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How and when to apply

  • English Opportunity Fund (apply in fall)
  • Scholarships and Awards (apply in spring)
  • Essay Prizes (apply in spring)

Students may also be eligible for awards given by HFA and by the University.

 
 

English Opportunity Fund

The English Opportunity Fund is an endowed fund that provides grants to undergraduate English majors to help defray the costs of books, computer equipment, and expenses when studying abroad, doing internships, or attending conferences off campus.

Apply during the fall semester; awards are made in early spring.

History of the fund

The English Opportunity Fund was established in 2005 to provide support to students who need assistance in meeting the costs of their education. The fund sprang to life when several retiring professors asked their colleagues to contribute to a student fund in their honor in lieu of giving them personal gifts. Members of the English Department Alumni Board were inspired by the faculty's generosity and chose to personally contribute. Alumni and faculty continue to donate to this important fund.

Past English Opportunity Fund Winners

Scholarships and Awards

The English Department awards scholarships and prizes each spring to recognize exceptional achievements of English majors.

Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement and financial need. Any English major in good standing may apply.

  • Mary McGarry Morris and Margaret McGarry Chiriaco Scholarship - provides support to undergraduate English majors based on financial need and academic merit, with preference given to those who have taken at least one creative writing course.
  • English Opportunity Fund (apply in fall)
  • W. Scott Jeffery Fund - provides support to undergraduate students in the English Department’s Professional Writing and Technical Communication (PWTC) program.
  • Celeste M. and John F. Loughman Memorial Scholarship - provides support to undergraduate English majors based on academic achievement and financial need.
  • General John A. and Evangeline W. Maginnis Fund - provides support to undergraduate English majors with demonstrated financial need.
  • Cleo Zoukis Ploussious Memorial Scholarship - provides support to undergraduate English majors.
  • Frank Prentice Rand Scholarship - provides support to undergraduate English majors based on exceptional scholarship and financial need.
  • Phyllis Weidig Tutoring Award - provides support to students employed at the UMass Writing Center who have distinguished themselves as tutors.
  • Students may also be eligible for awards given by HFA and awards given by the University.

Past Scholarships and Awards Winners

Essay Prizes

The English Department awards three prizes for best essays and works of creative writing each spring. Deadlines are in March/April each year.

  • The Charles A. Peters Prize is given to best essay on English literature written between 1558 and 1667. The essay must be at least 2,500 words long and must have originated from courses taken in the English department from the current or prior two semesters.
  • The Sanderson Prize is awarded for the best essay on any subject. The essay must have originated from courses taken in the English Department from the current or prior two semesters.
  • The Steinbugler Prize is awarded for the best essay on any subject written by a student in their junior or senior year. The essay must have originated from courses taken in the English Department from the current or prior two semesters.
  • Class of 1940 Awards are given for creative writing. One prize each for fiction and poetry. Limited to English majors who have taken at least one English creative writing course.

Past Essay Prize Winners