Incoming Student Honors Application

Honors Application for High School Seniors

To be considered for the Honors College all students must submit a complete application.  The application is online and will be available starting September 1, 2020 for Fall 2021 for incoming freshmen and transfer students. The complete application includes information about your academic work, interests and activities, and includes 2 short answer questions and 1 essay question.

Apply to the Honors College by March 1st to be eligible for the Honors Experience Study Abroad Scholarship.

An incoming freshman is a graduating high school senior attending BGSU in the Fall.  There are separate applications for current BGSU students and Transfer students.

Because each application is reviewed holistically, Honors admissions decisions can take up to 8 weeks.  You will receive notification about your decision in the mail.

All other questions about the application can be directed to

Timeline for Applying to the Honors College

Honors Application

Honors Application Details

Below are the prompts for the Honors College application.  We also have tips for scholarships, essays, and applications.

Applying to the Honors College

The Fall 2021 Honors College application is now open for incoming freshmen. If you are already a student at BGSU, you can apply to the Honors College as a current student.

Applying to the Honors College can be done in 2 ways:

Honors Application

  1. You will need your BGSU application username (email address) and password to access the application.  Note: this is for your BGSU application, NOT your MyBGSU username and password.
  2. If you applied through the Common Application, you should receive an email with login instructions to create your username and password.

Access the Honors Application through your BGSU Application Status Page

Please enter the BGSU application username (email used for BGSU application) and password you used to apply online. If you do not have a username or password, please contact the Office of Admissions. If you applied online, but forgot your username or password, we can help you reset your password.

Did you apply to BGSU through the Common Application?

If you applied to BGSU through the common application, you should check your email to be able to set up your BGSU application status page.  This email will come 1 day after you apply through the Common Application, so you will not be able to apply immediately to the Honors College after submitting your Common Application.  The email should be titled BGSU has received your Common Application!.

This email will contain information about how to set up a password and also how to access the BGSU Honors College application.

You will be able to save your application, and edit it until it is submitted.  If you have questions about the Honors application, please contact or call 419-372-8504.

What are we looking for in an applicant?

Reviewers are looking to get to know you as an application.  An ideal honors student will show us their curiosity, passion, motivation, and drive.  We look not only for your past accomplishments, but your future potential when joining the Honors College.  Outstanding applicants to the Honors College are curious, take risks, display self-motivation and reflection throughout their application.  We take a holistic approach to reviewing applications, so there is no GPA and test score which will guarantee you admission to the Honors College, but there is also no GPA and test score which will count you out.

Accepted students typically have:

  1. A strong academic record.
  2. Thoughtful essays.
  3. Exemplify critical thinking and creativity throughout their application.
  4. Demonstrate interests and passions through activities, community engagement, work, etc.
  5. Show a commitment to diverse ideas and people.

Each student is evaluated individually, and we consider many factors when deciding if a student could be successful in Honors.

Tip: Apply by mid December, so you don’t miss any opportunities for scholarships!  Even if you aren’t sure you are coming to BGSU, you should still apply to the Honors College to be eligible for all of the opportunities.  Being accepted to the Honors College doesn’t commit you to BGSU or the Honors College – it just gives you options.

Remember, “[t]his above all – to thine own self be true” (Hamlet 1.3.78).

Honors Essay Prompt

Who you “are” (i.e., your social identity) varies—sometimes quite dramatically—based on where you are and with whom you are interacting.  For example, the “you” who dutifully answers questions during your AP English class might not be exactly the same “you” who sings in your church choir, plays forward on your high school basketball team, or takes swing dancing lessons on the weekend.

For your admissions essay to the Honors College at Bowling Green State University, we want you to think about the topic of performing identity in different environments. In particular, we would like you to identify two specific environments with which you engage on a regular basis such as an academic setting, an online environment like Instagram or Snapchat, or a face-to-face social environment.  With these environments in mind, write an essay comparing and contrasting your identity in these two environments.  

As you are thinking about this prompt, here are some things to consider: Who are “you” in these environments?  What kind of identity do you create for yourself?  What aspects, or parts, of “you” do you allow people to see? Conversely, what do people not see about you? Is there something that people don’t see that you wish they did?   Comparing these environments, what is revealed about your core identity?  Suggested length: 300-500 words.

Short Answer Prompt

Grace Llewellyn (American author, educator, and publisher) said, “In the end, the secret to learning is so simple: forget about it. Think only about whatever you love. Follow it, do it, dream about it. One day, you will glance up at your collection of Japanese literature, or trip over the solar oven you built, and it will hit you: learning was there all the time, happening by itself.”  What is something you have explored which is academic, but outside of the confines of a classroom?  In other words, how have you independently demonstrated intellectual curiosity?  How did exploring that curiosity change your learning or thinking?  Suggested length: 150 – 200 words.

Alumni Laureate Scholarship Essay Prompt

The Alumni Laureate Scholarship is not just a scholarship, but an opportunity to develop lifelong relationships with BGSU alumni, fellow Alumni Laureate Scholars, faculty and staff across campus. You will have access to mentors who will challenge you to broaden your perspective, prioritize your goals, network with alumni and professional contacts, and frame your success through the values of leadership and service.

An important cornerstone to the Alumni Laureate experience is the opportunity to build and grow relationships with a variety of people.  Give us an example of a time when you developed a meaningful relationship with someone who was different from you.  How did this change your perception of the world around you?  What did you gain from this relationship?  How were you changed by this relationship?

This essay question must be completed if you would like to be considered for the Alumni Laureate Scholarship.  To be considered, students must meet the qualifications of the award (3.5 GPA and 27 ACT or 1280 SAT), complete the following essay, and submit their Honors College application by January 15, 2021.

If you would like to be considered for this award, please complete the essay before submitting your Honors College application.

Applicants will be judged for the Alumni Laureate scholarship based on your essay, your academic experience, and your experience outside the classroom.  More information about the scholarship can be found here.   Applicants will be unable to edit, or add information, to their Honors College application after submission.  Suggested length: 300-500 words.

Activites and Involvement Short Answer

In the Honors College, we take a holistic look into applicants.  We want to know about your passions and interests, and we understand that sometimes this doesn’t fit into the space we have provided above.  Use this space to share with us any additional projects, interests, or activities which help us get to know you better.  In other words, is there something else you feel the committee should know about you?  You can also use this space to expand on an experience you have outlined above which has shaped you as a person.  Suggested length: 150-200 words.

Other Items Asked on Honors Application

Throughout the Honors Application, we will also ask other questions to get to know you better.  Here are materials you can have ready for when you access the Honors application.


  • AP/IB/College Classes you have taken
  • How many AP/IB classes are offered at your school
  • Scores or grades from any classes you have previously taken
  • College courses - the name of the course and the institution you took the course
  • Name and Description of any meaningful activities
  • Any leadership roles you have taken in these activities
  • Approximately how many hours per week and weeks per year you participated
Honors and Awards
  • Name and Description of Honors or Awards
  • Year(s) received
We want to understand you as a whole person to see if you would be the right fit for the BGSU Honors College.  If there is something which is important in your life, we want to know about it.  This continues through when you are here as a student.  You will have Honors faculty, students and staff who want to get to know your whole story - rather than just your major and GPA.

The Honors College application is only available online for incoming students. If you do not have access to a computer, please call the Honors College at 419-372-8504 and we can send you a paper application.