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WIU Launches New Scholarship Incentives, Including New Alumni Legacy Scholarship

MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – To make its already affordable college education even more attainable for students, Western Illinois University has launched new scholarship incentives, including an Alumni Legacy Scholarship for the children and grandchildren of WIU graduates and a Leatherneck Visitors Scholarship for incoming freshmen who attend an Admissions event on campus.

To recognize and honor WIU graduates' contributions, the children and grandchildren of WIU graduates, who are accepted and enroll as new full-time freshmen at Western for Fall 2020, will receive the $1,500 annual WIU Alumni Legacy Scholarship, which is renewable for up to three years based on maintaining satisfactory academic requirements. Students must complete the admissions application to confirm their connection to a WIU graduate.

The new Leatherneck Visitor Scholarship gives incoming (accepted) freshmen and transfers a one-time $1,000 award if they attend an on-campus WIU Undergraduate Admissions event, such as Discover Western, daily campus tour, Welcome Wednesday or Experience Western program.

"As a public institution, we have a responsibility to ensure access to the excellent academic programs we provide at Western. The students of Illinois should not have to leave their home state to get their college education, nor should they graduate with tens of thousand of dollars in debt. They deserve to have access to quality scholarship incentives right here," said WIU Interim President Martin Abraham. "One of my initiatives since taking over as interim president July 1 has been to enhance our scholarship program to guarantee an affordable college education at Western. I'm pleased that we've been able to implement these new scholarships for our incoming freshmen who enroll at WIU beginning in Fall 2020."

Other new scholarship programs include:

The Local Leatherneck Housing Scholarship, which gives incoming full-time freshmen from the western Illinois region (Brown, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, Schuyler and Warren counties) a one-time $3,000 award to live on-campus in a WIU residence hall.

The Chicago Leatherneck Scholarship awards incoming full-time freshmen from the metro Chicago region (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties in Illinois, and Lake and Porter counties in Indiana) a $1,000 annual award, renewable up to three years based on maintaining satisfactory academic requirements.

The St. Louis Leatherneck Scholarship gives incoming full-time freshmen from the metro St. Louis region (Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties in Illinois, Jefferson and St. Charles counties in Missouri and the city of St. Louis) a $1,000 annual award, renewable up to three years based on maintaining satisfactory academic requirements.

The Leatherneck Book Award provides an automatic $1,200 scholarship to full-time qualified freshmen (students eligible for federal Pell Grant through FAFSA) for textbooks and supplies in the University Bookstore. The book award is renewable up to three years based on maintaining satisfactory academic requirements and continued eligibility for federal Pell Grant. WIU's school code (001780) must be included on the FAFSA application to be considered for the book award.

In addition, the University has enhanced the Western Commitment (WC) Scholarship program. The scholarship automatically awards $3,000-8,000 each year to incoming freshmen with excellent academic ability and achievement in high school.

The Western Commitment Transfer Scholarship has also been revised, with the award increasing to $2,500 and making the scholarship available for part-time students. The WIU Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship will provide a one-time $1,000 award to Fall 2020 incoming transfer students who are members of the honor society. The PTK and Western Commitment Transfer scholarships can be combined.

Besides new scholarship incentives, the University has established additional programs to ensure student success. Early intervention initiatives have been expanded and a streamlined tool for attendance tracking, advising management and student communication will be implemented this fall. Future initiatives include enhancing academic advising, restructuring select intro level courses, increasing student involvement and providing greater incentives to students in the REACH program.

Prospective freshmen interested in being considered for the automatic scholarships available at WIU can apply at More information on WIU scholarships (automatic and donor designated application-based scholarships) can be found at

Posted By: WIU News ([email protected])
Office of University Relations