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Scholarships and Awards in English

The Department of English awards over a dozen scholarships and other awards and also nominates students for those university-wide scholarships and awards that require departmental nominations.

With the exception of the Genelle Voigt Jackson Scholarship (available to incoming freshmen), these scholarships and awards are for currently enrolled EIU students.

Click here to complete the student information form, which is required for consideration for English Department Scholarships.  

The deadline to submit a student information form is January 2015.  If you prefer to submit a paper form, they are available on Dr. Beebe's office door, room 3841 Coleman Hall.

For more information about applying for scholarships and awards in 2015-16, contact Dr. Randall Beebe.

You can also search a database of available scholarships through the EIU Scholarship Search.

University Awards with Departmental Nominations

Departmental Honors

University Awards with Departmental Nominations

  1.   Attainment Fund Scholarship —At least sophomore standing.
    • Criteria: GPA, financial need, employment record, extracurricular activities.
    • Nomination Date: Feb. 26
    • Amount: $300
  2.   Livingston Lord Scholarship —Junior standing.
    • Criteria: Character, scholarship, "potential for outstanding success in his[/her] academic area."
    • Amount: $2000
  3.   Martin Luther King Scholarship —All students in good standing.
    • Criteria: "In thought and deed, living examples of the ideals and values expressed by Martin Luther King, Jr."
    • Nomination Date: Late February/Early March
    • Amount: $250, split according to the number of awards.
  4.   Hobart F. Heller Award —Junior or senior standing with majority of university attendance at EIU.
    • Criteria: scholarship, character, sense of purpose, service to the university community.
    • Nomination Date: April 15
    • Amount: Plaque
  5.   Union Board Award —Senior standing.
    • Criteria: academic achievement, participation in extracurricular activities, participation in community-related activities, office or leadership positions in student government or similar organizations.
    • Nomination Date: March 7
    • Amount: Plaque + Name on Plaque in Student Union
  6.   Eunice W. Dougherty Scholarships —Juniors majoring in one of 20 disciplines, including English.
    • Criteria: Cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher (based on all undergraduate coursework) with at least 15 graded semester hours at EIU (normally awarded in late Spring).
    • Nomination Date: Announced Mid-April
    • Amount: Variable
  7.   University Honors —English Departmental Honors Student
    • Criteria: Academic excellence, achievement.
    • Nomination Date: Mid-February
    • Amount: $750

Departmental Honors

  1.    Warner Presidential Award in English —Junior or senior English majors.
    • Criteria: Outstanding scholarship and character, need (only after the number of nominees has been reduced to three).
    • Date: Spring Semester
    • Amount: $6000 in 2002 (may be divided among three or more recipients)
  2.    Howard DeForest Widger Scholarship —Enrollment in a teaching curriculum as an English major.
    • Criteria: Character, scholarship in English, and skill in teaching with promise of service of distinction.
    • Date: Spring Semester
    • Amount: $500
  3.    Isabel McKinney Scholarship —Two types of awards:
    1. One awarded to two continuing freshman majors.
    2. One awarded to one or more graduating seniors eligible to enroll in the English graduate program in the fall.
    • Criteria: High scholastic standing, need, for graduate students the committee's "evaluation of written material authored by the nominee or applicant."
    • Date: Spring Semester
    • Amount: Two @ $500 for 3 years/Freshmen; One @ $1000 for a senior (may be divided).
  4.    Raymond L. and Carolyn Miller Fischer Scholarship —Sophomore standing.
    • Criteria: Scholarship, specialization in English literature. Alternates years with Speech Communications with English giving out the award in odd-numbered years.
    • Date: Spring Semester
    • Amount: $800 in 2002
  5.   English Alumni Scholarship —Full-time sophomore or junior English major, 35-80 hours of EIU work by the end of the semester in which the award is made, overall GPA of at least 3.2.
    • Criteria: Strong character and potential for leadership, need for financial assistance.
    • Date: Spring Semester
    • Amount: $600 in 2002
  6.    Betty J. Hawkins English Scholarship —Full-time sophomore or junior English major, 35-80 hours of EIU work by the end of the semester in which the award is made, overall GPA of at least 3.2.
    • Criteria: Strong character and potential for leadership, demonstrated strong writing skills (though not to be based on a writing competition), need for financial assistance.
    • Date: Spring Semester
    • Amount: $500
  7.    Dr. Robert V. Wharton Scholarship —Full-time sophomore or junior English major, 30-95 hours of EIU work by the end of the semester in which the award is made, overall GPA of at least 3.25.
    • Criteria: Demonstrated financial need, non-traditional student, preference to single parents, preference to students with a keen appreciation of and facility for the study of literature.
    • Date: Spring Semester
    • Amount: $500
  8.    Frances W. McColl Scholarship —Full-time junior English major in Teacher Education (alternate years with Journalism; English in odd-numbered years), must enter the senior year as a full-time student in the designated academic area.
    • Criteria: Outstanding scholarship and leadership.
    • Date: Spring Semester (next English award, 2015)
    • Amount: $500
  9.    Winnie Davis Neely —Vehiclestaff and Sigma Tau Delta.
    • Criteria: Determined by Vehicle staff and Sigma Tau Delta.
    • Date: Spring Semester
    • Amount: Variable
  10.    Louise Murray Award for Children's Literature —Undergraduates with declared majors in English, Education majors, and students pursuing any English minor.
    • Criteria: Winner(s) chosen from submissions of critical writing about youth literature or original writing for children or young adults in genre/formats such as poetry, picture book, chapter book/novel (chapters from a longer work will be accepted) (chosen by a subcommittee of Children's Literature specialitsts).
    • Date: Spring Semester
    • Amount: $300 divided among winners.
  11.    Literary Essay ContestUndergraduate and graduate students in English.
    • Criteria: Mimimum length, 1200 words; one entry per student; awards in graduate and undergraduate categories. (may be chosen by a subcommittee of readers including a representative of the S&A committee)
    • Date: Spring Semester
    • Amount: $500, to be divided as the subcommittee recommends.
    • Deadline for Entry: March 21, 2014. Submit an essay here.
  12.    Genelle Voigt Jackson English Scholarship —Undergraduate full-time student, majoring, or intending to major in a degree program in the Department of English, and accepted to, and agreeing to attend, EIU.
    • Criteria: Financial need; student from West Salem, Ill., or neighboring communities; overall GPA of at least 3.0 from his/her high school.
    • Amount: $10,000 divided between four students @ $1250 per semester.
  13.    Freshman Essay Contest — Administered by the English Club.
    • Criteria: Open to ALL freshman (Fall '13/Spring '14).
    • Date: Spring Semester
    • Amount: 1st place - $100; 2nd place - $75; 3rd place - $50.
    • Deadline for Entry: March 7, 2014. View submission guidelines here.
  14.    Mary Coon Cottingham Scholarship — Undergraduate full-time student from the College of Arts and Humanities (any department) with an overall GPA of at least 2.0.
    • Criteria: Financial need; strong interest and talent in English Literature and Creative Writing.
    • Date: Awarded in the spring; payable in the fall.
    • Amount: Two @ $4,000 each.
  15.    James K. Johnson Creative Writing Award
    • Criteria: Essay contest.
    • Date: Awarded and payable in the spring.
    • Amount: Two @ $75 each.
    • Deadline for Entry: April 1, 2014. View submission guidelines here.
  16.    Flora Saxby Hawkes Memorial Scholarship in English
    • Criteria: Excellence in the classroom in the field of English; English majors with a minimum 3.0 GPA; financial need may be considered.
    • Date: Awarded and payable in the spring.
    • Amount: One or two awards of $500-$1000.
  17. Graham R. Lewis Memorial Poetry Award
    • Criteria: Any recipient must be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student, accepted to EIU and be in good academic standing.
    • Date: Spring Semester
    • Amount: 1st place - $3360.00, 2nd place - $1,680.00, 3rd place - $840.00, 4th place - $420.00, 5th place - $210.00, 6th place - $105.00, 7th place - $52.50, 8th place, $26.25, 9th place - $13.13.
    • Deadline for Entry: March 7, 2014. View submission guidelines here.
  18. Cultural Diversity Essay Contest  Open to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in 2013-2014 English courses.
    • Criteria: 500-1500 words; one entry per student. Students should submit an expository essay that addresses directly or indirectly one of the following topcis: 1) "Cultural Diversity: Challenge and Opportunity" 2) "Living Harmoniously Amidst Cultural Diversity" 3) "The Painful Consequences of Discrimination" or 4) "Analyses of Issues of Cultural Diversity in Literary Texts"
    • Date: Spring Semester
    • Amount: Cash prize
    • Deadline for Entry: March 21, 2014. Submit an essay here.