University News

Western Illinois University Sees Jump in High Ability Applicants

February 14, 2013

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University has seen a notable spike in interest from high-achieving high school seniors for the Fall 2013 semester.

WIU Admissions Director Andy Borst said Western has admitted 90 students for the fall semester who scored in the top one percent in the nation on the ACT or SAT, compared to 17 students in Fall 2012 with similar academic profiles. Borst attributed the large increase in interest to the involvement of deans, chairs and faculty to recruit high-achieving students and to the new Centennial Honors Scholarship.

"As we move our Honors College to the forefront of the University, the Centennial Honors Scholarship allows us to attract students who can challenge each other academically throughout their time on campus and who can become competitive for national awards," Borst said. "We view the Centennial Honors Scholarship as a reward for high potential and achievement in high school, and as a starting point for these students to begin to develop momentum in their careers."

Rick Hardy, interim director of Western's Centennial Honors College, specializes in preparing talented young men and women to compete on the national stage for major awards, such as the Rhodes, Truman and Udall scholarships, Borst noted. In 2011, WIU graduate Jenna Verity, from Schaumburg, IL, was selected as the school's first Rhodes Scholarship finalist, the highest academic achievement college students can accomplish.

The Centennial Honors Scholarship offers students with an ACT score of 32 or higher and a grade point average of 3.5 or higher a scholarship, which covers four years of tuition, fees and a residence hall room at the school. The new scholarship structure also offers educational awards of lesser amounts based on a sliding ACT and GPA scale.

Students who were offered a Centennial Honors Scholarship this year include:

Alsip: Zachary Abbott
Alton: Emma Fletcher
Amboy: Eva Meyer
Arlington Heights: William Heiberger
Aurora: Tyler Coonradt; C. Elizondo Gamez; Madeline Zehnal
Batavia: Melissa Dailey
Beecher: Katrina Zubi
Bethalto: Nicholas Vogel
Bloomington: Jefferson Gordon
Burbank: Holly Melendy
Carrollton: Tyler Evans
Chicago: Katherine Bialas; William Hilger
Chicago Ridge: Rebecca Dunterman
Dewey: Diane Schnitkey
Downers Grove: Madeline Gard
Elgin: Mario Calero
Elk Grove Village: Megan Hindmon; Faith Meitzler; Alexis Rivera
Evergreen Park: Brenna Smith
Farmington: Quinn Gingerevens
Frankfort: Gregory Jennrich
Galesburg: Ryan Carl; Evan Kelly
Glen Carbon: Brandon Morse
Grayslake: Martin Buckley
Hamilton: Jared Wiemann
Hampton: Emily Thomas, Daniel Whiteside
Hanover: Amanda Nobis
Hanover Park: Jillian Escobar
Hinckley: Emily Banigan
Homer Glen: Marc Hasan; Raymond Sullivan; Briana Watson
Island Lake: Shealeigh Funni
LaGrange Park: Madeleine Gagesch
Lake in the Hills: Robert Thomas
Lansing: Kevin Terpstra
Lewistown: Samuel Kline
Libertyville: Sarah Groebe; Brian Schubert
Lockport: Kelsi Rarick
Lombard: Rebehah Ernat
London Mills: Sarah Donnelly
Macomb: Bryce Conrad; Haley Hannant; Sarah Keck; Samuel Schmidt
Mahomet: Kathleen Tollakson
Marengo: Nayeli Andrade
Moline: Samantha Lindholm
Naperville: Stephanie Vas
New Lenox: Ashley Pavlak
North Aurora: Samantha Johnson
Orland Park: Emily Szott
Oswego: Boden Pradel
Palatine: Victoria Boldt
Park Ridge: Jessica Spratley
Pearl City: Robert Jones
Princeton: Hunter Schultz
Rock Island: Mason Moss
Saint Charles: Katherine Bedrich, Maxwell Schmitt
Sherrard: Thaddius Goldner
Silvis: Kasey Lockett
Smithfield: Sara White
South Elgin: Rosetta Rubino
Sterling: Duncan Gingrich
Sycamore: Sarah Brazeau
Table Grove: Caitlin Dowdall
Tinley Park: C. Cranston
Villa Park: Katie Kielminski
Wadsworth: Jessica Bayles
Wauconda: Adelle McDaniel
Westmont: Matthew Coscino
Yorkville: Elizabeth Vick

Karli Peters
Cedar Falls: Jillian Ross
Dubuque: Rebecca Gonner
Iowa City: Lauren Coffey
Long Grove: Anthony Curlott
Muscatine: Allison Hartman

Cedar Lake:
Sara Kish

Caitlin Pennington

Fort Atkinson:
Ethan Brockmann
Waukesha: Justin Okruszynski

For more information about the Centennial Honors Scholarship, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at (309) 298-3100, or email Additional scholarship opportunities can be found by visiting

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Office of University Relations