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Distinguished Scholar Award Guidelines

The University of Southern Indiana Distinguished Scholar Award is intended to promote academic excellence. For selected scholars the maximum award is $1,000 per academic year.

Initially matriculating freshmen who meet the requirements for the USI Presidential Scholarship will be considered as candidates for this award in the event that they are not selected to receive the Presidential Scholarship.

NOTE: Application for admission to USI as a degree seeking student must be completed by December 1 of the student’s senior year of high school. Awards are subject to approval by the Office of Student Financial Assistance based on availability of funding. The Distinguished Scholar Award will not be awarded in addition to the Presidential Scholarship, Provost Scholarship, or B/MD Scholarship.

Recipient Enrollment

Award recipients must enroll as full-time students during the fall and each successive regular semester following award notification. Exceptions are made to permit fall graduates to begin University enrollment in the spring. A full-time student is defined as one who enrolls in at least 12 official semester hours each fall and spring. Official enrollment is determined on census day (5th day of fall/ spring). Failure to comply with these requirements nullifies the award and all future entitlement. Under exceptional circumstances, a student may petition the Director of Student Financial Assistance for a “leave of absence” for one semester and an extension of calendar year limits or an exception to the minimum enrollment requirement (only for legitimate medical or academic reasons).


The Distinguished Scholar Award is available for 4 years/8 semesters or until recipients earn their first bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first.


Students who decline USI’s offer of the Distinguished Scholar Award forfeit all future entitlement to this award. The Distinguished Scholar Award offer is valid only during the next regular (fall/spring) semester of the year in which the award is made and will not be offered a second time.

Award Renewal

The award may be renewed automatically if the student earns a minimum of 27 semester hours each academic year (fall and spring) and maintains the required minimum cumulative grade point average. Any deficit in earned hours may be made up in the summer at the student's expense. A written appeal for reinstatement of Distinguished Scholar Award eligibility must be sent to the USI Student Financial Assistance Office after the summer grades are officially recorded on the student's transcript.

The required minimum cumulative GPA is

  • 2.5/4.0 for 0-59 semester hours earned,
  • 2.75 after earning 60-89 semester hours, and
  • 3.0 thereafter.

Students who fail to earn the required minimum cumulative GPA will be placed on probation for one semester. Failure to comply with the cumulative GPA requirement after one probationary semester will result in cancellation of the Distinguished Scholar Award and forfeiture of all future entitlement.

Appeals Process

Students may request exceptions to the Distinguished Scholar Award Rules and Regulations when unusual or mitigating circumstances warrant such action. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Student Financial Assistance Appeals Committee at USI. Send all correspondence to:

Student Financial Assistance
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, IN 47712

Decisions of the Appeals Committee are final.

Rev. 10/6/2022

Students may check their MyUSI account for the most current financial aid information. USI reserves the right to make necessary adjustments. Renewal of this scholarship depends upon future funding. The University reserves the right to change scholarships, policies, and award amounts. The right to correct errors is also reserved.

Questions about the Distinguished Scholar Award guidelines?

Contact the Student Financial Assistance office at 812-464-1767 or 800-467-1965; or email Business hours are Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (central time).