Join the Distinguished Scholars' Program at Fort Hays State University

DSP Application Link

Do you have a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher and an ACT score of 28 or higher? Have you received state or national academic awards and honors? Have you demonstrated leadership in athletics, co-curricular or community groups throughout high school? If so, consider applying to be part of the coveted Distinguished Scholars' Program.

A committee comprised of current scholars selects a maximum of ten recipients per year of this prestigious award. Once you have been selected as a Distinguished Scholar, you will participate in the program for the duration of your undergraduate education at FHSU.

As an award recipient you are entitled to some special benefits that can make your college experience that much more rewarding...and affordable!

As a Distinguished Scholar, you will:

  • Receive a free laptop computer stipend
  • Receive a free annual on-campus parking permit.
  • Get free Encore season tickets, FHSU's premier fine arts and culture series featuring nationally and internationally recognized concerts and productions.
  • Enjoy annual recognition dinners with the FHSU president.
  • Attend the annual student leadership conference in the fall
  • Benefit from the specialized advising with the director of national and international competitive scholarships
  • Participate in an exclusive member development/leadership training program unavailable to other students
  • Be a member of the Fort Hays State Honor Society

Participation Requirements

As a participant in the Distinguished Scholars' Program, there are a few expectations of you:

  • Meet weekly as a group with the advisor
  • Establish and set three goals per semester
  • Participate in at least one campus or community service organization per semester
  • Maintain a cumulative 3.3 GPA and remain enrolled as a full-time, on-campus student
  • Apply for a competitive national or international scholarship or program during your undergraduate career

Qualification Guidelines

In order to meet the minimum qualifications for the Distinguished Scholars' Program, you must meet all the following guidelines:

  • Enroll at FHSU as a first-time, full-time freshman on campus in the fall
  • Demonstrate a score of 28 or higher on the ACT)
  • Demonstrate a cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Demonstrate leadership in co-curricular, athletic and/or community organizations. Leadership is defined as any role (elected or otherwise) that demonstrates improvement within the organization or completion of a special project.
  • Prepare an essay response to the following questions. Each essay should be a maximum of 4 pages, double spaced:
    • What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now, and how you expect your undergraduate experience to contribute to that vision for your life?
    • What quality produces the most effective leader and what is the greatest hindrance to effective leadership?

When completing your application, it is critical that you prepare well-researched, thoughtful essays that show considerable judgment and review. Your essays are the primary way that the selection committee understands how you think, persuade, participate, and lead. Past Distinguished Scholars frequently show a strong correlation between their stated future goals (essay #1) and their current or past co- and extra-curricular activities.

How to Apply

  1. Apply online when you apply for all general FHSU scholarships at http://www.fhsu.edu/finaid/scholarships/. Be sure to add the "Distinguish Scholar" program to your online shopping cart. The easiest way to find this scholarships is by typing in "Distinguished Scholar" in the search box.
  2. Prepare an essay response to the following questions. Each essay should be a maximum of four pages, double spaced. These essays should be attached in an email to the DSP Associate Coordinator at fhsudsp@gmail.com.
    • What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now, and how you expect your undergraduate experience to contribute to that vision for your life?
    • What quality produces the most effective leader and what is the greatest hindrance to effective leadership?
  3. Submit a current resume to the DSP Associate Coordinator at fhsudsp@gmail.com.
  4. Submit a letter of recommendation addressing extracurricular involvement.

A selection committee will start reviewing applications for the Distinguished Scholars' Program on a rolling basis beginning November 15 of each academic year and will be accepted through May 1. Priority will be given to applications received by February 15. Announcement of recipients will begin April 1st. 

For More Information

For more information, please contact Mr. Matthew Means at mmeans@fhsu.edu  or Cameron Rohleder at fhsudsp@gmail.com.       

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