:00 PM, April 1, 2019
  • Notification of status in the competition - April 5, 2019

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for the Presidential Fellowship, an applicant must:

  • Be a member in good standing of the University of Iowa Honors Program at the time of application (as well as throughout the two year funding period),
  • Be currently enrolled as a full-time student in the 2018-2019 academic year,
  • Be intending to enroll as a full-time student in the 2019-2020 academic year,
  • Be in their first year as an undergraduate honors student (i.e., UI Honors students who entered in Fall 2018 or joined the program in Spring 2019)
  • have established a University of Iowa GPA of 3.6* or higher.

*Though the UI GPA threshold for Honors membership is 3.33, the average UI GPA of Honors scholarship recipients is above a 3.9.  To be respectful of our students' and selectors' time, we require that members of the program hold a 3.6 UI GPA at the time of application.  GPA is NOT the only or even the most important factor in our decision-making process, but we have established this parameter to be more transparent about the norms of our competition.  We encourage students with UI GPAs of 3.6 > to apply even if the average for the recipient pool is higher.  Our selectors evaluate the whole application and GPA is just one measure. 

Selection Criteria

Students invited to join the Presidential Fellowship program will be able to demonstrate their interest in further developing the following

  • an authentic investment in the process of learning and the pursuit of challenge
  • a desire to contribute to one's chosen communities - academic, creative, athletic, faith-based, political, social, entrepreneurial...
  • investment in the cultivation of adaptability, curiosity, and self-awareness
  • strong writing and speaking skills - extroverts and introverts alike!

Benefits & Responsibilities

Each Presidential Fellow will have access to a spectrum of intellectual, professional, and social opportunities, including:

  • two years of scholarship funding ($500.00 per semester X 4 semesters = $2000 total);
  • structured scholar development support through fall and spring Honors Program seminars in the first year of funding;
  • connection to other Fellows, Honors Program faculty and staff, campus leadership, and visiting lecturers;
  • and individualized research, fellowship, and post-graduate advising.

Once selected, Presidential Fellows must maintain an active connection to the program for two years, or four semesters.  This relationship is demonstrated through the following activities:

  • maintain a 3.6 > UI GPA throughout the duration of their two-year relationship with the Presidential Fellows program.
  • scheduled conference with the Director of Scholar Development each academic year to discuss personal and professional goals.
  • participate in structured discourse in the first year of funding through two tailored one semester hour seminars
    • Fall 2019 Seminar with Honors Program Director
    • Spring 2020 Seminar with Honors Director of Scholar Development and Honors current Faculty Fellow.
  • be a part of scholar development events throughout the academic year, including activities organized by the Presidential Scholars Program, Honors at Iowa, UI Undergraduate Fellowships, and the larger university community.
  • contribute to the ongoing development of the Honors Program and University of Iowa community by representing both as a Presidential Fellow as needed and when possible.