Wells Scholars Program 2023

Wells Scholars Program 2023

The Wells Scholars Program, created in honor of the late IU Chancellor Herman B Wells, ranks among the most competitive and prestigious awards offered by any American university.

On his 90th birthday, Chancellor Wells was officially presented with the prestigious scholarship program as a gift from his many friends and admirers. Since his death in the spring of 2000, this community of talented and dedicated young scholars has remained a permanent legacy of his educational vision. The Wells Scholars Program is grateful to its alumni, friends, and admirers for their continued support, which ensures that the traditions founded by the first Scholars carry forward far into the future.

Wells Scholars have gone on to win innumerable national and international scholarships, fellowships, and grants, such as the Rhodes, Truman, Marshall, Soros, Mitchell, Churchill, Gates Cambridge, Fulbright, and Goldwater awards. Current students and alumni of the program are devoted to fostering a lifelong community of individuals with broad interests beyond scholarship.

The Wells Scholars Program makes awards annually to about 18–22 incoming first-year students who have shown exceptional academic accomplishment and promise, fine character and leadership, significant involvement in extracurricular activities, concern for their communities, and interest in the larger world. All high schools may nominate up to two seniors each year for consideration for the scholarship. Students who are not selected by their high school or otherwise wish to participate in the selection process can be considered for nomination by the Office of Admissions or the Office of International Services


Wells Scholarships provide tuition, academic fees, a living-expenses stipend, a summer experience grant, and support for overseas study.

Nomination guidelines and Criteria

The Wells Scholars Program uses a nomination rather than an application process for the selection of Scholars. This applies to incoming freshmen and current IU Bloomington undergraduates. For specific instructions, please visit our Domestic, International, or Internal nomination process pages.

Applicant must be an In-state Out-of-state or International student.

There is no one strict model of an award recipient: however, past successful nominees have typically:

  • Shown exceptional qualities of character and leadership
  • Been significantly involved in extracurricular activities
  • Demonstrated concern for their community
  • Excelled in terms of class rank, GPA, and/or (optional*) standardized test scores
  • Expressed interest in joining a community of scholarly individuals with diverse interests beyond a pre-professional track

Put simply, following the ideals of Herman B Wells, we’re not interested in students who see a brilliant career as their primary goal. We are looking for Scholars who want to contribute and make an impact on their community, the nation, and the world. They will encounter like-minded Scholars in our program and will forge lifelong friendships. If you have any questions about the suitability of a candidate you are considering for a nomination, feel free to reach out to Wells Scholars Program Director Professor Christoph Irmscher at cirmsche@indiana.edu.

For more information on the Wells Scholars Program, visit the scholarship page at; https://scholarships.indiana.edu/future-scholars/first-year-scholarships.html?residency=International

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