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The Hillcrest Scholarships provide funds to support transformative, off-campus experiences for Honors students in the summer following the junior year. Students apply during their second year. The scholarships provide up to $5000 in financial assistance for students to engage in a research experience, internship, entrepreneurial activity, creative endeavor, or service- or leadership-related initiative domestically or internationally. (The scholarship is not limited to these examples.) Students, with the aid of their faculty mentors, are encouraged to design unique projects that help them meet their academic and/or career goals.

There are three general Hillcrest Scholarships. For these awards, students can propose projects that fit into the areas of Creativity, Global Studies, Leadership, Research, and Service. In addition, there are two specific awards: the Hinshaw-Daniel Scholarship and the Fredric I. McGhee Scholarship for Aspiring Entrepreneurs.

Students with demonstrated financial need are eligible for the Hinshaw-Daniel Scholarship. Applicants for the Hinshaw-Daniel Scholarship should apply for one of the other Hillcrest Scholarships and will be automatically considered for both awards if they have demonstrated financial aid as defined by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. The Hinshaw-Daniel Scholarship is not intended to replace existing aid or scholarship funds. Instead, it is intended that this scholarship will be in addition to qualifying University financial aid and scholarships.

The Fredric I. McGhee Scholarship for Aspiring Entrepreneurs provides financial assistance to carry out transformational off-campus experiences such as, but not limited to, a business startup, analysis of a new product or conceptual idea, an internship, or a project related to the Honors Capstone Project.

Hillcrest scholars are selected on the basis of their proposed project, their ability to connect the proposed experience to future goals, their leadership experience and community engagement, their ability to make a significant contribution to society in the future, and the transformative potential of the proposed Hillcrest project. The Hillcrest Scholarship helps fulfill the JMU Honors College's mission of providing an academic community engaging highly motivated and intellectually gifted students in exceptional experiences that develop excellence in leadership, service, and scholarship.


Kurt Davies

Mr. Kurt Davies, MS Ed
Prestigious Scholarship Director
(540) 568-6526
Hillcrest 202
How to Apply

Applicants for Hillcrest Scholarships must be second-year Honors students in good standing. Applicants must select a faculty mentor to support and guide them through the application process. The faculty mentor’s roles include helping the applicant develop a feasible project and writing a letter of recommendation.

To apply for the Hillcrest Scholarship, students submit an application that includes the following the materials:

  1. Application form (found in Advise Stream)
  2. Personal statement
  3. Project proposal (including title and abstract)
  4. Resume
  5. Transcript (can be unofficial)
  6. A letter of recommendation from the faculty mentor that specifies how the applicant meets the selection criteria and discusses the feasibility and merit of the applicant’s proposed project
  7. Letters of support/acceptance from individuals and/or organizations included in the project proposal
  8. Budget for the project
Selection Process

Hillcrest Scholars are selected on the following basis:

  1. The quality of the proposed enrichment experience: The selection committee will look for a specific and feasible project proposal that clearly articulates how the proposed activity fits into the applicant’s academic and career plans and indicates why the applicant plans to carry out this activity in the proposed location. The proposal should clearly discuss how the project contributes to future academic endeavors, such as the Honors Capstone Project. 
  2. Academic achievements and intellectual promise: The selection committee will look at the applicant’s academic record, scholarly awards and honors, and potential to excel in his/her field of study.
  3. Leadership experience and community engagement: The committee is looking for applicants who are engaged in the university and wider community and who have demonstrated leadership in their field of interest. Community engagement may include active participation in sports, arts, student government, voluntary associations, and other extracurricular activities.
  4. Potential for the proposed project to have a transformational impact on the student and society: The committee is interested in projects that make a meaningful impact on the student’s academic experience and promote the public good.
2018 Application Schedule

March 23:  The final application is due. Applications should be submitted to Hillcrest by 4PM. Applicants are encouraged to submit a draft application to Mr. Davies well in advance of this date.

Early April:  Preliminary interviews held; locations, date and times to be determined.

April 20:  Hillcrest banquet. All Hillcrest applicants, past recipients, and their faculty mentors will be invited to a banquet in the evening. Past Hillcrest recipients will present their Hillcrest projects.

April 21:  Final interviews will be held in the morning. 

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