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Awards and Scholarships

The Department of Economics, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate School offer several awards and scholarship opportunities to graduate students based on academic performance and/or financial need. These scholarships and awards are made possible through generous contributions by alumni and friends. Follow the links provided below for detailed information, deadlines and application forms.

Graduate Excellence Award

This scholarship was established to honor Ms. Wei Wei Ray, an Economics Department alumnus at Illinois State University. Eligibility:

  • Applicant accepted for enrollment or enrolled in good standing at Illinois State University.
  • Applicant must be an outstanding incoming graduate student or a current graduate student working with an Economics faculty member on a summer research assistantship.
  • Value of the award: $1,000 (minimum)

Application Deadline: March 25

Application Link (For both the Graduate Excellence Award and the Scott Elliott Graduate Scholarship)

Scott Elliott Graduate Scholarship

Scott Elliott established a $250,000 endowment shared equally among the Departments of Economics, Philosophy, and Sociology-Anthropology to advance the mission and vision of each Department. Mr. Elliott specifically wanted to recognize three faculty in this award: Dr. Matthew Morey (Economics), Dr. Paul Baker (Philosophy), and Dr. Richard Stivers (Sociology-Anthropology). Mr. Elliott received his bachelor’s degree in Economics in 1985.

Established in 2007, the Scott Elliott Graduate Scholarship was established to provide support to a student in economics who has exhibited academic excellence.  All full-time graduate students in applied economics who have completed at least one semester of graduate work (9 credit hours) are eligible to apply. Preference will be given to applicants who have demonstrated an outstanding academic record.

Value of the award: $1,000 (minimum)

Application Deadline: March 25

Application Link (For both the Graduate Excellence Award and the Scott Elliott Graduate Scholarship)

Graduate Student Travel Fund

CAS Student Travel Funds intend to promote high-quality research, scholarship, and creative activity by graduate students of the College of Arts and Sciences at Illinois State University. Awards may be funded up to $250 for travel to a professional conference or meeting to present results of research. Applications may be submitted at any time but will be awarded based on the timing of the trip and availability of funds. For more information visit the College of Arts and Sciences.

Application Form

Application Deadline: Anytime.

The Robert J. Glaser Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund

The Robert J. Glaser memorial Scholarship Endowed Fund will provide support toward tuition, room and board, fees and books associated with the recipient's studies. Each candidate must be or have:

  • Accepted for enrollment or enrolled in good standing at Illinois State University.
  • The status of sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student.
  • Declared major within the social sciences which include the following departments: Economics, History, Politics and Government, and Sociology and Anthropology.
  • Be a full-time student with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Application Form

Application Deadline: February 7

Craig W. Reeser Scholarship in the Social Sciences

The purpose of the Craig W. Reeser Scholarship in the Social Sciences is to provide financial support to students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in the Social Sciences, within the College of Arts and Sciences, at Illinois State University. The Social Sciences include the Departments of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Economics, History, Politics and Government, Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology, and the School of Social Work. The goal is to provide opportunities for educational support to students across a wide range of studies.

Each candidate for the Craig W. Reeser Scholarship in the Social Sciences must:

  • Be enrolled in good standing at Illinois State University.
  • Be a full-time student majoring in one of the undergraduate degree programs in the Social Sciences, within the College of Arts and Sciences, or a graduate student accepted to an advanced degree program in the Social Sciences, within the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Have demonstrated strong academic achievement, as evidenced by a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Have demonstrated financial need, as determined by the Financial Aid office.
  • Use the award for educational expenses.
  • Have submitted an essay describing the student’s career interests and intentions.

A single scholarship award will be deposited in the recipient’s Illinois State University account at the beginning of the fall semester to help cover educational expenses. The amount of the award will be based on the earned income from the principal of the fund (estimated $1,000).

Application Form

Application Deadline: February 7

Lucy Jen Huang Hickrod Award

The Lucy Jen Huang Hickrod Award was established in 1987 by G. Alan Hickrod in memory of his wife Lucy Jen Huang Hickrod. The purpose is to support promising Chinese graduate students who have a record of academic excellence, outstanding career goals and financial need. Preference is for students from the People’s Republic of China. Other students of Chinese heritage may also be considered.


  1. Be a full-time graduate Chinese student at Illinois State University.
  2. Be in good academic standing at the University.

Application Requirements:

  1. Complete application form.
  2. Description of the following:
    1. Areas of academic excellence
    2. Career goals
    3. Financial need
  3. Two faculty/staff recommendations.

Application Form

Diversity Scholarships

Black Colleagues Association Scholarship

The Black Colleagues Association Scholarship is awarded to African-American students and is funded by the Black Colleagues Association, a chartered affinity club of the Alumni Association. For more information visit University Advancement.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer+ (LGBTQ+) Student Support Fund

The LGBTQ+ Student Support Fund provides emergency grants for students who lose the financial support of their family due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The primary focus of the initiative is to create a safety net, keeping a student enrolled while they work through family and financial issues. Awards will be considered by the LGBTQ+ Student Support Fund Selection Committee on a rolling basis. Students requesting assistance should contact Jill Benson in the Dean of Students Office at (309) 438-2008.

Application Deadline: Anytime.

James L. Fisher Outstanding Thesis Competition

The James L. Fisher Outstanding Thesis Competition promotes recognition of graduate theses of the highest quality. Departments/Schools nominate thesis for awards. These are reviewed by college committees. College winners and runners-up receive prize money. The top thesis as judged by the University Research Council will be submitted to a regional competition sponsored by the Midwest Association of Graduate School. The competition is open to students who have earned the master’s degree during the preceding Fall, Spring, or Summer term. A student does not need to be on campus to be eligible for the competition.

International Peace Scholarship Fund

The International Peace Scholarship Fund, established in 1949, is a program which provides scholarships for selected women from other countries for graduate study in the United States and Canada. The scholarship is based upon demonstrated need; however, the award is not intended to cover all academic or personal expenses. At the time of application, the applicant is required to indicate additional financial resources adequate to meet her estimated expenses. Examples of additional resources are personal and family funds, tuition waivers, work scholarships, teaching assistantships, study grants and other scholarships.

Omicron Delta Epsilon Honor Society

Applying for Omicron Delta Epsilon Membership

To become a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon, you must apply for membership through the chapter at your school, and you must fulfill the eligibility requirements set out below. The minimum requirements for admission for graduates are:

  1. Completed one semester of full-time work, with a major or minor in economics; and
  2. attainment of a GPA of 3.0 or better

Students do not have to be economics majors, but must have a genuine interest in economics in addition to meeting the above requirements.

The Economics department is currently in the process reactivating its chapter of ODE. Please email Dr. Susan Chen for more information.

To apply for membership, complete this form and turn it in to STV425 by October 15.

About Omicron Delta Epsilon

Omicron Delta Epsilon (ODE) is one of the world’s largest academic honor societies. The objectives of Omicron Delta Epsilon are recognition of scholastic attainment and the honoring of outstanding achievements in economics; the establishment of closer ties between students and faculty in economics within colleges and universities, and among colleges and universities; the publication of its official journal, The American Economist, and sponsoring of panels at professional meetings as well as the Irving Fisher and Frank W. Taussig competitions.

Currently, Omicron Delta Epsilon has 578 chapters located in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Egypt, France, and United Arab Emirates. With such a broad, international base, chapter activities vary widely, ranging from invited speakers, group discussions, dinners, meetings, etc., to special projects such as review sessions and tutoring for students in economics.

Omicron Delta Epsilon plays a prominent role in the annual Honors Day celebrations at many colleges and universities. For more information on ODE, go to

Other Scholarships

For additional listings of scholarships available to graduate students visit: