Loyola University Chicago

Gannon Center for Women and Leadership


Who is eligible to apply for the Gannon Scholars Leadership Program?

Any student who has been admitted to Loyola University Chicago as a first year undergraduate is eligible to apply to be a Gannon Scholar. There are a few exceptions: Students in the Rome Start program, ABSN program, and Arrupe College are not eligible to apply.

Can I apply for the scholarship even though I am not yet sure if I will attend Loyola?

Yes, students need only be admitted to Loyola at the time of their application, but they do not yet need to be enrolled at Loyola. We understand that choosing a college is a complex decision that involves many financial, academic, and personal factors. If a student is accepted as a Gannon Scholar, they will still have until the general Loyola deadline – May 1 – to make their final college decision and submit their enrollment deposit at Loyola. 

When and how can I apply?

Interested students must submit the Gannon Scholar application, which can be found on their admitted student status page, by 11:59pm CST on Wednesday, February 1, 2023.

When will I find out if I have been accepted as a Gannon Scholar?

Applicants will be notified about their application status in early March 2023. (If you have not received a notification email, please double check your spam or junk folder.) The applicants chosen as semi-finalists will be expected to participate in an interview, either on-campus or via Zoom, during Loyola Weekend on Saturday, March 25, 2023.  Semi-finalists will be notified of the scholarship committee's decision in early April 2023.

Is the program restricted to women?

No, the program is not restricted by gender. We seek applicants, regardless of their gender identity, who are interested in and committed to the Gannon Center’s mission of fostering women leaders who will contribute to a more just world.

Can transfer students or current undergraduate students apply?

At this time, only incoming first year undergraduates are eligible to apply.

How many applicants are invited to join this program?

Ten incoming undergraduate students are selected annually.

What is the total amount of scholarship funding that I may receive?

Each Gannon Scholar is awarded an $8,000 tuition scholarship per year, for a total sum of $32,000 over the course of four years of undergraduate study. During one’s sophomore through senior year, Gannon Scholars may also be eligible for additional supplemental scholarships from the Gannon Center. The availability and amount of these scholarships depend on various factors such as financial need, donor criteria, and yearly endowment earnings; they typically range in amount from approximately $1,000 to $4,000.

Can I apply the scholarship to my room and board costs?

The scholarship is only applicable to tuition at Loyola University Chicago, not room and board costs.

Can I receive other Loyola merit scholarships in addition to the Gannon Scholarship?

Yes, students are able to receive additional merit-based scholarships from Loyola as well. Please note that Loyola merit-based scholarships are “tuition-restricted,” meaning that they can only be applied to tuition costs and that the total merit scholarship amount cannot exceed the yearly cost of tuition. However, need-based financial aid and many outside scholarships (i.e. from community organizations, corporations, etc.) can be applied to additional costs such as fees, room, and board.

How much time will I be expected to commit to the program?

The Gannon Scholars meet weekly on Monday evenings for one hour and also participate in other occasional events and programs sponsored by the Gannon Center. Scholars should expect to commit approximately 10 hours per month to the program. The time spent on research component of the program can vary greatly depending on the nature and duration of each individual’s research project. For some upperclass Gannon Scholars, the time they spend on their research fluctuates significantly throughout the year, whereas others may dedicate regular time to their research each week.

What happens at the Monday meetings?

Our weekly meetings serve a variety of purposes: to explore diverse areas of social justice, with particular focus on issues affecting women; to develop skills and knowledge related to leadership and professional competencies; and to facilitate connections and community among Gannon Scholars. Typically we begin with a community check-in and then focus the remainder of the meeting on a specific social justice or leadership development topic. Upperclass Gannon Scholars usually co-lead the social justice-focused meetings, and the Program Coordinator usually leads the leadership-focused meetings.

What will be expected of me for undergraduate research?

First year Gannon Scholars are required to enroll in the one-credit “Research Matters” UNIV 102 course in the spring semester. This course introduces students to various research concepts and prepares them to write a research project proposal. During their sophomore year, Scholars develop a research project proposal by either developing an independent research study, with the guidance of a faculty mentor, or collaborating with a faculty member already developing a study that is of interest to them. Scholars then engage in this research work, with the guidance of a faculty mentor, during their junior and senior years. Scholars have the opportunity to present their research at Loyola’s annual spring Undergraduate Research Symposium and often are able to attend conferences and symposia outside of Loyola as well.

Do I need to be in a certain major or minor to be a Gannon Scholar?

No, Gannon Scholars are free to major and/or minor in whatever field(s) they choose. The two academic requirements for the Gannon Scholar program are (a) taking the one-credit UNIV 102 research-focused class during your freshman spring semester and (b) taking at least one course in Peace Studies or Women’s Studies & Gender Studies by the end of sophomore year. For the latter requirement, many Gannon Scholars are able to choose a course that will also overlap with a Core Curriculum requirement or a requirement for their chosen major.

Can I graduate early as a Gannon Scholar?

Yes, while most Gannon Scholars spend four years at Loyola, Gannon Scholars are eligible to graduate in fewer than four years (i.e., a year or a semester early) if they are able to complete their undergraduate requirements in that timeframe. We do expect, though, that Gannon Scholars will spend at least three years as an undergraduate at Loyola. This expectation ensures (a) sufficient time to dedicate to the Gannon Scholar research process and (b) adequate time to complete one’s undergraduate degree because first-year Loyola students are limited to 36 transfer credits from their high school coursework.

Can I participate in ______ program while also being a Gannon Scholar?

Probably. We expect and hope that you are involved in other programs, student organizations, community service, internships, and/or employment opportunities while at Loyola. The Gannon Scholars program is meant to be a significant commitment, but not an overwhelming one; we want you to develop your leadership and service outside the Gannon Scholars program as well. Many Gannon Scholars have successfully taken part in other Loyola opportunities such as living-learning communities, honors programs, club leadership positions, and many other academic and co-curricular opportunities.

Can I study abroad as a Gannon Scholar?

Yes, Gannon Scholars are eligible to study abroad throughout their course of study at Loyola. If you plan to study abroad for two or more semesters, you will need to request approval in advance from the Advisor and Director of the Gannon Center.

Can I participate in the Gannon Scholars program as a commuter student?

Yes, each year we typically have a few students who are “commuter students,” meaning that they live in the Chicago area with their families and travel to campus each day. You are welcome to be a commuter student as a Gannon Scholar provided that you are still able to attend any required programming such as Monday meetings and other Gannon Scholar events.

Additional Questions?

Contact Jessica Robinson at jrobinson@luc.edu.