Stamps Scholars

MU’s Premier Scholars Program


The University of Missouri is a proud partner in the Stamps Scholars program, sponsored by the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, Inc. MUHC joined the Stamps Scholars Program in 2016 and the ongoing relationship has had a lasting and positive impact on our campus and Honors communities.

Stamps Scholars Logo

Each year we accept applications from the top students around the country for one of our available spaces in the cohort.

Stamps Scholars at the University of Missouri receive a four-year, full scholarship (covering up to the total estimated cost of attendance), plus an additional $16,000 academic and leadership development fund to be used over a Scholar’s four years to enhance their intellectual, critical-thinking, engagement, and leadership skills development.

Mizzou Stamps Scholars will also enroll in the Honors College for all four years, work toward completion of the Honors Certificate and participate in the rigorous yet rewarding, academic and co-curricular programming of the College and University.

From day one in the classroom, Stamps Scholars will participate in research and artistry opportunities aligned with our other Scholars & Fellows Programs. These opportunities include one-on-one faculty guided research, artistry planning, design, and performance, and the presentation of their scholarship to campus, community, and public audiences.

Stamps Scholars will also have unique opportunities, including a dedicated mentor, extensive and extended site visits, alumni networking, several opportunities for travel-study experiences (both abroad and away), and attendance at the biennial Stamps Scholars National Convention in Atlanta, GA.

Criteria for Selection

Toyin JacksonTo be eligible to apply for the Stamps Scholars Program at the University of Missouri, a student must have at least a 32 ACT (or 1420 SAT), hold at least a 3.5 core GPA, and have applied to MU and the Honors College by December 1. The program is open to students of any nationality and who are enrolled in any accredited US or international high school.

Prospective students who meet the ACT/SAT and GPA requirements, and who intend to apply, should strive to submit all application materials for admission to both MU and the Honors College in order to allow time for processing and formal notification of admission to each.

This is especially important regarding high school transcripts and recommendation letters. You must submit your application to the Honors College no later than December 1 in order to be considered for the Stamps Scholars program. Students who are not admitted to the Honors College will be removed from consideration. No exceptions will be made.

What it means to be an MU Stamps Scholar

Here is what the Director of the College has said about Stamps Scholars applicants and what we are looking for in each of those students selected: “We know that all of our applicants will have outstanding academic records. To a large extent, then, our selection process is less about splitting hairs between a 33 and 34 ACT or a 4.0 and a 3.98 GPA, than it is about each student, as a person, as a budding leader, as a visionary for their (and their community’s) future, how grounded they are, and how they interpret the world around them. ”


Those selected will be students with whom it will be wonderful to travel, hold a far-reaching but deeply grounded and informed conversation, who look at problems as the reason for more education rather than something to be avoided, and who can handle those moments of failure and change and bounce back better than before having learned from the experience.

We are truly looking to build a community of young scholars who interact regularly with faculty, administrators, and serve as leaders across campus, who take on unique challenges, who will serve as representatives of Mizzou.

Our current Stamps Scholars represent a broad spectrum of majors, interests, and activities; they are truly “Mizzou Made” and bring a richness to our campus and community, excellence to our research and artistry, and enjoyment to our learning and development.

Several of our Stamps Scholars are also designated as named Collegians. These students benefit from the support of other MU benefactors which is a generous complement to that received from the Stamps Family Foundation.


Keep up with us on the MU Stamps Scholars Blog


Stamps Scholars 2020 – 2024  

Bryson Ferguson  |  McKinney, TX  |  Business (Undeclared) Trulaske CoB. |  Patterson-Green Collegian

Sara George  |  Boulder, CO |  Journalism, MSoJ  |  Larson Collegian

Gabriela Kauffman  |  Lohman, MO  |  Biochemistry, CAFNR  |  Brazeale Collegian

Samuel Peterson  |  Joplin, MO  |  History and Political Science, CA&S

Maddie Reiser  |  Pleasant Plains, IL  |  Political Science, CA&S

Caroline Topham  |  Louisville, KY  |  Linguistics, CA&S


Stamps Scholars 2019 – 2023

Abigail Blenk  |  Cincinnati, OH  | Digital Storytelling, SoVS, CA&S and Computer Science, CoE

Morgan Erutti  |  Valley Park, MO  | Art, SoVS, CA&S

Kathryn Gluesenkamp  |  Wildwood, MO  | Public Health, SHP and Economics, CA&S

Aravind Kalathil  | O’Fallon, MO  | Psychology, CA&S

Leyton Rebori  |  Kansas City, MO  | Biological Sciences, CA&S and Animal Sciences, CAFNR

Kamilla Sarvestani  |  Fayetteville, AR  | Political Science, CA&S

Calvin Winkler  |  Overland Park, KS  | Biological Sciences, CA&S and Public Health, SHP


Stamps Scholars 2018 – 2022  

Jessica Blake  |  Dublin, OH  |  Journalism, MSoJ  |  Larson Collegian

Molly McDermott  |  Clive, IA  | Statistics and Economics, CA&S

Andrew Mitchell  |  Lee’s Summit, MO  |  Chemistry, CA&S

Rebecca Price  |  Germantown, TN  |  International Business: Finance and International Studies (Chinese), Trulaske CoB

Delanie Vinzant  |  Maryville, MO  |  Biological Sciences and Economics, CA&S


Stamps Scholars 2017 – 2021

Olutoyin Jackson  |  Lake Villa, IL  |  Food Science, CAFNR

Caitlin Kelleher  |  Moorestown, NJ  | Women’s and Gender Studies, CA&S

Anna Merkel  | Kansas City, MO  |  Mechanical Engineering, CoE


Stamps Scholar 2017 – 2019

Madelyn Winfield  |  Kansas City, MO  |  Journalism, MSoJ  |  Larson Collegian

Stamps Scholar Application

Applications for the Stamps Scholars program at Mizzou will open on September 1.

An application for the Stamps Scholars consists of three essays, two letters of recommendation, and a résumé (which will be added to a student’s academic record, already on file), and submitted via the Honors College admissions application and the Stamps Scholars link, both within your MU Admissions Application Status Page.

  • Stamps Scholars Resume

As part of your admissions application to the Honors College you will be required to submit a résumé. We will use this résumé to fulfill the requirement for submission for the Stamps Scholars program. You can view a sample résumé here.

  • Stamps Scholars Essays

As part of your admissions application to the Honors College you will be required to submit one essay. We will use this essay in partial fulfillment for the Stamps Scholars program.

In addition, we ask that, if you did not complete the application for our Scholars & Fellows programs, which is a part of our Admissions application, and which requires two additional essays, that you also complete that application and submit both responses with your uploaded Honors application.  Please note that in order for your Scholars & Fellows application to be considered, you must have already been admitted into MU.

You should see the prompts within the Honors admission application status page, but here they are for reference:

Required Essay 1:  How we regard the process of research or artistry and its findings and expressions (including the use of evidence, the finding of facts, and performance), has come under significant scrutiny in recent years. Choose a topic you have explored deeply and explain how knowing more changed your thinking on the subject.

Required Essay 2:  Part of conducting research or artistry is asking questions. Choose a social, scientific, or artistic problem you want to explore and discuss two significant questions you might ask in the process. Out of all the questions you could have chosen, how do these two illuminate both the problem at hand and your interest in the topic?

These essays should have been filed at the time of your Honors College application for admission. However, a student may, until December 1, go back into their application and “edit” it in order to add the request to be considered for Stamps and our other Scholars & Fellows programs.

  • Stamps Scholars — Recommendation Letters

We require two letters of recommendation. Please identify two individuals who can speak directly to your academic abilities and achievements. Their letters should specifically address the following prompt: “What is this student’s greatest academic/intellectual strength and what is their greatest academic/intellectual challenge, and how does the combination of both strengths and challenges make them a potential, successful Ambassador for Mizzou?

The letters may be of any length, but we encourage detailed and substantive letters. Your references should be teachers, school counselors, or other academic personnel who can meaningfully speak to your academics. We require at least one letter to be written by a teacher. If you are home-schooled, please contact us for advice on selecting individuals for recommendations. Please do not select individuals or relatives (even if teachers) to provide personal or character references.

Please note: you will have to upload specific contact information into the Stamps Scholars application portal in order for your references to receive an email with a unique link, which they will use to submit their letters of recommendation. This is an essential step in the process. Recommendation letters must be submitted by the December 01 deadline. No late submissions will be accepted.

Application Submission

Eligible students will be able to complete the Stamps Scholars application after September 1 via their Admissions Application Status Page.

After logging in, simply click on the “Stamps Scholars Application” link at the top of the page. After confirming that you wish to apply, and verifying that the required essays and resume have been submitted, you will be assigned two required references/recommendation letters as checklist items on your Status Page.

Click on each reference item, enter the requested information for each of your references and submit. An email will be generated to your reference giving them a unique link for submission.

You can view the submission status of all requirements, including the reference letters, in your checklist on your status page here. It is your responsibility to remind your references of the due date.

Applicants must have all required materials submitted, letters of recommendation uploaded, and applied to both MU and the Honors College no later than 11:59 p.m. (CDT) on December 1 via the application portal. No late applications will be accepted.

Stamps Scholars Decision-making Process

Once applications are closed, a committee of faculty and administrators will review and evaluate every application to select the most distinguished individuals from across the United States.

As the first step in that process, we will invite the top 100 candidates to participate in an 8-minute video interview process in late December, in which candidates will be invited to answer four questions with up to two minutes of recorded answers to each question. Once those recorded answers are reviewed and the results are tabulated in combination with our initial review results, we will select twenty-eight semi-finalists.

All semi-finalists are required to attend a two and a half-day, on-campus event, tentatively scheduled for February 19-21, 2021 . The event includes a formal reception, dinner, academic talk, a ten minute presentation by each candidate, a forty minute interview, meetings with current Stamps Scholars, a session for parents, a tour of the Honors Learning Community, a poster and artistry session with some of our most accomplished research Scholars & Fellows, and several other campus activities, including social and University-wide events. Semi-finalists are responsible for their own travel costs and arrangements (a block of lodging reservations will be available), but must arrive on campus by the close of business on the Friday of the event. The University will pay for all food and direct event-related expenses once you are on campus. Each candidate will be allowed one guest.

Should a virtual alternative to the planned weekend be required (pandemic and travel restrictions will be factored in our decision), we will make those arrangements and notify everyone at the time that we extend the invitations to our semi-finalists.

Once the semi-finalist event is over, we will select our nominees to become the next Stamps Finalists. We then nominate those candidates to the Stamps Scholars Family Foundation, who schedules one more round of interviews before naming, officially, our next cohort of Stamps Scholars.

All questions about the process should be communicated to the Director of the Honors College.

We look forward to your candidacy and considering you for Mizzou’s premier scholars program!