Seattle University’s Sullivan Leadership Award – Deadline 11/15/16


The Sullivan Leadership Award exemplifies Seattle University's holistic definition of academic excellence, one that transcends classroom performance and seeks students with diverse leadership styles and personal backgrounds. 

This scholarship covers tuition, room and board for each of four years of undergraduate study at Seattle University and is awarded to nine incoming freshmen each year.

Award Criteria

Academic Excellence

Students who pursue rigorous college preparatory coursework with noteworthy achievement. Typically Sullivan Scholarship recipients have a GPA of a 3.7 or higher.


Students who demonstrate leadership through school activities, public service and community involvement.


Students who demonstrate commitment to justice and the well-being of others through service in their communities and school.


Students who possess well-developed written and oral communication skills.


Consideration is reserved for domestic first-time freshmen students living in and attending school in the United States.


2016-17 Theme

What Children Eat: Accessibility of Nourishing Foods and Developmental Impacts


The Competition Process

Each year, a theme is selected for the Sullivan Leadership Award competition. The theme provides a focus for the readings, speakers and discussions throughout the process and encourages participants to investigate complex issues surrounding the year's topic. 

Admission decisions will be mailed to Sullivan Leadership Award applicants on or before December 23, 2016. Only qualified applicants who are offered Early Action admission to Seattle University will be invited to continue in the Sullivan Leadership Award competition event on January 21, 2017. Students offered Early Action admission have until May 1, 2017, to notify Seattle University whether they wish to accept admission and enroll.

Sullivan Leaders' Day—January 21, 2017

To be eligible for further consideration for the Sullivan Leadership Award, students invited to Sullivan Leaders' Day must come to the Seattle University campus for this event on Saturday, January 21, 2017. Students who are unable to participate in Sullivan Leaders' Day will receive continued consideration for other scholarships, but only applicants in attendance on Leaders' Day will be eligible for the Sullivan Leadership Award. A limited number of transportation grants are available for qualified applicants to attend Leaders' Day. Eligibility requirements can be found at the bottom of this page.

On Sullivan Leaders' Day, all participants will be asked to write a prompted essay in response to the articles selected for the year's theme.  They will also meet with current Sullivan Scholars, tour the campus, attend a panel presentation on the year's theme and participate in small group discussions. Approximately 350 students will participate in Leaders' Day. Students participating in the Sullivan Leaders' Day event should plan to be on campus from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

The Sullivan Selection Committee decisions following Sullivan Leaders' Day will be mailed to all applicants on or before February 13, 2017.

Sullivan Finalists' Day—March 10, 2017

After evaluating the applications and the Leaders' Day essays, the Selection Committee will invite 45 finalists to return to campus on Friday, March 10, 2017, for the final round of the competition. These finalists will give brief oral presentations based on a book that will be provided and will be interviewed by committee members. There will also be a celebratory dinner for the finalists and their guests. Nine students will be selected from this group of finalists to receive the Sullivan Leadership Award. The 45 finalists should plan to be on campus from noon to 9 PM.

The Sullivan Selection Committee decisions following Sullivan Finalists' Day will be mailed to all Finalists on or before March 23, 2017. Nine Sullivan Leadership Awards are granted each year.

Travel Grants

A limited number of transportation scholarships are available for qualified applicants to attend Leaders' Day. Eligible students can apply for the travel grant on the Sullivan Leadership Award application. The following criteria are required to be considered for a travel grant to Leaders' Day:

  • Both a completed Common Application and Sullivan Leadership Award Application have been submitted to Seattle University

  • A commitment to participating in Leaders' Day if selected to receive a travel grant.

  • Eligible to receive a Common App fee waiver based on economic need.

  • Unable to participate in Leaders' Day without financial assistance to travel to campus.


November 15, 2016 Deadline for receipt of Sullivan Leadership Award applications (and complete admissions applications, including SAT or ACT test scores)

December 23, 2016 Applicants notified of eligibility to continue in the competition

January 21, 2017, Saturday Eligible applicants attend Sullivan Leaders' Day on the Seattle University campus and write a prompted essay 

March 10, 2017, Friday  45 finalists for the award attend Sullivan Finalists' Day on the Seattle University campus to give a speech, be interviewed and attend a recognition dinner

by March 23, 2017  The nine Sullivan Leadership Award recipients notified; 36 finalists notified and invited to be on an alternate list

May 1, 2017 Deadline for accepted students to make their college choices