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EIU Department of English

English Scholarships and Awards 

In addition to the scholarships available to all students University-wide, the English Department will award approximately $150,000 in scholarships and awards this year. 

The first group of scholarships listed below are those awarded by the English Department as well as some scholarships offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for which English majors may qualify. Students should also search for other scholarships that may apply to them using the University's campus-wide scholarship system. Most, but not all, scholarships have a March 15 deadline. Overviews of each program are below; for full details, including GPA requirements, follow the link to each scholarship.


Scholarships open to newly admitted students as well as currently enrolled students

Mary Coon Cottingham Scholarship - The largest of the endowed scholarship programs in English, several awards are typically made from this fund each year. The donors have designated this scholarship for students with strong interest and ability in both literature and creative writing; two writing samples are required of applicants. Students are eligible to apply again.

Genelle Voigt Jackson English Scholarship - For English majors, new or continuing; minimum 3.0 high school GPA; preference to students from West Salem, IL, or communities close to West Salem. This scholarship is renewable, but recipients must re-apply each year.

Morris Family Endowment in English - For English majors, new or continuing; good academic standing; based on scholastic ability. This scholarship is not based on financial need; however, in the case of two equally qualified candidates, the student who demonstrates the greatest financial need shall receive the scholarship.

Cecil Paul and Marjorie Wilson Davis Scholarship - English - For English majors, new or continuing; good academic standing.

Frank and Irene Luce Wilson Scholarship - English - For English majors, new or continuing; good academic standing. 

Any class

Lucina Paquet Gabbard English Scholarship - One award annually

Any class - for students who transferred to EIU (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences award)

Edith Breving Annual Scholarship - For undergraduates in the arts and humanities. Requires 3.0 GPA. Community college transfer students, community service preferred.

For students enrolled in English for teacher certification (any class)

Howard DeForest Widger Scholarship - One award annually

Ron and Carol Jean (McHenry) Martin Scholarship (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences award) - Full-time students majoring in English Language Arts who are interested in teaching Speech or Theatre; preference to students who graduated from high school in Paris, Paxton Buckley Loda, or a Joliet Township OR contiguous counties may be considered; GPA of 3.0; financial need is a considered; requires 1-2 page narrative describing interest in pursuing a teaching career in English Language Arts, Theatre Arts, or a combination of both disciplines

For current EIU freshmen (second-semester students who will continue as sophomores)

Isabel McKinney Undergraduate Scholarship - Normally two awards to freshmen each year. Those who received the award after applying as freshmen must re-apply for renewal for their junior and senior years. Requires a writing sample.

For sophomores

Raymond L. and Carolyn Miller Fischer Scholarship - English major with specialization in English literature. One award every two years. 

For sophomores or juniors

English Alumni Scholarship - English major with strong character and potential for leadership. One award annually.

Betty Hawkins English Scholarship - English major with strong character and potential for leadership, strong writing skills (but no essay required). Two awards annually

Dr. Robert V. Wharton Scholarship - For nontraditional students (defined broadly) with keen appreciation of and facility for the study of literature

For juniors

Frances W. McColl Scholarship - English major in Teacher Education. One award every two years. 

Eunice W. Dougherty Scholarship - (Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Business) - For juniors in Business or the sciences, arts, or humanities. Requires 3.85 GPA, 15 EIU credit hours, top 1/4 scholastic standing.

For juniors or seniors

Errett and Mazie Warner Presidential Award - Recognizes outstanding scholarship and character; three awards made each year.

Dr. Charles I. Switzer Memorial Scholarship - preference to English majors who intend to become certified to teach OR pursue graduate study in English. One award annually

Flora Saxby Hawkes Memorial Scholarship - For English majors; one award annually

For seniors in English Language Arts

The Louise (Tym) Honnold and Martha (Tym) Johnson Scholarship - Must be a full-time senior student majoring in either English with Teacher Certification or Social Science with Teacher Certification accepted to Eastern Illinois University; GPA at least 3.0; financial need considered.

For graduating seniors continuing in the EIU English graduate program

Isabel McKinney Graduate Scholarship - Requires a writing sample.

Writing Contests

Writing contests, both creative and critical, are sponsored by English and other units on campus each year. Check out this list of current writing contests of interest to English majors.

If you have questions about English-specific scholarships, please contact the scholarship committee chair, Dr. Randall Beebe


EIU English scholarship and award winners, 2016, with President David Glassman

Some scholarship and award winners with EIU President David Glassman at our annual Awards Tea. Great work, everyone!


Other opportunities can be found on the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences website.










Related Pages

Contact Information

Department of English

600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-2428
Fax: (217) 581-7209

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