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Scholarships and Grants

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Learn more about scholarships and grants available to you as a student in the University Honors Program. To help you identify scholarship opportunities at NIU, the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office offers the ability to search for available funding.

These awards are made possible by generous donations to the NIU Foundation as well as resources from the University Honors Program and the Division of Student Affairs. You may apply for all scholarships and tuition waivers for which you are qualified. These awards are highly competitive; thus, meeting the minimum criteria does not guarantee an award. You may reapply for any available resources and positions in subsequent years.

How to Apply

All applications are available in AcademicWorks.
Applications for the subsequent academic year close on January 31

Eligibility

Scholarship or tuition waiver awards are based on the following criteria:

  • A complete application form, including the required 500-word essay
  • Must be a current University Honors Program student in good academic standing at the time of application
  • Must be a full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate student at the time of application
  • Must be returning as a full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate student for the current academic year
  • Must maintain good academic standing at NIU and in the University Honors Program during the year of the award and be enrolled in at least one University Honors Program Course (GenEd, seminar, mini-section or in-course contract when none of the aforementioned options are available)
  • Must demonstrate strong academic merit through a high cumulative GPA
  • Must meet any additional award specific criteria
  • We do not require nor will we consider letters of recommendation (with the exception of University Honors Fellow transfer applications)
  • Award recipient must demonstrate a spirit of community to NIU through participation in at least eight activities sponsored by the University Honors Program (see note under each scholarship)
  • No late applications accepted
Ari and Ruth Kovacevich Distinguished Scholarship

(one-year award for the academic year)

Award-Specific Criteria

  • Must be in good academic standing at NIU
  • Must possess a minimum SAT score of 1100 or ACT score of 25
  • Must be a graduate of an Illinois high school or an Arlington County, Virginia high school
  • Preference may be given to students who have expressed a sincere interest in the areas of education, political science with an emphasis in international relations, economic systems of other countries and/or foreign languages

Note: The University Honors Program offers many opportunities to engage in exciting programming. Per University Honors guidelines, as the recipient of this award, it is expected that you will demonstrate a spirit of community to NIU through participation in at least eight activities sponsored by University Honors—such as Recruiting and Open Houses, Birthday Boxes, Hot Food/Hot Topics or The Luminary—over the course of the year. Attendance at events or the organization's meetings, by itself, is not sufficient, rather we ask that you take a leadership role and submit a report to us at the end of the academic year.

James L. Massey Honors Scholarship

(one-year award for the academic year)

Award-Specific Criteria

  • Must embody James's values by exhibiting meritorious achievement in academia, broad-based interests and involvement in the community
  • Must be enrolled full-time in the fall and spring semester, actively involved in the University Honors Program and demonstrate continued involvement and leadership on campus

Note: The University Honors Program offers many opportunities to engage in exciting programming. Per University Honors guidelines, as the recipient of this award, it is expected that you will demonstrate a spirit of community to NIU through participation in at least eight activities sponsored by University Honors—such as Recruiting and Open Houses, Birthday Boxes, Hot Food/Hot Topics or The Luminary—over the course of the year. Attendance at events or the organization's meetings, by itself, is not sufficient, rather we ask that you take a leadership role and submit a report to us at the end of the academic year.

Dick Noreen Honors Scholarship

(one-year award for the academic year)

Award-Specific Criteria

  • Must be actively involved in the University Honors Program for at least one year prior to applying for the award and in good standing in the program

Note: The University Honors Program offers many opportunities to engage in exciting programming. Per University Honors guidelines, as the recipient of this award, it is expected that you will demonstrate a spirit of community to NIU through participation in at least eight activities sponsored by University Honors—such as Recruiting and Open Houses, Birthday Boxes, Hot Food/Hot Topics or The Luminary—over the course of the year. Attendance at events or the organization's meetings, by itself, is not sufficient, rather we ask that you take a leadership role and submit a report to us at the end of the academic year.

University Honors Excellence Award (Partial Tuition Waiver)

(one-year award for the academic year)

Award-Specific Criteria

  • Must be in good academic standing at NIU and within the University Honors Program
  • Preference will be given to students of high academic merit as evidenced by a strong cumulative GPA and with demonstrated financial need by filing a FAFSA

Note: The University Honors Program offers many opportunities to engage in exciting programming. Per University Honors guidelines, as the recipient of this award, it is expected that you will demonstrate a spirit of community to NIU through participation in at least eight activities sponsored by University Honors—such as Recruiting and Open Houses, Birthday Boxes, Hot Food/Hot Topics or The Luminary—over the course of the year. Attendance at events or the organization's meetings, by itself, is not sufficient, rather we ask that you take a leadership role and submit a report to us at the end of the academic year.

University Honors House Leader

(one-year position for the academic year)

University Honors House leaders develop academic and social programming in the house living-learning community that appeals to students, enriches their NIU experience and promotes a strong sense of fellowship. They also serve as leaders and sources of advice, information and support for University Honors students who live in the Honors House. House leaders work approximately 20 hours per month.

Benefits

  • Up to $8,000/year transfer to the student’s Office of the Bursar’s account
  • Huskie Unlimited Access meal plan valued at approximately $3,500/year
  • Access to all amenities of NIU’s New Residence Hall complex
  • Leadership development opportunities

Award-Specific Criteria

  • Must choose to live in the Honors House within NIU’s New Residence Hall complex
    • Cost of room is not included in the Honors House leader compensation package
  • Hiring subject to a successful interview
  • Applicants must submit a separate essay (no more than one-page, single space in 12 pt. font) that identifies and describes what the applicant considers to be the three most important competencies of an Honors House leader, detail how they have demonstrated these competencies in their work and educational experiences and how they define the ideal Honors House experience
  • A large portion of this position involves programming, advertising and creativity
University Honors Fellow

University Honors fellows serve as student members of the University Honors Program staff. They stand as outstanding student representatives and ambassadors of the program. Fellows spend approximately 20 hours per month during the academic year in an assigned area. These areas include but are not limited to recruitment, peer academic advising, peer mentoring, developing programming for students outside the Honors House, leading community service projects and assisting prospective students. All fellows work at the freshmen orientation program at the Lorado Taft Field Campus and assist with other University Honors or NIU-sponsored events as needed.

Benefits: $6,000/year (or $3,000/semester) tuition waiver; leadership development opportunity.

Get more information about University Honors Fellows, our current fellows and how to apply!

Arthur P. and Sue Warrick Doederlein Scholarship

This fund supports a senior undergraduate student in either the CHANCE Program or the University Honors Program (UHP) who is seeking a degree in the humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Arthur served for more than 30 years as the undergraduate studies director in the Department of Communication. One of his earliest positions at NIU was professor in the CHANCE Program; his involvement with that ethnically diverse and very special population remained a center of his professional life. He also taught in the University Honors Program and directed many Honors capstone projects. Sue was a professor of English who went on to become associate dean for undergraduate studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a role she enjoyed for more than 30 years. Her most demanding and important teaching assignments were in the CHANCE and Honors programs. Through this scholarship, they celebrate those disciplines that centered their lives.

Benefits

Up to $4,000/year (or $2,000/semester) scholarship. The award alternates between the UHP and CHANCE each year.
Award-Specific Criteria
  • Must be a senior, full-time student seeking a degree within the humanities and
    • must have been admitted to NIU through the University Honors Program or the CHANCE Program (transfer students may not be considered for this award)
  • Must have a 3.20 GPA in the University Honors Program
  • Awards one scholarship per year
  • The associate dean for undergraduate affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences must approve the award along with the UHP scholarship committee

Enhance Your Education Grant

The Enhance Your Education (EYE) Grant offers University Honors Program students the opportunity to apply for up to $1,000 in funding to support travel, supplies and other costs associated with the University Honors Capstone, study abroad programs, Honors-related research and artistry endeavors and other appropriate educational activities. You must print off and complete the EYE Grant application form and submit it by the appropriate deadline. 

Deadline: To obtain funding for capstones or study abroad experiences, you should apply in the semester prior to the activity (before November 15 or April 1).

Study Abroad Travel Grants

Study abroad opportunities are excellent ways to enrich your academic program, investigate personal interests, capitalize on research efforts and develop a strong skill set for future career and academic ventures. Many University Honors Program students have participated in study abroad trips and can attest to the great experiences they have had. Have questions about studying abroad? The Study Abroad Office is a great campus resource where you can find detailed information about numerous destinations, schedule an appointment with a staff member to customize a trip and learn about study abroad scholarships

Honors Council of the Illinois Region (HCIR) Margaret Messer Student Research Grant Application

If you are enrolled in an honors program affiliated with the Honors Council of the Illinois Region (HCIR), you are eligible to receive financial assistance for projects and presentations directly related to your honors study. Selection of proposals for funding depends upon the intrinsic merit of the proposal, feasibility of funding and indication that you will successfully complete the project as proposed.

The funds may be used to defray the cost of supplies, equipment, travel or services directly related to the undergraduate student research projects. Note: A detailed budget including rationale for each request is required as part of the application materials.

You should submit your application in September to be considered for funding during the fall term or in February to be considered for funding during the spring term. Check with the HCIR for specific deadline dates. All applications should be submitted electronically to Lisa Hedrick, Ph.D., at lhedrick@stfrancis.edu. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Before you apply for any of these scholarships, be aware that a campus representative may have set an internal deadline for applications that precedes the submission due date set by the funding entity. This early deadline will allow a campus representative sufficient time to review the application materials prior to submission. Please read the requirements carefully given many of these opportunities require an institutional endorsement in order to apply.

We actively recruit for the following six national scholarships:

Contact Us

Scholarships and Grants
University Honors Program
Campus Life Building 110
DeKalb, IL 60115

Jason Goode
815-753-9509

jason@niu.edu