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Intellectual Foundations


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: 3:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

A number of Intellectual Foundations Scholarships, with individual awards up to $2,500, will be awarded for the 2021 -22 academic year. Any student who is in good academic standing, will be enrolled full-time during the 2021-22 academic year, and who was enrolled in any Intellectual Foundations course during spring 2020 or fall 2020 may enter by submitting an assigned essay written in Intellectual Foundations.

In this, the 29th 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 2021-22 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. Selection criteria will reflect the Intellectual Foundations program’s focus and goals.

Scholarship Guidelines

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 by Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, to

The guidelines are as follows:

1. Select your best piece of 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.

2. Prepare a clean copy of your manuscript. Neither your name nor any instructor’s comments may appear anywhere on your work, except on the cover sheet. All work must be typed and legible.

3. After you have selected your best work, write an abstract of 200 words or less answering 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?

4. Prepare a cover sheet that clearly provides the following:

  • Your full name
  • Your Carthage student ID number
  • Your full campus box number, or local street address if you are living off campus
  • Your email address and an alternative way to contact you (cell phone, email, etc.)
  • The course title, number, and professor whose Intellectual Foundations class this paper was submitted in
  • The name(s) of all of your Intellectual Foundations teachers past and present
  • An abstract of 200 words or less 

Procedures and Deadlines

Submissions must be sent to by Monday, Feb. 1, 2021.

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. 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 Monday, Feb. 22 to schedule for an interview (conversation) with a Carthage professor or administrator. We expect these interviews to take place the week of March 1-5, 2021.

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 Ceremony on Friday, March 26, 2021, where the awards will be presented. We hope that all competitors will attend the ceremony.

Questions? Please contact Paul Ulrich at

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