News Scholarships

2023 Scholarship Prompts Now Available

Annually, NEHS offers scholarships of varying amounts for NEHS graduating seniors planning on enrolling in two-year or four-year colleges or universities. Graduating seniors who hold membership in active chapters may apply for a one-year, non-renewing scholarship.

All applicants for NEHS Scholarships are required to read the Common Reader, Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang, and submit an original essay based on one of the prompts provided by the Advisory Council.

Essay Prompts

Applicants must select one of the following prompts as the basis for the required analysis essay. Review the NEHS Scholarship Guidelines for information on essay length, style, and format.

  1. Discuss the role and significance of hunger in the memoir. Why does Qian repeatedly focus on hunger? To what extent do you agree that hunger defines Qian’s experiences in the USA? Support your ideas by making detailed reference to the text.
  2. As the plot evolves, Qian takes on both child and adult roles. How does this affect her understanding of the world and people around her? In what ways does this allow her to “deal” with the events she experiences? Support your ideas by making detailed reference to the text.
  3. In the prologue, Wang writes, “My story begins decades before my birth” (1). How does the novel portray trauma as something that can be passed from parents to children? To what extent do you agree that it influences Qian’s relationships with others? Support your ideas by making detailed reference to the text.
  4. In Chinese, the word for America, Mei Guo, translates literally to mean “beautiful country.” Yet, when Qian’s family arrives in New York City their expectations for their new country are crushed by the harsh reality of living in poverty and fear. In what ways do both expectation and reality impact the family’s experiences in the USA? Focus your analysis on either Ma Ma, Ba Ba, or Qian, and support your ideas by making detailed reference to the text.
  5. Craft a personal thesis appropriate for Beautiful Country and write an essay analyzing that self-designed idea. The prompt must be of appropriate significance to generate writing that leads to thoughtful analysis, one that engages the reader in reflecting on the serious theme(s) in the text.

Application Process and Deadline

NEHS uses the online AwardSpring platform for the application process. The submission link will be open December 12, 2022 through January 9, 2023, 11:59 p.m. CST. Award notifications will be made on Monday, April 10, 2023. Award recipients will be required to complete additional follow-up information. Funds will be mailed to the student’s college/university after August 1, 2023.

Total funding for NEHS Scholarships for 2022-2023 is budget-dependent, but most awards are typically range from $1,000 to $3,000; NEHS anticipates a pool of approximately $75,000 to be available. The William C. Johnson Scholarship is given in honor of Dr. William C. Johnson, Executive Director of Sigma Tau Delta, for his dedication to the founding of NEHS; it is funded at $5,000. Other levels of scholarships may have multiple winners awarded varying amounts based on assessment scores.

Scholarship Resources


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