Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

How to Apply for Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program 2024-2025

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Imagine yourself at Stanford University, a world-renowned academic powerhouse, fully immersed in your graduate studies. Now, add to that a vibrant community of like-minded peers, exceptional leadership development opportunities, and the chance to make a real difference in the world. That’s the reality for Knight-Hennessy Scholars.

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program is a prestigious scholarship program at Stanford University designed to cultivate a global cohort of future leaders.  While the application deadline for the 2024-2025 program has already passed, this program offers an unmatched opportunity for exceptional individuals aiming to make their mark on the world.

What is the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program All About?

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program at Stanford University is more than just funding for a graduate degree. It’s a transformative experience designed to empower visionary leaders. Established in 2016, the program seeks out high-achieving individuals from all corners of the globe who demonstrate not only academic excellence but also a strong commitment to making a positive impact.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars are selected for their well-roundedness. They are intellectually curious, possess strong leadership potential, and have a genuine interest in collaborating across disciplines. The program fosters this by creating a dynamic community where scholars can learn from each other and renowned faculty.  It’s a launchpad for those aiming to tackle complex global challenges with creativity and innovation.

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Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program Eligible Requirements

There are two main parts to consider for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program eligibility: formal requirements and selection criteria.

Formal Requirements:

  • Applicants must be planning to enter a full-time graduate program at Stanford University. This includes programs like JD, MA, MBA, MD, MS, and PhD, as well as various joint-degree options.
  • You must be a newly enrolled student, not someone already in a Stanford graduate program.
  • Your bachelor’s degree must be completed within the last six years (by January 2018 for the 2024 cohort). This window is extended to eight years (by January 2013) for active duty or veteran military personnel from the US.
  • There are no citizenship, ethnicity, gender, or age restrictions.

Selection Criteria:

While the formal requirements ensure you meet the basic qualifications, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program looks for specific qualities in its scholars. These are:

  • Independence of Thought: Intellectual curiosity, someone who seeks new experiences and challenges assumptions.
  • Purposeful Leadership: Ambition, resilience, and the ability to motivate others.
  • Civic Mindset: Humility, empathy, and a desire to contribute to the betterment of society.

While the formal requirements can be checked easily, these selection criteria are more about how you present yourself in the application.

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Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program Application: A Step-by-Step Guide

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program at Stanford University is a prestigious scholarship seeking exceptional individuals to join their vibrant community. Landing this scholarship requires a well-crafted application showcasing your academic excellence, leadership potential, and commitment to making a positive impact. Here’s a detailed guide to navigating the application process:

Part 1: Securing Admission to Your Stanford Graduate Program (Primary Step)

The Knight-Hennessy Scholarship is exclusively for admitted Stanford graduate students. So, your first hurdle is securing admission to your chosen program. Here’s how:

  1. Explore Stanford Graduate Programs: Head to the Stanford Graduate Admissions website ( and delve into the plethora of programs offered. JD, MA, MBA, MS, and PhD programs are all eligible (with some exceptions mentioned on the Knight-Hennessy website).
  2. Research Program Requirements: Each program has its application deadlines and requirements. Carefully examine the program website for details like transcripts, standardized test scores (GRE, GMAT, etc.), essays, and letters of recommendation. Remember, these deadlines are typically earlier than the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship application.
  3. Craft a Compelling Application: Focus on highlighting your academic achievements, research experience (if applicable), and relevant work experience in your program’s application. Tailor your essays to the specific program, demonstrating your fit and passion for the field.

Part 2: Applying for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program (Once Admitted)

Congratulations on getting accepted to your Stanford graduate program! Now you can proceed with the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship application, which typically opens in July and closes around October (check the website for exact dates each year). Here’s what to expect:

  1. The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program Website: Head to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program website and explore the application portal. This is where you’ll find the latest application guidelines, deadlines, and a link to initiate your online application.
  2. Application Components: The application will likely involve various elements, including:
    • Essays: Expect essay prompts that delve into your background, achievements, and future goals. Showcase your “independence of thought,” “purposeful leadership,” and “civic mindset” – core values of the program.
    • Academic Transcripts: Official transcripts from your undergraduate institution will be required.
    • Letters of Recommendation: Secure strong letters of recommendation from individuals who can vouch for your academic prowess, leadership skills, and potential for societal impact.
    • Standardized Test Scores: Some programs might require standardized test scores (GRE, GMAT, LSAT) again, so ensure you have those if applicable.
    • Video Supplement (Optional): While not mandatory, a well-crafted video can add another dimension to your application, allowing you to introduce yourself and connect with the selection committee on a more personal level.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?

Anyone with a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) earned within the last seven years (eight years for military personnel) can apply, provided they are also applying to a full-time graduate program at Stanford (excluding specific programs mentioned on the website). There are no restrictions on citizenship, ethnicity, gender, or age.

What is the application deadline?

The application for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program typically opens in July and closes around October. However, it’s crucial to remember that you must first gain admission to your chosen Stanford graduate program, which may have earlier deadlines.

How do I apply?

The application process is two-pronged. First, apply to your desired Stanford graduate program. Once admitted, you can access the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program application portal on their website during the designated application window.

What are you looking for in a Knight-Hennessy Scholar?

The program seeks individuals who demonstrate “independence of thought,” “purposeful leadership,” and a “civic mindset.” They value intellectual curiosity, the ability to challenge assumptions, ambition, resilience, empathy, and a strong desire to contribute to a better world.

Where can I find more information?

For the most current and detailed information, refer to the official Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program website:

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Final Thought

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program at Stanford University offers a life-changing opportunity for exceptional individuals. By strategically navigating the application process, highlighting your unique strengths, and demonstrating your potential for positive impact, you can increase your chances of becoming a Knight-Hennessy Scholar. Remember, planning, crafting a compelling application, and showcasing your passion for making a difference are key to standing out in this highly competitive program.

For further details and the latest information, be sure to visit the official Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program website:

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