Scholarships and Academic Awards

Annually, Sigma Tau Delta offers a variety of scholarships valued at up to $5,000 each. Because these scholarship opportunities are offered exclusively to Sigma Tau Delta members, those members who take the time to submit a carefully put-together application obviously have a significantly increased chance of receiving an award--and completing the application process is excellent practice for those planning to attend graduate school or apply for a job. Applications are judged based on academics and service, as well as on the quality of writing in essays or statements that are required for the scholarships. 

Use the links below to view specific eligibility criteria for each scholarship.

Scholarships Open to Undergraduate Students

Junior Scholarships

Senior Scholarships

William C. Johnson Distinguished Scholarship

Part-Time Undergraduate Scholarship

P.C. Somerville Awards for Future Teachers

Study Abroad Scholarships (offered biannually)

Summer Program Scholarship (offered only in the spring)

Scholarly Paper Awards for Undergraduate Students

Scholarships Open to Graduate Students

Graduate Scholarships

William C. Johnson Distinguished Scholarship

Scholarly Paper Awards for Graduate Students

Scholarships Open to Alumni Epsilon Chapter Members

Alumni Epsilon Scholarship

Application Process

Sigma Tau Delta offers the Scholarship Tracking and Review System (STARS Online) to apply for the scholarships and academic awards listed above.

STARS Online

View instructions and link for the STARS Application Process.

General Eligibility Criteria for Scholarships and Academic Awards

  • Before applying for a scholarship (with the exception of the Alumni Epsilon Scholarship), a student must be nominated by his or her chapter. Each chapter may nominate three students for each scholarship. Decisions about who gets nominated are made at the local level (by the chapter itself). The Chapter Sponsor should lead or guide that process. Chapters should set an on-campus deadline for applications earlier than the submission deadline. They should also set in place procedures for selecting and recognizing applicants to represent their chapter. For example, the chapter may vote to have the Sponsor and/or a faculty committee review applications and choose candidates when more than the permitted number of candidates per chapter have applied. Officers may call a meeting to recognize applicants and hear them read their application essays.
  • Students may apply for more than one scholarship.
  • All applicants will be required to submit an electronic copy of their most recent college transcript(s). A transcript may be scanned and saved as a PDF (the preferred file format). JPEG, GIF, and PNG saved as 100 DPI or less are also accepted file formats.
  • Applicants will need two letters of recommendation. At least one recommendation must be written by a college English Department faculty member. Students will use the email recommender request process built into the STARS Online submission process.

In addition to general eligibility requirements, each scholarship and academic award may have specific eligibility criteria. Please refer to the Descriptions and Specific Eligibility Criteria section below.

Deadlines and Award Notifications

Scholarships and Academic Awards with the November 11, 2013, application due date will be determined by February 27, 2014, and announced at the annual convention. Scholarships with the April 1, 2014, application due date will be determined by May 15, 2014.

Before receiving a scholarship, recipients are required to provide proof of registration in a full load of courses appropriate to Sigma Tau Delta's mission. Should winners not be able to provide such verification at the beginning of the fall semester following their application process, their awards will be offered to alternates.

Address questions to: sigmatdapply@niu.edu.

Descriptions and Specific Eligibility Criteria

Junior Scholarships (up to $3,000)

Due November 10, 2014
Sigma Tau Delta offers the Junior Scholarship in honor of E. Nelson James, long-time Executive Secretary for the Society. Students who are currently in their junior year of undergraduate study are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Applications should demonstrate both academic achievement and campus, community, or chapter service; applicants should explain the relevance of their program of study to fostering the discipline of English, including literature, language, writing, and literacy. Each chapter may nominate three members for this scholarship.

Before receiving this scholarship, successful applicants are required to provide proof of registration as full-time students in the programs described in their applications. Should winners not be able to provide such verification at the beginning of the fall semester following their application process, their awards will be presented to runners-up.

View required application documents.

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

  • General Eligibility Criteria
  • Currently an undergraduate student in junior year
  • Plan to be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student during the academic year that begins next fall

Senior Scholarships (up to $4,000)

Due November 10, 2014
Sigma Tau Delta offers the Senior Scholarship in honor of Elva Bell McLin, past Southern Regent and Historian for the Society. Students who are currently in their senior year of undergraduate study are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Applications should demonstrate both academic achievement and campus, community, or chapter service; applicants should explain the relevance of their program of study to fostering the discipline of English, including literature, language, writing, and literacy. Each chapter may nominate three members for this scholarship.

Before receiving this scholarship, successful applicants are required to provide proof of registration as full-time students in the programs described in their applications. Should winners not be able to provide such verification at the beginning of the fall semester following their application process, their awards will be presented to runners-up. Applicants for the Senior Scholarship should plan to be enrolled in either an undergraduate or graduate English-related program the fall semester after the scholarship is awarded.

View required application documents.

  • General Eligibility Criteria
  • Currently an undergraduate student in senior year
  • Plan to be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate or graduate student during the academic year that begins next fall

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

William C. Johnson Distinguished Scholarship (up to $5,000)

Due November 10, 2014
This scholarship, named in honor of Sigma Tau Delta's Executive Director, recognizes academic excellence and outstanding service to the Society at the local, regional, and/or national level. Applications should demonstrate both academic achievement and campus, community, and chapter service; applicants should explain the relevance of their program of study to fostering the discipline of English, including literature, language, writing, and literacy. This scholarship requires applicants to submit, in addition to the application information and scholarship essay, a paper originally submitted as coursework and a declaration of authorship. Each chapter may nominate three student members for the William C. Johnson Distinguished Scholarship.

The successful applicant will likely have a high GPA, experience as a Sigma Tau Delta officer or in organizing one or more significant chapter activities, and a very strong, carefully revised and edited critical essay.

Before receiving this scholarship, applicants are required to provide proof of registration as full-time students in the programs described in their applications. Should winners not be able to provide such verification at the beginning of the fall semester following their application process, their awards will be presented to runners-up. Recipients may hold no other Sigma Tau Delta scholarship concurrently.

View required application documents.

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

  • General Eligibility Criteria
  • Currently a full-time undergraduate or graduate student
  • Plan to be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate or graduate student during the academic year that begins next fall

Part-Time Undergraduate Scholarships (up to $2,500)

Due November 10, 2014
This scholarship is intended to assist current part-time student members of Sigma Tau Delta who are striving to complete their undergraduate education. Applicants should be currently enrolled part-time students who demonstrate both academic scholarship and campus, community, or chapter service. Applicants should explain the relevance of their program of study to fostering the discipline of English, and should offer context to explain their part-time student status.

Before receiving this scholarship, applicants are required to provide proof of registration as students continuing in the undergraduate programs described in their applications. Should winners not be able to provide such verification at the beginning of the fall semester following their application process, their awards will be presented to runners-up.

View required application documents.

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

P.C. Somerville Awards for Future Teachers (up to $2,000)

Due November 10, 2014
P.C. Somerville Awards, named in honor of Sigma Tau Delta's first President, are for active members who will begin their first year of teaching elementary, middle, or high school English by September of the year following the application deadline. Applicants should demonstrate academic scholarship, chapter service, and an aptitude for teaching. Applicants need not be under contract at the time of application, but winners must provide verification of their baccalaureate degree and of full-time employment (per instructions from the Sigma Tau Delta Central Office) to receive their stipends. Should winners not be able to provide such verification by the beginning of the fall semester following their application process, their awards will be presented to the runners-up. Recipients of the P.C. Somerville Award cannot accept any other Sigma Tau Delta scholarship concurrently.

View required application documents.

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

  • General Eligibility Criteria
  • Will begin first year of teaching elementary, middle, or high school English by September of the following year

Study Abroad Scholarships (up to $3,000)

Fall Round Due: November 10, 2014
Spring Round Due: April 1, 2015

Sigma Tau Delta awards these scholarships to active, undergraduate members for the purposes of studying for an academic term or year in a certified, undergraduate program outside the country in which the nominating chapter is located. Applicants should demonstrate academic scholarship and chapter service; they should also explain the relevance of their study abroad program and activities to fostering the discipline of English, including literature, language, writing, and literacy.

Study abroad scholarships are determined in two stages: recipients of the first round (who have applied in the fall) are announced at the Sigma Tau Delta annual convention in March, and those in the second round (who have applied in the spring) will be notified by May 15. Successful fall scholarship applications can be used for study abroad from January through December of the subsequent year. Successful spring applications can be used from the time of the upcoming summer term through the end of the subsequent spring semester (in the next calendar year). Unsuccessful fall applications are eligible to re-apply in the spring, but a new application must be completed.

Scholarship recipients will be required to provide verification that they have arrived on-site (an official letter from the resident director of the program is acceptable for this purpose).

View required application documents.

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

  • General Eligibility Criteria
  • Currently an undergraduate student
  • Plan to study abroad for an academic term or year in a certified undergraduate program

Summer Program Scholarships (up to $1,500)

Due April 1, 2015
These scholarships are for active undergraduate members, including seniors who are about to graduate at the time of application. The scholarship is to be used for the purposes of attending a special summer program, in the U.S. or abroad, one which furthers the applicant’s engagement with the mission of Sigma Tau Delta. Qualifying summer programs should be at least three weeks in length and no longer than three months. Applicants should demonstrate academic scholarship and chapter service, and they should explain the relevance of their summer program to fostering their engagement in the discipline of English, including literature, language, writing, and literacy. Scholarships are determined by May 15. Note: This scholarship cannot be used toward a regular summer session at the student's home institution.

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

View required application documents.

Before receiving this scholarship, applicants are required to provide proof of their enrollment in the summer program described in their applications. Should winners not be able to provide such verification within three weeks of being notified about the scholarship, their awards will be presented to runners-up.

Scholarly Paper Awards for Undergraduate Students (up to $250)

Due November 10, 2014
Sigma Tau Delta will award up to $250 for the best undergraduate student scholarly paper presented at a non-Sigma Tau Delta professional, academic conference. The paper must be on an English-related subject and have been presented at a conference within the past academic year (since November of the previous year).

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

  • General Eligibility Criteria
  • Currently an undergraduate student
  • Presented a scholarly paper on an English-related subject at a non-Sigma Tau Delta professional, academic conference within the past year

Graduate Scholarships (up to $4,000)

Due November 10, 2014
Sigma Tau Delta offers the Graduate Scholarship in honor of Edwin L. Stockton, Jr., Past-President, who served for 18 years. Students who are currently enrolled in ongoing study in an English-related graduate program are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Applications should demonstrate both academic achievement and campus, community, or chapter service; applicants should explain the relevance of their program of study to fostering the discipline of English, including literature, language, writing, and literacy.

Before receiving this scholarship, successful applicants are required to provide proof of registration as full-time students in the programs described in their applications. Should winners not be able to provide such verification at the beginning of the fall semester following their application process, their awards will be presented to runners-up.

View required application documents.

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

  • General Eligibility Criteria
  • Currently a graduate student
  • Plan to be enrolled as a full-time graduate student during the academic year that begins next fall

Scholarly Paper Awards for Graduate Students (up to $250)

Due November 10, 2014
Sigma Tau Delta will award up to $250 for the best graduate student scholarly paper presented at a non-Sigma Tau Delta professional, academic conference. The paper must be on an English-related subject and have been presented at a conference within the past academic year (since November of the previous year).

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

  • General Eligibility Criteria
  • Currently a graduate student
  • Presented a scholarly paper on an English-related subject at a non-Sigma Tau Delta professional, academic conference within the past year

Alumni Epsilon Scholarship (up to $2,500)

Due November 10, 2014
The Alumni Epsilon Scholarship, given in honor of Henry Regnery, is intended to assist Alumni Epsilon Chapter members in furthering their education in programs of study that are consistent with the mission of Sigma Tau Delta. Applicants must be Alumni Epsilon members in good standing at the time of their application in order to be eligible to apply for the Alumni Scholarship.

The scholarship requires applicants to submit a 200-400 word personal essay on some aspect of the Sigma Tau Delta Convention theme.

Before receiving this scholarship, successful applicants are required to provide information about program costs and proof of registration as students in the programs described in their applications. Should winners not be able to provide such verification at the beginning of the fall semester following their application process, their awards will be presented to runners-up. Recipients may hold no other Sigma Tau Delta scholarship concurrently.

View required application documents.

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

Regents' Scholarships (up to $1,000)

The highest scoring full-time status scholarship applicant in each region who does not receive another scholarship is automatically considered for the Regents' Scholarship.