Carthage awards up to $14,000 in Intellectual Foundations Scholarships each year, with individual awards up to $2,500. These scholarships celebrate the high quality of student learning through the Intellectual Foundations seminars. They also give current students the opportunity to receive substantial scholarship support.

Submission deadline: Wednesday, February 21, 2024

A number of Intellectual Foundations Scholarships —individual awards up to $2,500— will be awarded for the 2024-25 academic year. Any student who was enrolled in an Intellectual Foundations course during spring 2023 or fall 2023 may enter by submitting an assigned essay written in the course.

In this, the 31st year of the Intellectual Foundations Scholarship Program, the awards continue to have two main purposes:

  • To acknowledge and celebrate the high quality of student learning through the Intellectual Foundations classes.
  • To offer an opportunity for currently enrolled students to receive substantial scholarship support.

Awards will be in addition to any other Carthage grants and scholarships a student may receive. No student, however, may receive financial aid exceeding the actual cost of tuition at Carthage. Students not eligible for additional financial aid awards — for example, Lincoln Scholars — are nonetheless encouraged to apply for an Intellectual Foundations Scholarship. Intellectual Foundations Scholarship winners will be publicly recognized for their achievements. Scholarship awards are for the 2024-25 academic year only.

A team of faculty has established the guidelines and procedures for this year’s scholarship competition. Any student who meets the eligibility requirements can be considered by submitting a paper from an Intellectual Foundations course and a cover essay (see procedures and guidelines). Selection criteria will reflect the Intellectual Foundations Program’s focus and goals.

Questions? Contact Professor Paul Ulrich at

Download 2024-25 Intellectual Foundations Scholarship guidelines


The Intellectual Foundations faculty invites all students who have written exemplary essays or papers produced in an Intellectual Foundations class to apply for a 2024-25 Intellectual Foundations Scholarship!

To apply, you must make two electronic submissions:

  • One submission includes your chosen Intellectual Foundations paper (excluding any identifying factors, such as name or Carthage ID number) and the abstract (described below).
  • The second submission is your cover sheet (follow the instructions below regarding what information to include on your cover sheet).

Both documents should be submitted separately to by Wednesday, February 21, 2024, with I.F. Scholarship Entry in the subject box.


Submission Guidelines

  • Select your very best Intellectual Foundations writing. (Each student may submit only one paper.) Papers submitted for a previous year’s Intellectual Foundations Scholarship competition (whether they won or not) may NOT be resubmitted.
  • Prepare a clean copy of your manuscript. Neither your name nor any instructor’s comments may appear anywhere on your work (except the cover sheet). All work must be typed and legible.
  • After selecting your best work, write an abstract of no more than 200 words responding to the following questions, focusing on the paper you are submitting:
    • How and why did you write this particular piece? How and why was it inspired or provoked by a text, idea, or conversation you encountered in Intellectual Foundations?
    • What did you learn about the course material, about writing, and/or about yourself through the process of writing this work?
  • Prepare a cover sheet to be submitted separately from your paper and abstract, which clearly provides:
    • Your full name.
    • Your Carthage student ID number.
    • Your local street address, if living off campus 
    • Your email address and an alternative way to contact you (cell phone, etc.).
    • The course title, number, and professor whose Intellectual Foundations class this paper was submitted in.
    • The subject of the separate email submission should be “I.F. Scholarship Cover Sheet” and your name.


Procedures & Deadlines

Submissions must be sent to by Wednesday, February 21, 2024. 

All submissions following the above guidelines will be carefully read by faculty panels. Submissions will be evaluated by how clearly and convincingly the author has made a judgment about some aspect of the course material, as well as for how carefully that judgment has been supported by illustrations and analysis. (Narrative should engage the reader through accomplished use of significant detail.) Whatever the form, clear, sincere, orderly writing will be valued. Each faculty panel will designate papers as finalists.

After all of the submissions have been evaluated, the finalists will be notified by Friday, March 15 to schedule a 10 to 15-minute interview (conversation) with a Carthage professor or administrator. We expect these interviews to take place the week of March 20-22. The selected finalists will create a poster about their submission to present at the Celebration of Scholars. The Celebration of Scholars will take place in the TARC (Tarble Athletic Recreation Center) from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2024, prior to the student awards ceremony. Information about preparing a poster and the faculty contact persons will be shared following the interview.

Papers and interview results will be combined to determine the scholarship recipients.

We will invite all Intellectual Foundations Scholarship Finalists to attend the Celebration of Scholars Student Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 4, 2024, where the awards will be presented in the TWC (Todd Wehr Center) Jockey Rooms. We hope that all competitors will attend the ceremony.