What type of student is the ideal candidate for the Honors Institute?

The ideal candidate is a student who possesses both academic aptitude and a curiosity for analyzing challenging questions related to ethics, research, service, leadership and cultural awareness. This individual must be self-motivated and have a strong drive to think critically about issues. The ability to read abstract content and reflect on it through extensive writing is an asset for program success. 

How does the selection process work?

Once a student submits all of the required documentation, his/her application is sent to two Honors faculty reviewers who score the student's application based on a rubric tool. The average of the two evaluations is compiled into a list, which is rank-ordered from highest score to lowest score. Once all applications are assessed, the top 300 students are selected and an acceptance letter is sent to those candidates. Although there are certain numerical factors that weigh into the evaluation score (e.g. GPA, SAT/ACT), each student's application is evaluated holistically by giving consideration to all characteristics of the student's application materials (i.e., résumé, essay, service/leadership experiences).

There are two application deadlines per year, Jan. 1 and June 1. For each deadline, 150 students will be selected by using the above process. If there are less than 150 applicants for the Jan. 1 deadline, the excess amount will roll-over to the June 1 deadline until the top 300 most qualified individuals are selected.

What if I want to live in the Honors Dorm Floor?

Learning and living with like-minded and academically-driven peers is a great way to integrate into the GCU campus community, develop friendships that will last for life and establish a support group with other students. There is an opportunity for freshmen Honors students to live together on a designated Honors floor of a dorm. This opportunity is based on enough students expressing interest in this option so that Honors students can be matched with other Honors roommates. Additionally, there are opportunities for upperclassman Honors students to serve as RA's/Student Life Leaders for freshmen students living on the Honors floor.

What are the benefits of being an Honors student?

There are several tangible reasons to be a part of the Honors Institute. For example, students will receive special recognition on their transcripts, will have advantages over their peers when interviewing for jobs, will belong to an intimate and elite group of students on campus and can request to live in the Honors dorm (if there is enough interest). However, there are other reasons that are less tangible and more transformative. These relate to the personal and intellectual growth that a student will experience and the development of critical thinking skills that the student will acquire. Both the tangible and intangible benefits are bonuses to any student who participates in the Honors Institute. For students who graduate with a diploma from an IB program in high school, they are also eligible for the Chancellor scholarship, as well as the possibility to transfer IB test scores for GCU credit. Click here to learn more about the IB scholarship and benefits.