Shimer College

Dangerous Optimist’s Scholarship for Transfer Students

Receive up to 80% tuition scholarship per year.

**RSVP today to be a part of this scholarship opportunity**

The Dangerous Optimist Scholarship is a need- and merit-based scholarship for students admitted to Shimer for the Spring 2017 semester. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of exceptional ability or potential in essay writing and, for those who choose to participate, in an on-campus discussion competition.

Essays are now due no later than Thursday, November 17, 2016. Essays should be 1000-1500 words based on the reading and prompt below.

The Dangerous Optimists On-Campus Competition will take place Friday, November 18, 2016


2016 Essay for the Dangerous Optimist Competition: Adrienne Rich, “Split at the Root: An Essay on Jewish Identity

Competition essay prompt: Poet and essayist Adrienne Rich, one of America’s foremost public intellectuals, discusses courage in this essay. What light does Rich’s essay shed on the concept of courage? What type of courage is she showing or not showing?

Submit your scholarship essay as a Word or PDF attachment to by Thursday, November 17, 2016. Include your name and street address in your email. Please do not include your name on the actual essay document. 



Who is eligible to compete in the Dangerous Optimist Competition?
All students wishing to enroll at Shimer in Spring 2017 who have completed an online application form.

How can I get admitted to Shimer?
Start by filling out your online application. Follow the instructions for requirements to complete your application. For more information, contact an admission counselor at

Do you offer transportation aid to defray the cost of coming to campus for the discussion portion on November 18?
Yes, transportation funding is available but limited. Call 312-235-3555 or email

I can’t make it to campus on November 18. Do I have to participate in both parts of the competition?
No, you can participate only in the written portion of the competition.

Any other questions? Contact us at 312-235-3555 or


  • 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 Optimists scholarship is effective for four semesters of full-time 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. 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.