Skip to main content
Default Hero Image

Selection process

top 50

The Details

How do you become a Top 50 student?

If you are a full-time or part-time student who meets the qualifications, then you are automatically eligible for the Top 50 Award. To be considered, fill out an application and submit a personal statement and letter of recommendation. At least three committee members will then review your application. Read about the process to learn more.

Student at top 50 event
Students at top 50 event


What qualifications do you need to meet? 

You must be registered and in good standing at Purdue Fort Wayne, and meet the following criteria to be eligible for the Top 50 Award:

  • Be a currently enrolled, degree-seeking junior, senior, or graduate student on the Purdue Fort Wayne campus
  • Achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 as of the second summer session
  • Completed a minimum of three semesters and 18 credit hours applicable to your degree program, if you are a graduate student

Important Dates

2024 Schedule


Check out the dates for the 2024 Top 50 selection process. If you have any questions regarding the timeline, please contact us at [email protected].

Friday, January 19

All application packet materials are due by 11:59 p.m. 

Friday, March 1

Notification of selection and nonselection to all nominees will be sent via email.

Friday, April 19

Top 50 and Exemplar Dinner and Awards Ceremony

Application process

How to get started.

Any full-time or part-time student who meets the qualifications is automatically eligible for the Top 50 Award and will receive an email with the application. Interested students must then complete the application. Please use the following information to complete your application.

All entries on the application must have occurred within the past five calendar years. The exception to this would be if you are participating in an activity that spans previous to the past five calendar years, but are still participating in currently.

You may include dean’s list only if there is more than a grade point average component to being on your school’s dean’s list. Be sure to indicate what that component is because all Top 50 students have a grade point average of at least 3.0.

A personal statement is required. This statement should be no more than 500 words and should address why you believe you should be considered a Top 50 student. Do not list the accomplishments you’ve already put in the application. This is your chance to share with the selection committee any personal successes you’d like them to know about when considering your application.

A letter of recommendation is required. Only one letter may be submitted per student.

Letter of Recommendation Submission Form

  • Be concise, but provide all pertinent information related to the activity. Put in more information about the specifics of what you are doing for each entry, not just the title.
  • Do not include the same activity in more than one category.
  • Do not list any personal experience or activity—such as scholastic achievement, collegiate activities, or service learning—that cannot be verified upon request. Any information that cannot be verified will not be considered. If information provided is found to be inaccurate, your nomination will be considered invalid and will not be sent to the judges.
  • Do not use abbreviations for names or organizations.

By accepting your nomination, you are giving the Purdue Fort Wayne Top 50 Review Committee permission to review your student record, including any academic or disciplinary records on file with the university. The committee reserves the right to disqualify any student based on information received from the Office of Student Conduct and Care. Students who are selected may be removed from the Purdue Fort Wayne Top 50 at any point if they are found to be in violation of this code.

The committee attempts to verify eligibility prior to the announcement of the Top 50 students, but information sometimes comes to light after the names have been released. Academic and professional misconduct reports will be shared with the Top 50 Review Committee. If there is something on record that causes you to question your eligibility, you should contact the Office of the Student Conduct and Care at 260-481-6601 to review the file.

You can receive this award only twice as an undergraduate student and/or as a graduate student.


Do you have what it takes?

Exemplars are selected by their college or school dean, chair, and/or faculty, and must meet the following criteria:

  • Completed an undergraduate degree in December, May, or the summer of the current academic year
  • Be on the graduation list
  • Graduated with distinction or be tentatively qualified for distinction during the selection period
  • Demonstrated hallmarks of excellence in their area of study
  • Have a record of outreach or community service in their field

Exemplars are recognized at the Top 50 and Exemplar Dinner and Awards Ceremony with a special stole to wear during commencement. Students chosen to be Exemplars can also be Top 50 Award recipients.

Top 50 awards and sashes