Financial Support

John R. Young Memorial Scholarship

Who is eligible:
Undergraduate majors in any Emphasis in Geology and Environmental Geosciences

One $1,000 scholarship is awarded annually to one student to use for tuition, fees and other academic expenses. This award will be made through the student’s Bursar’s account.

When to apply:
A call for applications will be announced annually.


  • The candidate must be a declared major in Geology & Environmental Geosciences and a full time, degree-seeking student in academic good standing.
  • Selection criteria may include academic merit, other professional involvement and activities, commitment to geology, and financial need.
  • Candidates may be from any level from sophomore to senior; however, considerable weight will be given to academic record in Geology and Environmental Geosciences, including GPA in GEOL courses.

How to apply:
Candidates should submit application materials electronically to the Chair of the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences ( Applications should include:

  • A statement that you are applying for the John R. Young Memorial Scholarship and listing your name, major emphasis, and current academic rank (sophomore, junior, senior).
  • A 1-2 page résumé summarizing your educational and professional background, activities and achievements relevant to your application for the Scholarship. You do not need to list your full academic record – the Department has access to this, including courses and GPA.
  • A maximum one-page statement describing your involvement, interests and future plans in geology. You may also explain any factors relevant to financial need that may support your application for the Scholarship. (Note: the Department does not require tax or FAFSA information, just your statement.)

About John R. Young

John R. Young graduated from Northern Illinois University in August of 1990 with a B.S. in Geology. He then moved to New Mexico where he worked as an environmental scientist with the state Hazardous and Radioactive Materials Bureau. He also worked part-time teaching geology at a local community college near his home in Santa Fe. He was very passionate about geology, loved to talk about rocks, and was excited if he could reach just one student who would make geology a career. John had wonderful memories of his time at NIU and wanted to help like-minded students with similar interests. In his spare time, John enjoyed traveling to various geological landmarks and national parks (including Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii) with his wife, Donna - including their honeymoon to Italy, where he was able to experience Mt. Vesuvius and Mt. Etna. John was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2005 and fought a courageous battle with cancer until he passed away in March of 2009. One of his wishes to Donna was to have a scholarship in his name at NIU to help those students interested in Geology to achieve their goals and dreams. It is their hope that through this scholarship, John’s passion for knowledge and geology will continue for years to come.