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Willamette University

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Presidential Scholarships

General Guidelines

Presidential Scholars will be among the top young scholars in the College of Liberal Arts. The Grants and Awards committee will not consider disciplinary distribution in selecting scholars. Scholars may be from any discipline or department. The Undergraduate Awards Committee may select two Presidential Scholars per year. The application deadline is usually in mid-March. The awards include a $2,500 stipend for research expenses for the summer preceding the student's senior year; and a semester's tuition waiver to be applied to the student's senior year OR a $500 grant toward graduate school expenses. A maximum of 4 credits may be given for the project (no more than three credits in one semester). Students who have received a Carson Undergraduate Research Grant or Summer Collaborative Research Program Science Grant MAY NOT be a Presidential Scholar in the same year. Students who received a Carson Undergraduate Research Grant or an SCRP Science Grant in their sophomore year ARE ELIGIBLE for the Presidential Scholarship in their junior year.

Selection Criteria

The principal criteria for evaluation are research design, originality, and contribution to the discipline. Projects should extend beyond the average thesis in both scope and design. Applicants should consult with their advisors and departments regarding their projects' feasibility, departmental thesis requirements, and course credit. Specific criteria include: strength of the proposed project; applicant's academic record of achievement; and applicant's intellectual caliber and independence of character. Applications that propose projects that build on but extend from a student's major may present the most compelling cases for selection.

Application Requirements

An application consists of:

  1. A project proposal that is no more than four pages, typed in a font no smaller than 11 point, and includes the following: description of the project including rationale, research design and its relationship to contemporary scholarship; statement on the importance of the project for the student's long-term goals; and outline for completion of project.
  2. Current transcript
  3. Appendices: The applicant may attach additional supporting documents such as photographs, artwork, letters of cooperation from agencies or persons necessary to the research.
  4. Letters of support: The applicant's principal advisor must submit a letter to the Undergraduate Grants & Awards Committee under separate cover in support of the project. The letter will discuss the project's merit and feasibility within the time frame specified in the application.

Questions about the Presidential Scholars program should be directed to the Office of Student Academic Grants and Awards, where reports on past Presidential Scholars' projects are available for review. Application information is available on the SAGA website.