Department of English at Illinois State University

University Funding and Support

The University offers several options for funding graduate study; these options can help graduate students diversify their work experience and also offer the opportunity to focus on different types of learning both inside and outside the classroom.

Illinois State Foundation Fellowship

The Illinois State University Foundation Fellowship is an award of three thousand dollars ($3,000) to students who have demonstrated a potential for academic excellence at the graduate level. Applications will be accepted from new graduate students who have not yet begun coursework at ISU.

Please note: The Department of English admits 30-40 new graduate students each year. This fellowship is a university-wide award. Therefore, the Department of English reserves the right to nominate the most competitive applicants from all graduate English programs for Foundation Fellowship consideration. Typically the Department forwards approximately 10-15 applications each year for review.

Selected students will be requested by their graduate program coordinator to submit an application packet for the fellowship to the Department of English by March 5. (Please do not submit this fellowship application directly to the Graduate School.)

An application packet consists of an application form (PDF), a personal statement presenting the student's qualifications, and three letters of recommendation specifically recommending the student for the Foundation Fellowship.

University Fellowships and Scholarships

The University offers several major scholarships and fellowships for graduate students, including:

  • Ora Brettall Scholarship
  • Donald McHenry Fellowship
  • Ada Belle Clark Welsh Scholarship

Learn more about University Fellowships and Scholarships.

University Graduate Assistantships

Even if you do not receive an assistantship from the English Department, graduate assistantships are available in many other departments and units across the University.

Many of these assistantships do not require any specific experience or background. Visit the ISU Jobs System for a regularly updated listing of available assistantships.

Student Employment

Graduate students are eligible for regular part-time student worker positions. The ISU Jobs System provides regularly updated listings of employment opportunities for students on campus.

Federal Work Study Awards

The Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) is a federally-sponsored program enabling students with demonstrated financial need to earn a portion of educational expenses while enrolled at Illinois State University. The federal government pays 70% of the FWS student's earnings.

These awards are made through the Financial Aid Office and can be applied to graduate assistantships and student worker positions. To apply, complete and return the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form (preferably by March 1 of each year) available from the Financial Aid Office.