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Honors Student Scholarships - Graf-Meiland Scholarship, Wasserstein Award, Benedek London Scholarship

Otto Graf and Jack Meiland Scholarships - Awards for academic excellence and/or interdisciplinarity


Each year the Honors Program recognizes rising seniors whose academic and co-curricular achievements exemplify the Program's engaged liberal arts philosophy as Otto Graf and Jack Meiland Scholars. These awards honor the late Professors Otto Graf, who served as director of the Honors Program for eighteen years, and Jack Meiland, who championed interdisciplinarity in the Honors curriculum. Scholarships can range between $2000-5000 depending on available funding and the number of scholarships granted. Awards are disbursed in the fall of the following academic year provided the student remains an Honors student in good standing.

You do not need to apply separately for the Graf and Meiland competitions. The Meiland Scholarship will be awarded to the applicant of the joint competition whose academic work best exemplifies the principles of creativity and interdisciplinarity espoused by Professor Meiland.


Eligibility:  Students should be rising seniors (graduating in FA23, WN24, or SU24) and either pursuing an Honors major or an approved Honors in Engaged Liberal Arts (HELA) project. Applicants are neither required to have started in Honors in their first or second year nor to have completed the Sophomore Honors Award; students who joined Honors via their major or HELA are welcomed to apply. Acknowledging traditional timelines are changing, if you have questions about eligibility please contact and case by case decisions will be made.


Selection criteria for the scholarship include:

  1.  Evidence of exceptional depth engagement with and understanding of issues within one's academic specialization. This may include excellence in upper-level courses within one's major, research accomplishments, plans for an Honors thesis or HELA project, etc. There is no minimum GPA, but most successful applicants will have a GPA of 3.7 or higher.
  2.  Evidence of broad intellectual curiosity. This may include taking a highly interdisciplinary approach to key issues in one's field - especially issues that span across multiple areas of the liberal arts (humanities, social sciences, natural and life sciences) - or pursuit of separate areas of intellectual engagement in another major, minor, language proficiency, etc.
  3. Co-curricular accomplishments that supplement or complement one's academic pursuits and demonstrate sustained commitment, leadership, and concern for the well-being of others.


Timeline:  Application, FERPA waiver, and Recommendation Form will open first Monday of February and will close third Monday in March. Finalists will be invited to virtual interviews with the scholarship selection committee in early April. Scholarship winners will be announced by mid-April.

  1. At least 4-5 weeks ahead of the application deadline:  Speak with your letter writers regarding their willingness to write letters of recommendation for you to give them ample time to submit their letters. You may provide the link to the Graf-Meiland Recommendation Form for Honors Students at the same time.
  2. Immediately after securing the agreement of your letter writers to write a letter on your behalf:  Submit a Student Letter of Recommendation Waiver (FERPA) for each letter. The mandatory form will ask you to indicate your preference regarding access to your letter of recommendation. Upon completion, recommenders will receive an email with a copy of your form along with a letter submission link.
  3. Before the application deadline:  Finish and submit your application. Late applications will not be accepted. Recommenders will receive an email prompt upon application submission to provide their letters if they haven't done so already.


Application Instructions:  Application is closed until the 2023 award cycle.

Applicants should be prepared to submit the following items via online application:

  1. A 500-750 word essay explaining how your engaged liberal arts education is preparing you for academic/career goals in the 3-5 years after graduation. The essay should include some information about the Honors major or HELA project you will pursue in senior year, and should highlight your fit with the three selection criteria listed above.
  2. An updated resume or CV.  Supported file options for documents are PDF and Document (DOC, DOCX, TXT, ODT).  
  3. Contact information for 2-3 recommenders including first and last name, salutation (Dr., Prof., Mr., Ms.), and recommender email address.

*Include student name at the top of all documents. Please save your documents in the following format:  STUDENTLASTNAME_STUDENTFIRSTNAME_TYPEOFDOCUMENT (personal statement, resume).


Letters of Recommendation:  It is strongly recommended that applicants contact their letter writers approximately four weeks ahead of the deadline to give them ample time to submit their letters.

Applicants should arrange for at least two and no more than three letters of recommendation from writers who know their academic and/or co-curricular accomplishments. At least two of these should come from faculty or staff who can speak to your academic pursuits. Non-UM faculty with whom one has pursued research or other academic projects are also acceptable. One letter may come from someone who knows you primarily in a co-curricular pursuit, especially one who can speak to your commitment, leadership, and concern for others.

The online Student Letter of Recommendation Waiver (FERPA) should be completed after confirming your letter writer is willing to submit a recommendation letter. You will indicate your preferences to view your letter on this form. When you complete the form, your recommender will receive an email with a copy of the FERPA form as well as a link to submit their letter. You may also provide the link to the Graf-Meiland Recommendation Form for Honors Students  to your recommenders in advance of completing your FERPA form and application. Information for faculty recommenders must be included in the application. When the application is completed and submitted, the specified faculty members will receive a reminder email containing a link for submitting their letter if they haven't done so already. 

To recommendation letter writers: If you prefer to submit your letter of recommendation in advance of receiving an email prompt after the student completes their FERPA form and application, please use this link to the recommendation form. Please be prepared to attach your recommendation letter to the form before opening the link. Supported file options are PDF and Document (DOC, DOCX, TXT, ODT). Please save your letter as: STUDENTLASTNAME_STUDENTFIRSTNAME_RECOMMENDERLASTNAME. 

Consult this document for letter writing advice and submission instructions.



Questions? Email



Morris and Lola Wasserstein Award - Recognizing contributions to the Michigan Daily

The Wasserstein Awards are made possible by a generous gift from Mr. Bruce Wasserstein to honor his father and mother. Investment banker Bruce Wasserstein (1947-2009) was an Honors graduate who had a great affection for the University of Michigan, the Honors Program, and the Michigan Daily.

Awards vary in amount but can exceed $1000/term for one or two terms. Awards are disbursed in the fall of the following academic year provided the student remains on the staff of the Michigan Daily and is an Honors student in good standing. Graduating seniors will receive awards before graduation.

Eligibility:  Honors students in good standing on the writing or editorial staff of the Michigan Daily 

Timeline:  Application closes fourth Monday of March at noon. Scholarship winners will be announced by late April.

Selection criteria: 

  • Applicant's overall academic record
  • Quality of work done at the Daily
  • Personal statement

Application Instructions:  

The online application form is closed until the 2023 award cycle.

Before you access the online application form, please be prepared to submit:

  1. A two page personal statement discussing your academic and career plans, work at the Daily, and plans for the prize money
  2. An updated resume or CV
  3. A list of no more than three favorite articles that you've written for the Daily (if applicable)

*Please include student name at the top of the page of all documents submitted.

**Please save your documents in the following format:  STUDENTLASTNAME_STUDENTFIRSTNAME_TYPEOFDOCUMENT (personal statement, resume, article)

Questions? Email


Bruce Wasserstein (third from right) at the Michigan Daily in 1966.

Benedek Scholarship - London-area study abroad opportunity

Created by a generous donation from Honors alumnus, Peter Benedek, the Benedek London Scholarship supports LSA Honors students who plan to study abroad at the London School of Economics (LSE). Funding for study at the LSE is our top priority but study at other London-area universities may be considered if funds are available. Programs at Cambridge and Oxford are not eligible for scholarship funding.

Student travel is subject to university guidelines: see Global Michigan.

Eligibility:   Undergraduate students in an LSA Honors program

Timeline:  Scholarships are available for either fall/winter or spring/summer programs. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as they receive confirmation of acceptance into a program.

Application Instructions:   Interested students should make an appointment with Henry Dyson (hdyson) to discuss the scholarship and potential study abroad programs. Students already accepted into an LSE or London-area study abroad program should complete the online application for the scholarship.

Questions? Email