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EIU Phi Beta Kappa

PBK Young Scholar Award Competition


The Phi Beta Kappa Association of East Central Illinois is very excited to announce our 32nd annual PHI BETA KAPPA YOUNG SCHOLAR AWARD competition. See winners from previous years here.

Founded in 1776, the Phi Beta Kappa Society is the most prestigious honors society in the United States. The PBK motto is: Love of learning is the guide of life.


Eligibility requirements                                                                               

1) We invite short essays from high school JUNIORS who are excited about learning and using the gift of learning to see the world in a new light.

2) Submit an essay online HERE. Submit the essay that you are most proud of writing. It should be approximately 500 words and not a work of creative writing. Please make sure that the content is suitable for sharing with a public audience.

3) Submit the essay by March 1st. Students will need to give current contact information.

4) Winners will be honored and their attendance will be required at a PBK awards luncheon, held on the campus of Eastern Illinois University, in mid-April (date TBA).

NOTE: Winners' future enrollment at EIU is not a requirement of the competition, although we would be happy to schedule a campus tour and share information about the top scholarships at the Honors College.




1st place $500 

2nd place $300 

3rd place $200

4th place $150 

Runner-up $100 

Runner-up $100


Writing Prompt: Submit the essay that you are most proud of writing.

Please do not submit creative writing pieces.


OR, if you would like, use this writing prompt:

Describe an experience that piqued your intellectual curiosity.


For instance, you might want to tell us about a time when you…

*struggled to learn something and persisted; or

*learned something on your own, through scientific inquiry or close observation; or

*posed a question as a child—such as “why is the sky blue?”—that was answered by what you learned in school; or

*gained a more global perspective by studying a foreign language; or

*learned of an historical event; or

*understood how a Midwestern background prepares you to make unique contributions as a citizen


Phi Beta Kappa Young Scholar Winners                                                   

Winners will be honored at an event in mid-April on the campus of Eastern Illinois University. We hope that all student winners check out the wonderful opportunities and environment that EIU has to offer!


Who: Winners and their parents, teachers, and principals will be invited, along with Phi Beta Kappa Association members and current Honors Eastern students.


When: mid-April (TBA)


Where: campus of Eastern Illinois University at 600 Lincoln Avenue, Charleston, IL 61920


Prizes: The first prize, second prize, third prize, fourth prize, and two honorable mention winners will be awarded prizes of $500, $300, $200, $150, $100, and $100. The lunch will be covered for all attendees.


The Honors College at Eastern: The Honors College offers an exceptional Honors education as well as very generous scholarships to attend EIU.


Campus tours: Want to meet current Honors College students or see the Honors dorm? Contact Admissions to arrange a special campus tour of Eastern.


We’re looking forward to your wonderful entries!

Related Pages

Contact Information

Dr. Suzie Park

Department of English
Coleman Hall
Eastern Illinois University

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