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Resources for Fellowship Advisors

We appreciate your efforts to inform and guide your campus community about the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program. Please complete the Campus Contact form to be listed on the Knight-Hennessy Scholars website as the fellowship advisor for your campus.

Letter of Reference Overview

Each applicant to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program must obtain two reference letters. The recommendations are due by 1:00pm Pacific Time on September 12, 2018. This deadline applies no matter which graduate degree the applicant is pursuing. Recommenders may submit reference letters even after the applicant submits her/his Knight-Hennessy Scholars application.

Both letters of reference should come from people who know the candidate well and wants to see her/him succeed. Specific tips for writing and submitting letters of reference are on the Advice for Recommenders page. 

An institution may choose to submit an institutional endorsement, as well. This is entirely optional and submitted at the discretion of each college/university. Institutional endorsements have no word limits, and are provided only after a centralized review process of candidates from your campus. See the table below for more details about letters of reference and institutional endorsements.

Online Resources

Whether you are coordinating a centralized endorsement process or not, we are committed to assisting you in supporting your students. 

  • Watch a recording of the May 3, 2018, Fellowship Advisor Webinar.
  • For reference only, review a sample of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars application. (3 MB PDF)
  • Review the Program Overview Welcome Packet that prospective applicants receive upon registering for a Knight-Hennessy Scholars information session.
  • Visit the Advice for Recommenders page for general guidance on submitting a letter of reference, including tips on formatting and technical requirements.
  • Access the Fellowship Advisor Portal to see all Knight-Hennessy Scholars applicants who attend or graduated from your institution, and, if applicable, to submit an institutional endorsement for any candidate. If you require access, send an email to with their title, department, and reason for requesting access

Letter of Reference Details

  General Letter of Reference Institutional Endorsement
Institutional Prompts None

Is the candidate on-track to graduate before September 1, 2019?

Has the candidate been suspended, dismissed, placed on enforced leave, or been the subject of disciplinary action?

Please let us know how many applicants your campus reviewed, and how many are you recommending — for example, 18 applicants of whom 4 received endorsements.

Character Assessment Grid Yes Yes
Free-response Questions Please explain how you know and interact with the applicant.
Please tell us about a time the applicant did something that benefited others.
Please tell us about a time the applicant faced adversity.
Please tell us about a time the applicant surprised you.
Is there anything else that we should know about the applicant?
We have extensive information on the candidate but are grateful for your willingness to tell us the things we cannot know from the candidate’s application and letters of reference. Most important, why did you decide to endorse her/him?
Word Limit None None
Sample Forms PDF Sample of Letter of Reference PDF Sample of Institutional Endorsement
Submission Method Via the personalized link in the email you received from  Via the Fellowship Advisor Portal


If you are providing an Institutional Endorsement, note that the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program asks about disclosing a student’s degree progress and disciplinary status. An institution can disclose student records without consent to another educational institution “where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer.” 34 C.F.R. § 99.31(a)(2). Your institution is supposed to give notice that it intends to respond to requests from other institutions for this information; this could be by making a reasonable attempt to notify the student. Please contact your institution's general counsel if you have questions about this.

If you need assistance, please feel free to email us at or call +1.650.721.0771.



Last updated April 30, 2018