logo Knight-Hennessy scholars

Thank you for taking the time to write a letter of recommendation for a nationally competitive scholarship application. Yours is a valuable contribution to this formative process and we appreciate your advocacy on behalf of the applicant.

Please be aware, it is a matter of NCS policy that applicants must waive their right to see your letter of recommendation. We also cannot accept letters authored by applicants; the endorsement must be from the letter-signer.

At any time in the process, from brainstorming the first draft to finalizing your letter, we are delighted to help. Please contact if you would like to discuss further or for questions or concerns.


Special Considerations

Note that the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship is a separate application from Stanford admissions and the scholarship deadline may fall before the admissions deadline. If you are asked to write for both an applicant’s admissions application and for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars application, each letter should be distinct and designed for different audiences.
  1. Independence of Thought
    • Demonstrates intellectual ability and clear thinking
    • Communicates clearly based on reflection and introspection
    • Seeks out new knowledge, perspectives, and experiences
    • Makes sense of ambiguous circumstances
    • Generates ideas to solve problems
  2. Purposeful Leadership
    • Achieves impactful results
    • Confronts challenges with courage, persistence, and resilience
    • Seeks to improve self and others
    • Includes and inspires others to effect change
    • Makes decisions in accordance with values
  3. Civic Mindset
    • Demonstrates humility, kindness, integrity, and accountability
    • Makes a habit of serving and helping others
    • Thoughtful and considerate of others’ perspectives
    • Embraces difference and celebrates diverse opinions and experiences
    • Strives to make our world a better place
Endorsement Required?No
Number of Recommendation LettersThe Knight-Hennessy Scholars application requires two letters of recommendation. Additional letters will be submitted to support the admissions application
Application DeadlineOctober 12, 4pm Eastern



You will receive a link by email from the national foundation (check your spam folder) and must submit the letter online by the application deadline. No exceptions are made for late materials. It should be a signed PDF on letterhead. NCS cannot submit the letter on your behalf.

Please address your letter to the “Members of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program Selection Committee”

  • How does the applicant meet the Knight-Hennessy criteria?  What is outstanding about their scholarship, leadership, and/or character?
  • Why is Stanford the best place for them to study?
  • How does their study plan fit into their future ambitions?
  • What examples can you share that illustrate your strong endorsement for the candidate?
  • How does this applicant compare to other people you have taught/supervised?