Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Spring 2020 application cycle has been moved to Fall 2020. Mr. Jared Diener will direct the scholarship process at this time. The following procedures reflect this change.

How to Apply

Applicants for Hillcrest Scholarships must be second- or third-year students as of Fall 2020. 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
  2. Project proposal (2 pages), detailing the proposed experience, your preparation for it, and how it fits into your academic/professional trajectory
  3. Personal statement (1 page)
  4. Resume (max 2 pages)
  5. Unofficial Transcript
  6. 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 affirmation from individuals and/or organizations included in the project proposal
  8. Budget for the project

All essays should be in 12 pt. Times New Roman font, single-spaced, 1-inch margins.

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.
Application Timeline

Early September: Information sessions for interested students.

Monday, October 12: The final application is due. Applications should be submitted to Hillcrest House by 4PM. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a draft application to Mr. Jared Diener well in advance of this date.

Monday/Tuesday, October 19-20: Preliminary interviews held; location and times to be determined.

Friday, October 30: 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.

Saturday, October 31:  Final interviews will be held in the morning at Hillcrest House. 


Jared Diener
Email: dienerjl@jmu.edu 
Phone: 540-568-6503

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