Important Dates

  • August 23: Nominations Open
  • October 15: Nominations Close
  • November 30: Applications and Letter of Recommendation Due
  • Mid-February: Announcement of Top 100 Student Awards
  • April 2, 2022: Top 25 Outstanding Student Awards Recognition Event

Application Tips

  • Focus on quality over quantity. You do not need to have something in every category.
  • Be specific when describing your impact: hours served, years of work, results achieved, etc.
  • Remember, your application is not only being judged on the activities and involvement listed, but also your ability to communicate what you did, your role, and the impact. Take pride in how you describe your involvement.
  • Focus on connecting entries back to your Ball State University experience.
  • Organizing an initiative and volunteering for an initiative are two different activities. Make sure you clarify.
  • Assume the judges do not know you or the activity or initiative.
  • Use your personal statement as a place to share information that could not be included in other areas of the application.
  • Take extra time explaining activities that have a significant campus-wide impact.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Top 100 Student Awards honors 100 outstanding undergraduate students who excel in three categories: academic excellence, campus leadership, and community impact. These “Top 100” Cardinals represent Beneficence both in and out of the classroom. The purpose is to recognize and educate students and future young alumni on the importance of staying connected to Ball State, while continuing to grow the culture of philanthropy. The hope is this grows a new generation of alumni leaders and donors to the University.

Ball State faculty/staff can nominate students. Ball State students may also self-nominate.

A student may be only be nominated one time per awards cycle. Only one letter of recommendation will be shown to the judges.

Nominated students will receive an email when they are nominated. The student will then be able to accept and fill out the application.

Applications will be scored based on four categories, totaling a score of 190 points:

  • Academic Excellence: 50 points
  • Campus Leadership: 50 points
  • Community Impact: 50 points
  • Miscellaneous: 40 points
    • Personal Statement: 10 points
    • Judges Overall Impression: 20 points
    • Answers to Three Application Questions: 10 points

*You should view each category as being “equal” on your application and strive to be as well rounded as possible.


Only five activities are permitted in each category.

It is highly recommended that students have activities in each of the sections. However, it is not required. Also, given the nature of the past two academic years, feel free to add language into the application as to why if there is an empty place on the application (i.e. internships are not required until senior year, the COVID-19 pandemic caused, etc.)

The Top 25 recipients will be invited to a recognition event in April.

No student will be told the exact placement for the award. Students will only be told if they made the Top 100, Top 25, or the Top 2.

Students cannot be designated as a Top 100 student more than twice—typically once as a junior and once as a senior. Top 25 recipients are not eligible for Top 100 more than once.

All Top 100 recipients will receive:

  • Foundation and University wide recognition in media releases and social media
  • Certificate of appreciation
  • Name listed on Ball State University Foundation website
  • Opportunity for a professional headshot
  • Verbiage for resume
  • Engagement opportunities with One Ball State Day
  • Opportunity to connect and network with alumni
  • A gold tassel at graduation