The Excellence in Experiential Learning (ExcEL) Scholar Awards are competitive scholarships available to undergraduate students who want to pursue any number of out-of-classroom activities that complement their education at Dominican University.

At Dominican University, we believe students should engage in hands-on learning experiences that encourage professional growth, deepen their educational understanding, and/or allow them to be engaged in their community such as:

  • Designing and/or participating in an internship
  • Completing community-based learning
  • Conducting independent research
  • Studying away
  • Studying abroad
  • Pursuing an entrepreneurial project
  • Engaging in a creative project
  • Volunteering

Often times, it takes additional finances for a student to pursue an out-of-classroom experience. Money for transportation, materials, living expenses, or lost income are just some of the additional expenses that may hinder a student’s ability to engage in experiential learning opportunities. Dominican University has designed the ExcEL Scholar Awards to reduce the burden of tuition payments, thus making these experiences that much more possible. Each academic year, $50,000 in awards are made available, and individual students can apply for an award of up to $2,000, during the fall or spring term.

Award Cycles and Eligibility

Students will be notified via email each fall and spring, of the upcoming ExcEL Scholar Awards cycle and application deadline. Applicants should read through all of the eligibility requirements prior to applying.

In order to be considered for this award, students must:

  • Be an undergraduate student pursuing their first bachelor’s degree
  • Have earned at least 45 credits towards their degree (15 credits must have been completed at DU)
  • Have a GPA that meets the requirements of the experience they are pursuing
  • Have shared their proposal with a faculty sponsor who will endorse them
  • Have identified an experience that will take place prior to their graduation. 
  • Have identified an experience that will take place during the eligible timeline:
    • In Fall 2019: applicants can apply for an award that will support an experience taking place between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020
    • In Spring 2020: applicants can apply for an award that will support an experience taking place between May 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021
Criteria and Priorities

ExcEL Scholar award applications include an essay and budget for the experience a student wishes to pursue. Applications will be evaluated based on how well they:

  • Can make meaningful connections between the experience they are pursuing and the future path they envision for themselves
  • Define their learning goals (the skills, competencies, and/or perspectives) the student seeks through the experience
  • Present a realistic budget, including a clear evaluation of what funds students will be able to contribute out-of-pocket or through other resources, and an explanation of how the ExcEL award will help bridge any financial gaps. Fundable budget items may include (but are not limited to):

The financial need of students, verified through the Office of Financial Aid, will also be taken into consideration by the Award Designation Committee. Preference will be given to those applicants who have not yet received an ExcEL Scholar Award.

To learn more about the awards and the application process, students should attend an information session.

Information Sessions

Friday, January 24
11:30 a.m., Mulroy Lounge

Thursday, January 30
2:30 p.m., Lewis 212

Tuesday, February 4
2:30 p.m., Lewis 212

Wednesday, February 5
11:30 a.m., Mulroy Lounge

Important Dates

January 21, 2020:
Application period for the ExcEL Scholar Awards opens

February 24, 2020:
Application period closes

March 30, 2020:
Designation of ExcEL Scholar Award Winners

April 8, 2020:
ExcEL Scholar Award Winners honored at the URSCI Expo

To Learn More and Apply

The application opens January 21, 2020. Current qualifying students should enroll in the Canvas site by clicking the following link: