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Financial Aid and Scholarships


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History Alumni Undergraduate Scholars Awards.

These scholarships are made possible through the generosity of history alumni, faculty, and friends. They are awarded in the fall and provide $1,000 toward tuition for the next spring. Eligible students may apply each year of their careers at JMU.

Eligible applicants must be full-time students and declared history majors who are making good progress toward completing their program of study. Students with financial need are given first priority.

To apply, please provide a letter and a 1,000-word essay.
  • Address a letter of application to the Department of History Alumni Scholarship Fund, James Madison University, 58 Bluestone Drive MSC 2001 Harrisonburg, VA 22801, by 30 September.  The letter should address each of the eligibility stipulations and provide your permanent address, local phone number, student ID number, and email contact.
  • Your essay should explain how a book or assignment from a JMU History course has shaped your intellectual development or your understanding of history and the world.

The Sidney R. Bland Scholarship is awarded annually to an undergraduate student majoring in History. This scholarship honors Dr. Sidney R. Bland for his many years as a distinguished and dedicated faculty member and innovative educator in the JMU history department.

To be eligible, applicants must be a sophomore or junior who has completed a minimum of 12 credit hours in the history or social sciences curriculum, and holds a GPA of at least 3.25.

An applicant must submit the final written paper from HIST 395, History Seminar. The winning paper will be selected annually by a committee of the faculty established by the head of the department.

The scholarship will be awarded in April to be applied to the following semester's tuition.


The Raymond C. Dingledine Scholarship is awarded to the Junior history major with the highest overall grade point average. This scholarship honors the late Dr. Raymond C. Dingledine for his many years as head of the history department.

 The Michael Allain Scholarship in Classical Studies is awarded annually in the amount of $500 to a student from the Classics minor. The scholarship honours Dr Michael Allain’s lifelong commitment to teaching and scholarship in Classical Studies and his long and distinguished career at James Madison University.

To be eligible for this scholarship, a student must demonstrate – as a first priority – an outstanding record of academic achievement in the pursuit of a minor in Classical Studies; and, - as a second priority – preference will be given to those students who demonstrate a need for financial assistance, as determined by the university’s Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.

A subcommittee of the Classics minor committee will approve the winner of the award.

Please send a brief letter of application and copy of unofficial transcripts to Dr Stephen Chappell, Co-ordinator of the Classics Minor, Dept of History, James Madison University, MSC 2001, Harrisonburg, VA  22807.  Your letter should address your commitment to the study of Classical Studies.  The deadline for 2010 is Friday 5th March.  The scholarship will be awarded in April contingent on successful completion of the requirements.

The Mary A. Jackson Award is awarded to the Senior history major with the highest overall grade point average. It is designed to recognize achievement and encourage students to continue their education.


Demetric Walker Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded annually to an undergraduate History major in memory of Demetric Walker, a History alumnus of the Class of 2000.
The scholarship is intended to benefit a JMU undergraduate student majoring in History who is a U. S. citizen.  To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate a financial need, have a current FAFSA application on file with the Office of Financial Aid and hold a GPA of at least 3.0 or its equivalent.  (High school records will demonstrate GPA of high school seniors matriculating to JMU.)   The scholarship is intended to help defray tuition.

To apply, please submit:
1. A cover letter that summarizes the applicant’s service activities and the level of involvement in them.
2. A written essay (between 1000 and 1500 words) examining how the study of history helps the individual better understand the relationship between religion and society.

Applications should be addressed to The Demetric Walker Memorial Scholarship and mailed to the Department of History, James Madison University, MSC 2001, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, and must be postmarked no later than 1 April to be considered.  The student selected will be notified no later than 1 July.


The Donald E. Gardner Memorial Loan Fund is a short-term loan program named in memory of Donald E. Gardner, who served as university comptroller for nine years. The program provides students with a resource to meet short-term financial emergencies. These short-term loans, which range from $200 to $600, are available to undergraduate and graduate students who meet the following criteria:
currently enrolled
degree seeking
full time or part time (taking at least six hours of course work)
making satisfactory academic progress
can repay the loan within 90 days

Tuition must be paid in full prior to applying for the Donald E. Gardner loan. Loan applications and other eligibility information may be obtained in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.


 The Short Term Loan Fund. Similar to the Don Gardner loan, the short-term loan was established to assist enrolled students with emergency expenses. The short-term loan has a maximum limit of $100 and must be repaid within 30 days. Students need not have their tuition paid to apply for a short-term loan.

 The Carlton B. Smith History Graduate Scholars Award is to be given to graduate history majors each semester.  The scholarship is only awarded to those students who need to travel to research collections for:
1.  the M.A. thesis;
2.  a conference paper; or
3.  a paper for publication by a recognized journal

Students are eligible to receive the award only once during their academic careers at JMU.  Students need to submit an application for the award including a budget.  They must submit receipts for reimbursement to the department.  Applications may be made at any time and require a supporting letter from the faculty member supervising the project.

The Carlton B. Smith Award
This award is given to the best graduate history thesis submitted to the History Department during each academic year. Theses are judged according to their historical research, analysis and composition. The award is presented annually in late spring and includes theses from the previous spring, summer and fall. All students are encouraged to participate in the competition. A committee of the history department faculty judges entries presented in the form of one unbound copy to Dr. Steve Reich, Cleveland 307. Theses should be submitted as soon as possible prior to graduation.


 Assistantships for Graduate Students. All graduate applicants are encouraged to apply for graduate assistantships. Teaching assistantships (TA's), graduate assistantships (GA's), and department teaching assistantships (DTA's) are the three designations available. All graduates receiving assistantships lead undergraduate discussions and help faculty. The number of undergraduate students with whom each category of graduate assistant come into contact does vary.

The amount of financial support granted for each category of assistantship also varies. Both TA's and GA's receive tuition waivers. All the assistantships grant stipends. GA's and DTA's receive the same amount of stipend while that given to TA's is slightly higher. It is the policy of the department to evaluate graduates receiving assistantships at the end of each semester.

For more information about teaching assistants, graduate assistants in academic areas, graduate assistants in nonacademic areas, and graduate assistants in student affairs, click here. Applicant forms may be obtained from the Graduate School Office.


Other Sources of Financial Aid


The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, located in Warren Hall, helps qualified graduate and undergraduate students secure financial aid packages designed to meet their financial needs. Review more information regarding this kind of assistance.


A limited number of graduate students are also employed through Institutional Employment each year. Very similar to Federal Work-Study, these jobs, however, do not require that the student file the FAFSA or have financial need.  Students should apply for these positions at position postings on JMU's JOBLINK webpage.


Virginia school divisions provide some financial assistance for their teaching and/or administrative personnel through Teacher In-Service Reimbursement. Requests for information should be directed to the office of the respective school division superintendent.


Through Army ROTC, students enrolled in a graduate program requiring four or more semesters may earn commissions as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army through the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps Program. Students accepted into the advanced program will receive a monthly stipend of $150.

Additional information about enrollment procedures and qualifications may be obtained from the Department of Military Science, (540) 568-6264 or (800) ROTC-JMU.