Shimer College

Dangerous Optimist’s Scholarship for Transfer Students

A two-year, full-tuition scholarship for a spring transfer student who will change the world.

Unlike the reading for this year’s Dangerous Optimist’s Scholarship, this scholarship is all about what you are capable of doing today, not your previous accomplishments. (Or even the lack thereof.)

To apply, follow these easy steps:

  1. Read Frederick Douglass’ “Oration in Memory of Abraham Lincoln” and write an essay in response to the prompt at the end. The essay you write will substitute for one of the essays required for the Shimer application for admission.

  2. Apply to Shimer College for the Spring 2015 Semester by November 17.

  3. Interview with one of the Shimer faculty on The Dangerous Optimist’s Scholarship Committee by November 21. Be prepared to spend at least half of the interview discussing the reading with your interviewer.

    Important Dangerous Optimist’s Scholarship Dates:

    November 17

    Last day to complete your application for Spring 2015 including your essay on the 2015 reading.

    November 22

    Last day to complete your interview with Shimer faculty member. (Conveniently, it is the same day of Shimer’s Transfer Student Open House.)

    December 8

    Scholarship Recipient Announced

    Before December 15

    Submit completed FAFSA form online

    January 5

    Deadline for winner to accept scholarship and submit enrollment deposit for Spring 2014

  • Scholarship applicants will be judged solely on the quality of their essays and the discussion of the reading during their interviews.

  • All participants will be contacted by December 8 about the results of the competition.

  • To be eligible for The Dangerous Optimist’s Scholarship, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form before a scholarship can be awarded.  Note: Students who are awarded federal or state grants may have their scholarship adjusted if the combined amount of all aid exceeds the cost of tuition.

 The Dangerous Optimist’s scholarship is effective for four semesters of fulltime enrollment or the equivalent within a 3-year period beginning with the initial date of enrollment at Shimer College.  It is automatically renewable for students who maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.00 and are in good social standing. Enrollment during summer sessions and/or on a part-time basis is permissible and will be prorated (for example, two semesters of halftime enrollment counts as the equivalent of one semester of fulltime enrollment).  Leaves of absence are permitted if approved by the Dean of the College, although they do not negate the 3-year completion stipulation. The award applies only to tuition fees and does not include other fees such as books, orientation or graduation fees. Applicants who compete in the Dangerous Optimists’ Scholarship Competition are not eligible to compete for Shimer’s Montaigne Scholarship.

Contact us with any questions at 312.235.3555 or