The Jacob Wendell Scholarship Prize, which was established in 1899 by bequest of Jacob Wendell, is awarded annually to a Harvard College sophomore identified by the selection committee as the most promising and broad-ranging scholar in his or her class, without reference to financial need. The prize is awarded on the basis of the freshman year academic record, a piece of written work, and letters of recommendation.
In order to honor and encourage extraordinary academic achievement, the Wendell Prize of $21,000 is divided into three parts. Two equal disbursements of $7,000 each are made to the Scholar at the start of his or her sophomore-junior and junior-senior summers to support academic or other appropriate projects or experiences endorsed by the Scholar's Allston Burr Assistant Dean and approved by the Wendell Prize selection committee. (Should any Wendell Prize recipient have filed plans to complete undergraduate degree requirements in Harvard College at the end of his or her sixth term of residence, he or she may apply to the selection committee for an alternative distribution of summer funds.) An additional $7,000 will be presented to the Scholar at a dinner honoring current and past Wendell Prize recipients in the spring.
Students who complete their first undergraduate year at Harvard College in the top of their class are invited by the Prize Office to apply for the Wendell Prize by early September of their second undergraduate year.