Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Leadership Selection Criteria

Selection Criteria

Listed below is the review criteria provided to the review committee reading the applications. There are four general criteria. Each bullet point listed under each criteria point does not need to be satisfied; they are factors that reviewers may take into account.

Characteristics of the Applicant

  • Preparation – Adequate preparation for proposed work and the student’s potential for success
  • Motivation – sincere interest, enthusiasm and commitment to the project or leadership experience
  • Mentor’s overall assessment of student’s abilities, potential for learning, and ability to lead the project


  • Project – the purpose and goals of the project are clear and the steps for achieving the goals are explained
  • Purpose/Impact – the student explains the need for the proposed project and the ways in which the project (or the project’s proposed outcomes) will impact others
  • Feasible – the project is achievable given the scope, timeline, and resources available
  • Fit – the project makes sense for this student and the essay articulates the unique role they will play
  • Commitment to project – the application essay provides an understanding of how and why the student is involved in this particular effort at this particular time


  • Leadership – the student defines their understanding of leadership
  • Project/Leadership connection – student explains in what ways the project is a leadership project including addressing how the project will impact or shape their leadership practice or understanding
  • Collaboration – the applicant articulates with whom they are working and the roles that each person is playing, if applicable (particularly if the student is part of a group or team)
  • Mentor – both the applicant and the mentor articulate how they will work together on the student’s project and leadership goals

Reflection and Growth

  • Reflection – the student explains how they will keep track of (and eventually evaluate) what is being learned
  • Challenges – student articulates the challenges they face in becoming a better leader and the ways in which they will approach the leadership journey
  • Longer-term impact – student discusses the potential impacts on their future goals and aspirations

Feedback on Your Application

If you did not receive a Leadership Scholarship the first time you applied and are planning to reapply, you have the option to get feedback on your application. Even if you are not reapplying, you may still find it valuable to hear what aspects of your proposal could be improved if you are planning to apply for other scholarships, graduate school, grants or even a job.

To receive feedback on your application or interview, contact