Writing Scholarships

There are three scholarships available to Writing majors: The Writing Major Scholarship, The Writing and Leadership Scholarship, and The Jurries Family Scholarship.

The Writing Major Scholarship

The Writing Major Scholarship* is funded from contributions by Writing Department faculty, staff, and alumni. The scholarship is intended to support talented upper-level Writing majors who demonstrate both writing excellence and financial need. This scholarship is offered every year.

To apply, submit a portfolio of your writing. The portfolio should include no more than 25 pages that demonstrate a breadth of writing genres. All genres are welcome (e.g., fiction, nonfiction, drama, poems, brochures, analytical essays, web pages, business documents, etc.) Excerpts of writing samples are acceptable. Please provide URL for digital multimedia projects.

Please also include a one- to two-page reflective cover letter that introduces and contextualizes the pieces in the portfolio for the committee. This letter should also discuss your strengths as a writer. The pieces in the portfolio should demonstrate the argument made in the cover letter.

The following criteria will be used to judge the portfolios:

  • Quality of reflective cover letter
  • Strength of writing samples
  • GPA
  • Financial need



Candidates and/or recipients, as applicable, for this scholarship must meet the following criteria:

  • Be entering their senior year (have completed at least 85 credits).
  • Be enrolled with full-time status as a degree-seeking student.
  • Have declared a major in Writing.
  • Have an overall cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better (4.0 system) and a 3.5 GPA in Writing major courses.
  • Demonstrate financial need by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which must be on file in GVSU's Financial Aid Office.
  • Submit a portfolio that includes a cover letter and writing samples (maximum 25 pages).

[Note: Candidates must be accepted by Grand Valley State University for enrollment or be attending the University to be eligible to receive this scholarship.]

To apply and submit your materials, please log onto MyScholarships.

* Applications are due on or before MARCH 1.

Writing and Leadership Scholarship

The Writing and Leadership Scholarship was established by Allison “Allie” J. Oosta ‘11 out of gratitude for the education she received in the Department of Writing at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). Allie graduated with the department’s distinction in writing honor and was involved as a leader in many activities, including the editor of fishladder, a volunteer who facilitated writing exercises for students at Shawmut Hills Elementary School, and a lead writing consultant for the Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors. She established this scholarship to assist and celebrate young upcoming leaders in the Department of Writing.

This $3,000 scholarship is intended to reduce the financial pressure on students and their families and make a Grand Valley education accessible to students from all backgrounds. This need-based scholarship will ensure that financial need does not become a barrier to intellectual and personal growth. This scholarship will assist writing majors who demonstrate leadership on campus and in their fields.

To qualify recipients must:

  • be accepted for or currently enrolled at GVSU
  • be an undergraduate senior 
  • be enrolled for 12 credits or more
  • have a declared major in writing
  • be maintaining satisfactory academic progress (SAP) according to the norms established by the University and the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial need is required and shall be demonstrated by the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

To be considered for this scholarship, candidates must also answer the question: Describe your current and recent leadership positions and what you have learned from them.

This scholarship is not renewable. To apply, please log onto MyScholarships.

* Applications are due on or before MARCH 1.

The Jurries Family Scholarship

The Jurries Family Scholarship* was created by Jim and Ginger Jurries of Holland, Michigan. Jim, a graduate of Hope College, has been a leader in the business community, and Ginger has been a writer since her Hope College days when she majored in English. They believe that education is the pathway to freedom, creativity, and productivity. The Jurries Family Scholarship was created for qualified candidates who are working toward either a business or a writing degree.

This scholarship is awarded on an alternating pattern between the Writing Department and the Seidman College of Business. As a result, this scholarship is only offered by the Writing Department every four years. The recipient will receive $750 per semester. This scholarship is renewable up to four (4) semesters provided the student continues to meet the qualifications.

Candidates must meet the following requirements to be eligible:

  • Must have 55 earned credit hours (normally junior standing)
  • Be enrolled full-time as an undergrad in a Writing or Business major
  • Must have at least a 3.0 GPA
  • Must demonstrate financial need/file FAFSA

In addition to the application, applicants should submit a 2-page essay on their background, their writing, and their career goals and aspirations.

* Applications are due on or before MARCH 1

Page last modified February 24, 2023