Scholarships & Awards

Oscar Matasar History Scholarship

Oscar Matasar (1915-1996) was an alumnus of the NIU History Department. After finishing high school he had to work for two years in order to finance his further education. Mr. Matasar's ambition was to become a teacher of history. He began his studies at NIU in 1939, and after serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, returned to NIU to complete his degree. He received an M.A. in Latin American history from the University of New Mexico and went on to become a high school history teacher for almost thirty years. Oscar Matasar cared deeply about education, social responsibility, and altruism. He volunteered his talents and contributed generously to many causes, especially adult education. The scholarship in his honor is given to recognize a student of high academic achievement with financial need. Students from a non-traditional background or those belonging to an underrepresented group are especially encouraged to apply.

  • Monetary Award: $1000 and a book prize
  • Eligibility: Undergraduate history majors who have completed at least six hours of history courses at NIU, financial need
  • Application: Students who wish to apply should submit the application form, two letters of recommendation by History Department faculty submitted by the letter writer to, and a two to three page personal statement to the History Department office at The personal statement should explain how and why the student became interested in history, career goals, or any other information the applicant feels important to be considered. Applicants should also demonstrate financial need. Students may also apply through Academic Works