Important Dates

  • August 19, 2024: Applications Open
  • October 13, 2024: Applications Close at 11:59 p.m. EST
  • Mid-February 2025: Announcement of Top 100 Student Awards
  • March 22, 2025: Top 100 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, our future young alumni on the importance of staying connected to Ball State, while continuing to grow the culture of Beneficence. The hope is this grows a new generation of alumni leaders and donors to the University.

New in 2023-2024, there is no nomination process for qualifying junior and senior students. Students can apply directly on the website. There is a letter of recommendation needed from a faculty, staff or professional employee, or a graduate student to complete the application. You must have the letter uploaded before clicking submit on the application.

The current platform does not allow you to save your application and return at a later time. The website will time out after 30 minutes of no activity or key strokes. It is recommended to save your answers in a word document and copy over if you need to leave the application at any time.

Applications will be scored based on four categories, totaling a score of 200 points:

  • Academic Excellence: 50 points
  • Campus Leadership: 50 points
  • Community Impact: 50 points
  • Miscellaneous: 50 points
    • Personal Statement: 10 points
    • Judges Overall Impression: 10 points
    • Answers to Three Application Questions: 30 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 few 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.)

All Top 100 recipients will be invited to the recognition event in March.

No student will be told the exact placement for the award. Students will only be told if they made the Top 100, Top 50, Top 25 and Top 10.

A selected group of Ball State University alumni from around the country score the applications. There are 200 points possible

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.
  • 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 cord to wear at graduation, indicating that you are a Top 100 Student.
  • The opportunity to be paired with a Ball State alumnus as a mentor.