Shimer College

Montaigne Scholarship

It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.

The Montaigne Scholarship

The scholarship honors Michel de Montaigne, the French Renaissance author and essayist. He jotted down a number of quotable things, like the sentiment at the top of this page. 

Participants read a text selected by our faculty, discuss it in a classroom setting, and write an essay. A committee of faculty members evaluates each participant’s performance and selects the scholarship recipient. One participant will receive a scholarship of $24,000 per year (renewable for 4 years), and runners up can receive other scholarships from a designated scholarship fund.

How to apply:

  1. RSVP for the Montaigne competition using the form below.
  2. Complete the selected reading: Of Cannibals, by Michel de Montaigne (essay will be provided once you submit the RSVP).
  3. Respond to the essay prompt below no later than February 5, 2016.
  4. Participate in an on-campus discussion of the reading on February 6, 2016. 



Essay Prompt

Montaigne’s essay “Of Cannibals” is often regarded as a classic text arguing for the value of cultural differences between peoples. How does his encounter with a very different culture deepen his thoughts as to what constitutes a moral human being? Please respond in 1000-1500 words.

Contact us with any questions at 312.235.3555 or


Things to Keep in Mind: To be eligible to receive a Montaigne Scholarship, you must be accepted for admission and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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. Students must be applying for the Fall 2016 semester; any deferral of admission will disqualify the student from acceptance of the scholarship.

Guidelines: Montaigne scholarships are effective for eight semesters (Fall and Spring only) of fulltime enrollment within a 5-year period beginning with the initial date of enrollment at Shimer College. They are 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 5-year completion stipulation. The award applies only to tuition costs and does not include other fees such as books, orientation or graduation fees.