Scholarships blaze pathway to remarkable futures

Vincennes University Logo

April 27, 2020

VINCENNES, Ind. – Education is power. It liberates. It creates opportunity. It gives people the capability to change their lives and change the world.

With an education, you can improve your opportunities, contribute to your family, make an impact on the world, and is the best way to pave your career path. Vincennes University is committed to affordability, removing barriers, and providing opportunities through its scholarships and more than 180 academic programs. VU graduates are employed in a broad range of fields, including in many growing and in-demand professions.

According to leading experts at Georgetown University, 70 percent of jobs by 2027 will require education beyond high school. 

VU President Dr. Chuck Johnson

VU President Dr. Chuck Johnson VU and the Vincennes University Foundation have hundreds of scholarships available for VU students pursuing higher education during the 2020-21 academic year. These scholarships match nearly every career goal, passion, and dream. VU offers associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and professional certificates.

Almost $2 million was awarded to incoming and returning VU students across 1,384 scholarships for the 2018-19 academic year. These awards included students from across Indiana, nine states and six international awards.

“Even though VU remains a great value, higher education is a large investment. Yet, it remains one of the best investments a person can make. Through the generosity of our donors, VU and the VU Foundation can help many VU students and families get an even greater return on their investment,” VU President Chuck Johnson said.

Dustin Stein, 2018 VU Graduate

Dustin Stein, 2018 VU Graduate

Affordability drove Dustin Stein’s decision to attend VU. He graduated debt-free in 2018. Stein, who lives in Knox County and has deep ties to VU, is currently a recruit in the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and is pursuing a career as an Indiana State Trooper.

 “I chose VU because I was told they have one of the best Law Enforcement programs around and it was completely paid for by my scholarships,” he said. “However much money you can save, it is going to help you out in the long run and I was one that didn’t want to graduate with thousands of dollars in student debt. I know being 21 years old with no student debt is pretty impressive. Some of my teachers in high school said they just now got theirs paid off, and they were 45 and 50."

By filling out just one application, students have access to almost all of the scholarships VU offers. There is no grade point average requirement for many scholarships. Plus, it is never too late to apply.

Different types of scholarships are available. Some are need-based, while some are merit-based. Some are awarded based on geography. Others are specific to majors. 

Kristi Deetz, Vincennes University 

Kristi Deetz headshotThe University and Foundation combine to provide as much support as possible to students.

“We have scholarships as varied as the education opportunities we offer. Some are designed around academic success, but not all require a specific grade point average (GPA). Some scholarships are based on geography because a donor wants to support students from their area while others are centered on a major or industry,” Executive Director of the Vincennes University Foundation and Senior Director of Institutional Advancement Kristi Deetz said. "We also have funds that are less restricted and allow for us to address emerging scholarship needs for our students."

VU students, alumni, and their families are enjoying life-changing opportunities because of the education, scholarships, and a wide variety of available resources.

Will Akins, 2016 VU Graduate

Will Akin headshot

VU offers the lowest tuition of any residential college in Indiana and that was an added advantage for Will Akins, who earned an associate degree in Music from VU in 2016.

“My first year of college was completely and totally paid for through scholarships and grants,” he said. “Those scholarships really did come in handy from my point of view of just being able to worry about getting up, going to class, doing my homework, and going to rehearsals. I was able to actually just focus on learning. I didn’t have to worry about money. I didn’t have to worry about having to find a job, so I can actually support myself.”

There’s more to college life than classes. Akins, who is from Merrillville near Chicago, soaked in VU’s vibrant campus atmosphere and immersed himself in campus life by singing the National Anthem at events, serving as a campus tour guide, attending basketball games, and performing in musicals and plays.

“I loved VU,” he said. “I did a lot of cool things and met a lot of cool people. I really hold those experiences close to me. All of my piano technique I learned at VU. All of my vocal technique and chorale technique I learned at VU.”

After VU, Akins transferred to Indiana State University. He studied music education and graduated in 2019. He’s following his passion for music and was recently hired as an activities coordinator and professional piano player for Carnival Cruise Line.

Scholarships like these fuel students’ futures:

  • The William Henry Harrison Foundation Scholarship is named for VU’s founder and ninth U.S. President and is for all types of students, full, part-time, or summer school, traditional or non-traditional. A minimum 2.0 grade point average is required.
  • Recipients of the Donald G. Bell Scholarship bring special credentials (performing, leadership, academic, etc.) that will be a credit to VU. Incoming freshmen must graduate high school with at least a 2.0 GPA.
  • The Lilly Housing Grant is awarded to students living in VU housing, who maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA and demonstrate financial need.
  • William E. Lyons Scholarships are awarded to students majoring in Business or Humanities at the main campus. Preference is given based on financial need or exemplary merit.
  • The Edwin York Scholarship is available to cover the costs of tuition, books, and fees for up to two complete years for students primarily from Knox and Gibson counties.
  • The Grabbe-Utley Scholarship is a $5,000 renewable scholarship awarded to students in any major who graduated from a Knox County public high school.
  • The Polk-Decker Memorial Scholarship is a four-year award and recipients, who graduated from a Knox County high school, are eligible to receive up to $3,000 per year. Students can attend VU all four years or attend two at VU and two at another university. They must maintain a 2.0 GPA.
  • Dean J. & E. Hill Academic Scholarships are awarded to full-time, second-year students with a 2.75 GPA or higher.
  • Children of Vincennes University Alumni Scholarships are based on academic achievement in high school, financial need, and applicants must be a dependent of a VU alum. Students must graduate in the upper two-thirds of their high school graduating class.
  • The Vincennes University Foundation Scholarship is awarded to full-time or part-time students.
  • Primary consideration is given to Daviess County students for the Dyal & Violet Wadsworth Scholarship.
  • The Winifred Wiseman White Scholarship is for full-time students in any major. A minimum 3.0 GPA is necessary and the award is eligible for renewal.
  • Meredith and Aileen Badollet Scholarships are awarded to students in low to middle-income brackets, who are enrolled at Vincennes or Jasper campuses and are residents of Knox or Dubois counties or possibly Southwest Indiana. A 2.5 GPA must be maintained.
  • Illinois residents are primarily considered for the Dunseth Special Fund Scholarship. Students can be full time or part-time.
  • Through the generosity of the Alexandra Clark Trust, a $1 million donation created a permanent endowment to provide renewable scholarships to students in the Practical Nursing program. Named after Clark and her husband, the Alexandra Clark and Oscar Dunn LPN Scholarship is a scholarship that offers financial support through all three semesters of the program.

January 15 was the priority deadline for some VU scholarships, but scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis, so it is never too late to apply.

Are you ready to take the next step? 



For questions or more information about VU scholarships, contact Interim Scholarship Coordinator Beverly Smith at or 812-888-4510.