We’re lucky. Every year we get 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, and a chance to clarify your own 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 permeate who you are—when we can see your core identity in 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 own work. That means only the student should log in to his or her application portal, and only the student should write and edit his or her own responses. As we’ve said before, we are confident that you know yourself and can describe yourself best.

This is reflective of the way we treat scholars in our program as well. We trust that Morehead-Cain Scholars are capable young adults who can navigate the selection process and the other elements of the Program independently. And we respect scholars all the more for it!

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

The best and hardest part is seeing so many strong candidates. We spend hours and hours poring over applications, and we 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 that it provides an opportunity for purposeful reflection. Overall we want the experience to be positive and empowering for all of our candidates—regardless of the outcome.

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

The Class of 2022 just went through this process—and we're so glad they did!

The Class of 2022 just went through this process—and we’re so glad they did!