Presidential Scholarship

For exceptionally strong incoming freshman students, the Pine Honors College offers three different awards. This application pertains to the Pemberton Presidential and Presidential Scholarships. You can find more information here:

Who is the ideal EIU Presidential Scholar?
We are seeking to build a diverse class of Presidential Scholars who exemplify the best qualities of the excellent students who are part of the Pine Honors College. Presidential Scholars come from all majors and areas of academic interest.

Presidential Scholars demonstrate outstanding qualities, including but not limited to: true uniqueness, intellectual rigor, a passion for problem-solving, brash creativity, visionary leadership, an open-minded attitude, and curiosity, grit, and determination in the face of obstacles. In short, we want the best ambassadors for the values we uphold in the Honors College.

The Pemberton Presidential Scholarship: The most prestigious of Honors College scholarships, the Pemberton Presidential Scholarship covers on-campus room and board (approximately $9,750 per year) and up to $12,750 per year towards tuition and fees for four years. Each freshman Honors College class will include approximately five Pemberton Presidential Scholars. This particular scholarship cannot be combined with automatic merit awards that students would otherwise receive from EIU.

The Presidential Scholarship: The Presidential Scholarship is up to $12,750 per year for four years, which is approximately the amount for tuition and fees for a full-time student taking 15 semester hours. The award is not limited to tuition costs, however. Each freshman Honors College class will include up to fifteen Presidential Scholars. This particular scholarship cannot be combined with automatic merit awards that students would otherwise receive from EIU.

To retain their awards, all Honors scholarship recipients are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.40, maintain a full-time, consecutive enrollment, and remain in good academic and judicial standing with Eastern Illinois University, the University Honors Program, and the Presidential Scholars Program.

In evaluating applications, we consider high school transcripts, extracurricular and volunteer activities, and personal essays. We are looking in particular for leadership potential, ambition to make the most of college, and intellectual maturity. The financial need of academically eligible students may also be considered. All applications are reviewed by the Honors Council (a faculty and student body).

Eligibility requirements for the Pemberton Presidential Scholarship and the Presidential Scholarship:

3.75 GPA (on a 4.00 scale) or ranking in the top 10% of the graduating class

Please note: When you apply for the Presidential Scholarship, you will automatically be considered for the Honors Incoming Freshman award and thus do not need to complete the Honors Award application.

What constitutes a complete Presidential Scholarship application?

1. Make sure that you qualify for the Presidential Scholarship. See minimum eligibility requirements, above. The minimum GPA set is exact. For example, a 3.745 unweighted GPA does not count as a 3.75 GPA.

2. At the time of your application, make sure that your latest transcript has been sent to EIU. Make sure that this transcript reflects the minimum required GPA of 3.75.

3. Answer all questions. Do not leave answers blank. Write thoughtful, well-edited answers, and keep in mind that your reviewers will consider your answers carefully.

4. Stay within the word length (200-300 words) for your two essay answers. The two essays ask for you to reflect on obstacles you have overcome and what you most want to get out of your learning experiences in college.

5. Write with care and remember to proofread and polish your short answers and essays.

6. Check your email for important notifications about your application. Finalists will be contacted in late January to early February 2023 to schedule campus interviews in February.

Honors College, University - General
Supplemental Questions
  1. Please list the classes you are taking in your senior year. If applicable, indicate which are honors, dual credit, AP, etc. Please mention if your high school does not offer honors, dual credit, and/or AP courses.
  2. Please describe three to five of your most significant extracurricular, volunteer, and/or employment experiences. Briefly explain their significance to you, as well as any leadership you have taken in these experiences. (200-300 words)
  3. As one pursues goals, one frequently encounters obstacles. In a short essay, tell us something about an obstacle you have overcome and what the experience has taught you. (200-300 words)
  4. A higher education does more than prepare one for a particular career. What is the most important thing you want to get out of your learning experiences at Eastern Illinois University? Explain your answer in a short essay. (200-300 words)
  5. Do you rank in the top 10% of your graduating class?
  6. Please enter your EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) as indicated on your FAFSA submission confirmation status. You can sign back into your FAFSA and view your SAR (Student Aid Report) to receive this information if you do not have it. This is also an optional question - if you have had an award package created at EIU, you do NOT have to enter your EFC here.
  7. Please submit your current email address. *Please refer to this email for interview notifications.*
  8. Please submit your current cell phone number.
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