• NEHS Scholarship Guidelines

    NEHS uses the AwardSpring platform for the application process. Please use the AwardSpring link on the AwardSpring Applications web page to apply for scholarships and submit the required application materials, including the requested recommendation and the student counselor verification letters.

    1. Access NEHS AwardSpring to complete your application.
    2. Complete all general questions.
    3. Under the specific scholarship application questions you will be prompted to upload your essay based on the Common Reader. (maximum of 850 words).

    Essay Attachment Instructions

    • Select one of the prompts suggested for the book as the basis of your essay. The essay should reflect an understanding of the text, meet the requirements of the prompt, and must be the independent work of the writer. Evidence of plagiarism will disqualify any applicant.
    • The audience reading your essay will know the novel; while you are expected to reference and quote from the text, a retelling of the story in a traditional "book report format" will disqualify the essay from consideration.
    • Essays must follow the Modern Language Association style guidelines as defined in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (latest edition).
    • Quotations and references to the novel are expected, with appropriate documentation.
    • If only the text being discussed is referenced in the essay, use internal documentation, citing the title and author; subsequent page references should be parenthetical. If other research is done and cited, then a Works Cited page should be included with the submitted essay. MLA format guidelines should be utilized.
    • Use 12 point Times Roman or Times New Roman font, and double space your essay.
    • Total word count should not exceed 850 words, including quotations and references.
    • Essays must not include any identifying information on the uploaded documents. DO NOT place your name, school name, Chapter Advisor, or NEHS charter name on your essay pages.
    • Scholarship essays can only be submitted in PDF format. Save your document as a PDF and label it as: prompt1prompt2prompt3prompt4prompt5.

    Participating students are also required to submit creative and thoughtful responses to the following stimuli reflecting their experiences as members of an active NEHS chapter:

    1. Describe a personal choice text that has affected or challenged you in some way – maxium 200-300 words.
    2. Showcase your involvement in NEHS and how it has reflected the NEHS motto “Gelast Sceal Mid Are” (Old English for “Duty Goes with Honor”) – 150-200 words.

    Evaluators are searching for responses to the first question, which provide creative and critical opinions and reflections on the importance of English and the study of liberal arts to society at local, national, and global levels. Responses to the second question should include detailed evidence of active and sustained participation in NEHS chapter activities.

    Tips to Create a Winning Application

    • Revise and edit your essay before submitting.
    • Follow the specific instructions for online submission carefully.
    • Don't wait until the last minute! Applications and essays must be submitted by January 8, 2024, 11:59 p.m., CST.
    • Proofread all parts of your application, including your essay, thoroughly. You are, after all, applying for an "English" scholarship!
    • Write an essay that reflects your best work, is marked by your personal voice, and is a reflection of your understanding, critical analysis, and appreciation of the text. DO NOT SUBMIT A BOOK REPORT: the readers of the essay know The Botanist's Daughter, by Kayte Nunn well, so a retelling of the text will result in a disqualification of the essay.
    • Consult the essay evaluation criteria to ensure that you are meeting the requirements of a top-quality essay.

    Suggested Timeline

    • October 2023
      Finish reading the Common Reader for the first time and begin to reread
    • November 2023
      Study recommended prompts provided and begin to formulate responses to at least two
    • End of November 2023
      Finalize the selection of the prompt to be used and begin a rough draft of the essay
    • Early December
      Visit the Award Spring website, create your account, and login begin completing the application, including “short-response essays.”
    • Prior to end of first semester
      If applying for supplemental funding based on income or family circumstance, select and notify the individuals who will write supporting documents. In AwardSpring you enter the names of your recommenders who will receive an email request and a link to upload their letters.
    • January 3, 2024
      Return to your rough draft of the essay and rewrite, paying careful attention to the prompt expectations and the use of the text to support the analysis.
    • January 6, 2024
      Remind individuals supporting the request for financial stipend to submit their letters. Their letters must be uploaded by Tuesday, January 16, 2024.
    • January 8, 2024
      Last day to submit all required application components.


    Deadline for the scholarship application is January 8, 2024, 11:59 p.m. CST.


    Please address any questions to nehsapply@niu.edu.