Knight-Hennessy Scholars for Stanford GSB Applicants: Facts and Tips

Knight-Hennessy Scholar

Knight-Hennessy Scholars is an international graduate-level scholarship program for study among a 90-student cohort at Stanford University. Established in 2016, the program prepares students to take leadership roles in finding creative solutions to complex world issues. This encompasses the environment, healthcare, education, inequality, and social justice. A hallmark of the program is innovation through multidisciplinary and multicultural understanding. 

What makes me eligible to be a Knight-Hennessy Scholar?

As described on the program’s website, Knight-Hennessy Scholars should demonstrate:

  1. Independence of Thought
  2. Purposeful Leadership
  3. Civic Mindset

You may apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program if you are applying to enroll in a full-time graduate program(s) at Stanford. This includes, but is not limited to, the JD, MA, MBA, MD, and MPP programs. Priority goes to those who are spending at least two years in graduate education at Stanford.

To be eligible for consideration, the applicant must have graduated with a first/bachelor’s degree less than six years before applying (in 2014 or earlier, for the autumn 2022 intake).

Knight-Hennessy Scholars for MBA applicants

The most attractive aspect of the program for our clients is that Knight-Hennessy Scholars receive funding to pursue their MBA at Stanford. Other program benefits include rich leadership development programming and a community hub to unite scholars for dialogue and collaboration.

At SBC, our clients applying to Stanford GSB for their MBA often add the Knight-Hennessy Scholars application concurrently.  The timing of the application is such that an MBA applicant submits for the MBA program in either Round 1 (early September) or Round 2 (early January), and then submits to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars.  

For the 2020-21 admissions season, the application timeline for Knight-Hennessy Scholars was:

  • Application Due:   October 14, 2020, at 1:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time)
  • Finalist notification:  February 3, 2021
  • Immersion Weekend:  March 6, 2021 
  • Decision notification:  April 2021 

Knight-Hennessy Scholars

Knight-Hennessy Scholars Application Essays:

In addition to submitting to the GSB MBA program, Knight-Hennessy Scholars need to fulfill specific requirements and answer the essays below.

  1. After graduating from Stanford, what are your immediate and long-term intentions? (150-word limit)
  2. How will your Knight-Hennessy Scholars experience prepare you to realize your intentions? (150-word limit)
  3. Please tell us eight improbable facts (things that are unlikely but true) about you. (150-word limit)
  4. Please tell us when you: a) made someone proud of you, b) were most challenged, and c) did not meet expectations.  (150-word limit combined)
  5. Connect the dots. How have the influences in your life shaped you? (600-word limit)

What can help improve my odds of selection at the finalist stage?

At SBC, we have several Stanford experts who have successfully guided Knight-Hennessy Scholars applicants. Here is advice from one of our experts:

Try to imagine the other students who will be your classmates. We recommend that you look at past recipients’ profiles. Think about: What do you want to learn from them? What can you contribute to the community?

  • Paint a picture of how you’ll be involved at school. 
  • If asked about random facts about you, not everything has to be intentional – feel free to include a few quirky facts 
  • Highlight any cultural and international themes and experiences, as these are always valued.

We asked SBC consultant Dione, one of our Stanford GSB experts, about her perspective on this program. Dione says, “Knight-Hennessy Scholars gain a unique opportunity to belong to a close-knit community of people from different disciplines and cultures who share their goal of becoming impactful, global leaders.

I would encourage anyone for whom the GSB’s mission to ‘Change Lives. Change Organizations. Change the World.’ resonates to learn more about this program.

The reflection and preparation required to apply to be a Knight-Hennessy Scholar are very much in line with what it takes to be a compelling candidate for the GSB’s MBA and MSx programs.”

You can request a free analysis of your candidacy here. SBC is the only MBA admissions firm with a complete panel of former Admissions Officers, several of whom specialize in Knight-Hennessy Scholars candidates.

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