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Self Memorial Scholarship Information


About the Self Memorial Scholarship

[Note: The Self Memorial Scholarship is a separate award from the Self Graduate Fellowship.]

The Madison and Lila Self Memorial Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship that recognizes outstanding undergraduates from the University of Kansas who will be transitioning into their first year of a master’s or doctoral degree program at KU in the fall semester. This scholarship award provides each recipient with $10,000 for their first year in a graduate programwith half deposited into the student’s account at the beginning of the fall semester of enrollment and the other half at the beginning of the spring semester of enrollment. This scholarship is applied directly to the student’s tuition and fees bill.

In addition to funding, scholars also participate in a Scholar Development Program. The Scholar Development Program is a distinguishing feature of the Self Memorial Scholarship. This program provides general education and training in career development and leadership to assist Self Memorial Scholars in future leadership roles; complementing the specialized education and training provided in a graduate program. In-person attendance at the Lawrence campus for program events is mandatory to receive the scholarship funding. Event schedules are set based on student availability outside of graduate coursework.

Each scholar who is selected to join the scholarship must have demonstrated success as an undergraduate student and potential for success in graduate education. Self Memorial Scholars are selected because they have shown achievement in leadership and scholarship, and possess “the ability to envision and attain goals that require exceptional energy and tenacity.” Interest in lifelong learning, the professional development program and joining a cohort of interdisciplinary graduate students is essential for any future Self Memorial Scholar.


  • Students must have recently completed or will complete their first undergraduate degree at the University of Kansas within the same academic year of the application deadline.
    • Ex: December 2020, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 graduates are eligible to apply for the scholarship with a start date of Fall of 2021
    • Students must be transitioning directly from an undergraduate to a graduate degree at KU.
  • Students must begin or be within the first year of a degree-seeking graduate program at the fall semester start of the scholarship.
    • Students who begin graduate work early are still eligible to apply for the scholarship, as long as they are within the first year of graduate school when the scholarship begins in the fall semester. Ex: student who begins graduate work in the spring 2021 is eligible for scholarship start of fall 2021
    • Students must be enrolled full-time during the scholarship year (fall and spring semesters).
    • All KU departments and disciplines are eligible.
    • This scholarship program is open to domestic and international students.



It is important that students meet various deadlines in order to be considered for a Self Memorial Scholarship. The following serves as a suggested timeline for prospective Self Memorial Scholars.

September- November

Check with chosen academic department to confirm graduate school application deadlines and required information. Identify good sources for letters of recommendation. Update resume.

December- January

Submit graduate school application. Confirm with chosen department that the graduate school application is complete and all supporting materials have been received. Receive graduate admissions decision.


Gain admission to a degree-seeking graduate program at KU. Review the Self Memorial Scholarship website for future Scholar information. Ensure eligibility and prepare scholarship materials.

February 24: Scholarship application portal opens online


Submit all materials by the application deadline: Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at noon CST End of March: Committee begins to reviews scholarship applications.


Early April: Committee makes final scholarship offer decisions. Students are notified by email of the committee's decision. If awarded, students must formally accept or decline the scholarship before the April deadline.

April 15: Latest deadline for student acceptance of offers.


Scholarship Application Process


  1. Application Submission

Students should review the requirements and mission of the program. Please contact Self Memorial Scholarship staff with questions early in the preparation process to ensure eligibility. Students who meet all eligibility requirements and embody the scholarship attributes are encouraged to apply.

Eligible students should fill out the application using the online submission portal. The application is located on the SGF program website under the Self Memorial Scholarship “Scholarship Applications” tab. A complete submission includes the following materials: updated resume, scholarship statement of purpose and letter of recommendation.


The Self Memorial Scholarship application portal will open February 24, 2021 and will remain open until the scholarship deadline of March 29, 2021. Once students have completed the application and the letter of recommendation is submitted, staff will consider the scholarship packet complete.

Students will receive notifications from the portal when a letter has been submitted.

Scholarship Deadline for 2021: Wednesday, March 24

  1. Selection

The selection committee will review all applications after the deadline and make final decisions early in April. Students will be notified by email of the selection committee’s decision.


If awarded, students must formally accept or decline the scholarship before the final decision deadline of April 15. All students are asked to communicate their intent to accept/decline the scholarship as soon as possible, as this may affect other applicant decisions.

Final Scholarship Acceptance Deadline: April 15


Instructions for Student Applicants

  1. Fill out the “Scholarship Application Form” online
  2. Provide an updated resume (attachment)
  3. Submit “Self Memorial Scholarship Personal Statement” (attachment- see requirements provided below)
  4. Provide one letter of recommendation (writer will be sent online portal to submit letter electronically)
    1. Complete waiver form at the end of the application
    2. Submit the application form


1.     Resume

The resume should highlight experiences and significant achievements from work, school, volunteer projects, and extracurricular activities. Awards, honors and research experiences should be listed.

Memberships and offices held should be noted.


2.     Self Memorial Scholar Personal Statement

The personal statement is critical to your success in the Self Memorial Scholarship selection process. This is your opportunity to demonstrate how you would benefit from the Self Memorial Scholarship, and why you want to continue your education at the University of Kansas. Your statement should be authentic and should tell your story in your own words. Remember that through this document you want to convince the selection committee that you are meritorious of the scholarship. Edit the statement carefully. Before you begin, be sure to review the website for information about the Self Memorial Scholarship. The “Self Memorial Scholarship Profile” is included below to serve as an example of an ideal scholarship candidate.

Self Memorial Scholar Profile:

The ideal scholarship candidate will have demonstrated their success as an undergraduate student, and communicated their potential for success in graduate education. Self Memorial Scholars are selected due to achievement in leadership and scholarship. They should possess “the ability to envision and attain goals that require exceptional energy and tenacity.” The ideal candidate is interested in personal development and lifelong learning and is committed to participation in the Scholar Development Program.


The personal statement should be one to two pages long and in 12-point type and double-spaced. Your personal statement must address the following points:

  • Why have you decided to continue your education at KU as a graduate student?
  • Highlight your successes as an undergraduate student at KU and communicate your potential for success as a graduate student.
    • What are your long-term goals and how do these connect with the Self Memorial Scholarship?
    • What do you hope to gain from the Scholar Development Program?

3.     Letter of Recommendation

The letter of recommendation can be from any preferred source who can speak to your academic success and/or leadership potential. Please note that the evaluation committee will be able to see your original graduate application and so we require students to submit a letter of recommendation that is specific to the Self Memorial Scholarship. All other letters of recommendation for graduate school are already included as part of the review process.

As a student admitted into a graduate program at KU, you have demonstrated your potential as a graduate student. This letter of recommendation should address your fit as a Self Memorial Scholar.


Please direct all questions to the Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship Department 785-864-7238 or email




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