Honors Program - Neihardt Scholars Program


Named for WSC alumnus and Poet Laureate of Nebraska and the Plains John G. Neihardt, The John G. Neihardt Scholarship is the most prestigious scholarship awarded by Wayne State College. Recipients receive free tuition for up to 128 credit hours; an on-campus double room waiver for four years; and an annual stipend of $500 for a maximum of four years, as long as the scholarship retention requirements are met. Award of this scholarship is annually made by the WSC Scholarship, Honors and Financial Aid Committee. Neihardt Scholar students are required to fully participate in the WSC Honors Program. Application deadline each year is December 1, and for an application form please contact the WSC Office of Admissions toll-free at 1-866-972-2287.


More information about this scholarship follows:


1. Admission
To be eligible for consideration of the John G. Neihardt Scholars program, a high school student must:

  • Have an ACT composite score of at least 25
  • Rank in the top 25 percent of his/her class or have a cumulative
    grade point average of 3.5 for six semester
  • Submit letters of recommendation from two high school teachers
  • Write a 500-word paper on an assigned topic for writing skills

2. Advising
Scholars will enjoy priority registration with the seniors during each advance enrollment period. During the initial summer enrollment for the first semester of the freshman year, every attempt will be made to place the Scholar in the appropriate desired courses.


3. Requirements and Retention
John G. Neihardt Scholars are expected to enroll as full time student (a minimum of 12 semester credit hours per term) and to fully participate in the Honors Program (through taking 12 hours of Honors general education courses usually during the first two years and completing two independent study projects in the major--Independent Study 395 and Senior Honors Colloquium 499). In addition, John G. Neihardt Scholars enroll in a special 1 credit hour seminar course designed for them entitled Shapers of the Modern Mind. The purpose of the seminar is four fold: (1) to provide a vehicle for dialogue among the scholars and the faculty; (2) to form the basis of an integrated study of ideas commonly considered an essential part of one’s liberal education; (3) to provide direct and stimulating confrontation with great minds of the past and present; and (4) to develop the desire for the lifelong pursuit of knowledge. Three semesters of the Shapers seminar course are required for Neihardt Scholars. Credit for the Shapers seminars will count toward the number of hours required for graduation but will not satisfy any other general education requirement.


Finally, in order to retain the scholarship all John G. Neihardt Scholars must maintain an overall 3.3 GPA and a 3.5 PA in the major during the first three years. By the beginning of the senior year, the GPA must be at least 3.50 both overall and in the major/endorsement area. (Under exceptional circumstances, students who fail to meet the above requirements may appeal to the Scholarship, Honors, and Financial Aid Committee to remain in the program).


4. Scholarships
Students accepted into the John G. Neihardt Scholars program will receive an award equivalent to full tuition up to 128 credit hours as long as retention requirements are met. Out-of-state students will be expected to apply for and attain Nebraska residency status for tuition purposes as soon as they are eligible to do so. All John G. Neihardt Scholars receive full tuition for as long as they continue to meet the retention requirements for the John G. Neihardt Scholars Program, but are not actually enrolled in it, may take courses normally reserved for Neihardt Scholars; however, they will not participate in other aspects of the program.


Each person accepted as a John G. Neihardt Scholar will also receive a stipend of $500 per year. This will be payable in two equal installments, renewable through four years, as long as he or she remains in the program. The total amount of this award shall not exceed $2,000 for any one student. A student who withdraws, or is withdrawn, from the program between the beginning of the fall semester and the beginning of the spring semester in any year, will not receive the second installment of the award for that year.


Also, each person accepted will receive an on-campus double room waiver for four years. The student is required to live on campus to receive this.


Students who have completed at least 12 college semester hours, but not more than 40, and who have maintained at least a 3.3 grade point average, are eligible to apply for the program if vacancies are available (see the section on admission). If accepted, their award would begin with the first semester enrolled as John G. Neihardt Scholars and would end upon completion of a maximum of 128 undergraduate credit hours total.


Students who have not met the requirements for retention are automatically dropped from the program, and associated benefits will end. However, if a student appeals to the Scholarship, Honors, and Financial Aid Committee and is reinstated (see section on Requirements and Retention), benefits will continue beginning in the semester of reinstatement under the same terms as above.


5. Graduation and Administration of the Program
Recognition of successful participation in the John G. Neihardt Scholars Program will be given on diplomas and transcripts.


The John G. Neihardt Scholars Program is under the direction of the Scholarship, Honors, and Financial Aid Committee. Inquiries about the program are welcomed toll-free at 1-866-972-2287.

Honors Program Related Links

Philosophy, Goals, and Features


Honors Courses

Independent Studies

Honors Colloquium Students' Abstracts & Biographies

Neihardt Scholars Program

Honors Housing

News and Press

More Information

Upcoming Events

April 20-August 31

WSC Juried Student Exhibit

Nordstrand Visual Arts Gallery

Opening Reception:

April 20, 4:30-6:00 p.m.


April 28

Joshua Calkin, tuba

Ley Theatre, 7:30 p.m.


April 29

Black and Gold

Show Choir

Ramsey Theatre,

7:30 p.m.


April 30

Plains Writers Series

Humanities Lounge, 2:00 p.m.

Fiction Slam

The Max Bar & Grill,

7:00 p.m.


April 30

Wildcat Big Band (Jazz)

Ramsey Theatre,

7:30 p.m.


May 2

Jerod Kohler, trombone

Ley Theatre, 7:30 p.m.


May 4

Honors Recital

Ramsey Theatre,

7:30 p.m.

See All Events
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