Guidelines for Awarding of Grants and Prizes to Undergraduates

As the departmental endowment grows, the Department anticipates awarding two types of grants to Geology majors to help offset the costs of their studies, and reinstating the Senior Thesis Prize.

The Senior Thesis Prize ($100) will be awarded (or not) for the best senior thesis as assessed collectively by the faculty (with Director, Senior Thesis as Chair) after grading GEOL 394/394H each semester.

The following are the approved guidelines (Faculty Meeting of 1/23/2004) for awarding grants by the Scholarship Committee* [Membership: Director, Senior Thesis; Director, Undergraduate Studies; and, one faculty as Chair].

The Scholarship Committee will present a report summarizing awards made to the first faculty Meeting of each Academic Year.

Senior Thesis Grants

These merit-based awards will be given to students of the highest academic caliber to offset costs related to completion of their senior thesis.

Criteria: Awards will be made on the basis of merit. Criteria will include:

  • the student's academic achievement (as reflected in cumulative GPA);
  • the student's demonstrated ambition and dedication to the pursuit of geological research (as judged from recommendations from the student's thesis advisor);
  • merit and feasibility of the thesis project (as judged by the thesis advisor and from the 393/394 process).

Procedure: Students will be informed of the existence of these grants by the 393/394 Director at the beginning of GEOL 393. A document outlining the application procedure and award criteria will be posted on the GEOL 393/394 web site. Interested students will submit an application on or before the due date of their final report for GEOL 393. The application will consist of one paragraph describing the project to be undertaken and an estimated budget for applicable expenses (see below). The number and amount of award(s) will be determined by the Scholarship Committee, following the presentations of the GEOL 393 term papers. Awards will be credited to the recipients' student accounts.

Applicable expenses: Students may use the grants to pay for any out-of-pocket expenses related to the successful completion of the senior thesis. Examples include all fieldwork related expenses (gas, camping fees, tolls, etc.), sample preparation costs (e.g., thin sections), equipment (e.g., field notebooks, hand lenses, etc.) and thesis preparation costs. Any equipment or prepared samples will remain the property of the student. Costs of analytical work are normally borne by the various laboratories in the department or the thesis advisor and are therefore not considered applicable to the senior thesis grant.

Grants: The amount of the grants will vary depending on the availability of funds and the anticipated expenses of the successful applicants. It is anticipated that at least one award will be made each year.

Field Camp Scholarships

These scholarships, awarded on the basis of financial need and academic performance, will be used to offset the cost of attending field camp.

Criteria: The scholarships will be awarded primarily on the basis of financial need. However, only students in good academic standing will be eligible to receive a scholarship. Good academic standing requires a grade of C, or better, in the required geology courses, and a C average, or better, in the supporting courses. Financial need will normally be determined on the basis of unmet need, as determined by the University Financial Aid Office. Academic merit, as a secondary criterion may be used, at the discretion of the Scholarship Committee, in recommending the award of these grants.

Procedure: The Director, Undergraduate Studies, will poll juniors and seniors in February each year to determine if they intend to enroll in field camp for the following summer. Once the Director, Undergraduate Studies has a tally of field-camp bound students, s/he will check their academic standing and tabulate available data on their financial aid packages. The Scholarship Committee will review these data and make award recommendations based on the information provided by the Director, Undergraduate Studies and the amount of funds available. Students selected for field camp grants will be notified of the award and the amount will be transferred into their student account following demonstration of their acceptance into a qualified program.

Scholarships: The amount of the scholarships will vary depending on the availability of funds and the anticipated expenses of the successful applicants. It is anticipated that at least one award will be made each year.