Jackie Wyse Rhodes, civic engagement lecturer

Presidential Scholarship Lecturer

Dr. Jackie Wyse-Rhodes, Assistant professor of religion: “The question of how to live a good and meaningful life in the face of human mortality, political instability, and theological doubt is an old question, and a global one.”

Presidential Scholarship Competition

Bluffton University campus

High-achieving high school students are invited to campus on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, or Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, to compete for one of two

Full-Tuition Presidential Scholarships

These scholarships are valued at more than $140,000 through the four years of undergraduate education at Bluffton.

Participants receive a $1,000 annual scholarship just for participating in the Presidential Scholarship Competition.    

To be eligible for the scholarship competition, participants must meet the following requirements:

  • Earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale 
  • Score a minimum 24 ACT/1160 on the SAT (critical reading and math)
  • Register for the competition
  • Applied and accepted to Bluffton University

All eligible students are welcome to participate in this competition. Families are also welcome to come to campus. 

Competition format

  • Participating students prepare for the competition by completing an assigned reading that is chosen by the faculty lecturer for the competition.
  • Once on campus for the competition, students will attend a 45-minute presentation from the Presidential Scholarship Lecturer. Students are encouraged to take notes during this lecture.
  • After the lecture, participants will have approximately 90 minutes to write an essay in response to a question provided on the topics of both the reading and the lecture. Students may use the assigned reading and notes taken during the lecture as reference when writing their essay.


Choosing a winner

The two Presidential Scholarship Competition winners are chosen based on 3 criteria:

  • Essay scored by two Bluffton University faculty members
  • GPA

Remember, all students that participate in the competition will receive an additional $1,000 annual scholarship to Bluffton. This is a total of $4,000 over four years.

Register to participate

All students wanting to participate in the Scholarship Competition must meet the minimum eligibility requirements

Register today!


9-9:30 a.m Registration and continental breakfast
9:30 a.m. Welcome
9:45 a.m. Lecture
10:30 a.m. Essay exam for students
10:30 a.m. Alternate activities for parents
11:35 a.m. Student research showcases
12:30 p.m. Luncheon
1 p.m. Presentation of certificates
1:15 p.m. Academic Fair and dessert
1:30 p.m. Campus tour (optional)