Honors Requirements & Application Process

Requirements - beginning August 2019

Current high school student applicants must satisfy at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be academically ranked within the top 10% of their graduating class
  • Receive a combined American College Test (ACT) score of at least 28 or a Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) score of at least 1300

Continuing AWC student applicants must:

  • For students (who are not in high school) who have earned 12 or fewer AWC college (transferrable) credits: Be currently enrolled in ENG 101 or ENG 102 (or have already passed these classes with a grade of B or higher) and be currently enrolled in MAT 142 or higher (or have already passed it with a grade of B or higher) and furthermore have finished in the top 25% of their high school graduating class
  • For students who have earned 13 or more AWC college (transferrable) credits: have a current grade point average of 3.5 or higher and be currently enrolled in ENG 101 or ENG 102 (or have already passed these classes with a grade of B or higher)

Application Process

  • Eligible students must complete and submit the Honors Program Application.
  • An unofficial transcript must be e-mailed along with your application.
    • Current high school students must send either your scanned high school transcript with your class rank clearly indicated on your transcript, or a transcript with your scanned SAT or combined ACT scores. (Ask your counselor to insert your score onto your transcript). Current AWC students (not attending high school) must send a current unofficial AWC transcript (available through Self-Service)
  • As you fill out the application form ignore the section on the first page concerning AWC placement test scores; they are irrelevant and no longer have any connection to eligibility.
  • As you fill out your two essays on the second page pay close attention to
    • the specified length requirements
    • both the content (what you say) and the style (how you say it) for both essays; vague language and significant structural errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, word usage, sentence structure, etc., may disqualify your application

All students, regardless of entry point, must be enrolled in at least twelve credits in the semester in which they apply.  Once students have been accepted into the Honors program they will be in good standing if they 1) maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or better and 2) complete at least twelve credits each semester (fall and spring).

Students must also maintain good citizenship while in the program.  Serious misbehavior or improprieties can result in immediate dismissal by the Director from the program.

Students whose cumulative grade point average slips below 3.5 at the end of fall, spring, or summer semester will enter into probationary status for the next semester.  (The same is true of students who complete less than twelve credits in any semester.)  At the end of the following semester the student will either be returned to good standing (if her/his cumulative grade point average has risen above 3.5) or she/he will be released from the Honors program.

Deadlines for Honors scholarship: Will apply in the spring semester for the following school year only.  Use this application for both admission to the Honors Program itself and for the Honors Scholarship.  The deadline for receiving ALL SCHOLARSHIP MATERIALS will be Tuesday, March 24, 2020, by 5:00 pm.  All materials must have been e-mailed to Honors@azwestern.edu by then.

(In rare circumstances, it is within the purview of the Honors Director to permit students demonstrating extraordinary talent in a particular discipline or area of study to enter the program who otherwise would not meet the admission criteria above. Such approved students who fail to meet the standard admission requirements, however, will enter the program on a provisional basis for a term of one semester.  To remain thereafter in the Honors Program the student must meet or exceed all Honors Program requirements detailed above.)

Honors Scholarships

One of the benefits of being an Honors student is eligibility to apply for the annual spring Honors scholarship.  It is a competitive process.  Students who apply (including both current Honors students and high school seniors applying for fall semester admission to Honors) are evaluated by faculty members on the Honors Council.   These evaluations are compiled, from which a ranked score for each student is generated.  The highest ranked applicants receive the scholarship.

Scholarship recipients are awarded a scholarship for fall semester, which covers full tuition coverage, plus separate stipends for the campus bookstore and campus eateries.  The scholarship will be renewed for the following spring semester if the student maintains a sufficient grade point average and full-time enrollment.

In addition, a portion of scholarship funds will be reserved for Honors students who enroll in summer courses.

Details concerning the 2020 – 2021 Honors scholarship

Both current AWC Honors students and spring 2020 graduating high school seniors may apply.  High school students must be academically ranked within the top 10% of their graduating class (or have a combined American College Test (ACT) score of at least 28 or a Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) score of at least 1300).

In addition, high school seniors must have submitted a complete Honors application packet to the Honors office before their scholarship application can be considered.

All applicants must be enrolled full-time (12 or more academic credits) at AWC for fall 2020 and be pursuing an AWC Honors degree.  That requires an applicant to register for HON 180 (or have already completed it) and to sign up for at least one Honors course for fall 2020.

Winners will be notified on or about Thursday, April 16.  Depending on the number of applicants and the distribution of final scores, approximately 25 to 30 scholarships are expected to be awarded.

The scholarship will include three components for the Fall 2020 semester: full tuition for 15 or more AWC course credits, an AWC bookstore voucher for up to $525, and a Yuma campus Sodexo food voucher for $475.

If a scholarship recipient finishes the fall semester with at least a 3.5 grade point average and at least 12 completed credits, her/his scholarship will be automatically renewed for the spring 2021 semester.

All items – both for applying to join Honors and to apply for the 2020–2021 Honors scholarship – should be e-mailed to this address: honors@azwestern.edu.  You should check well in advance of the deadline with the Honors office (928 344 7685) to determine whether or not all your application materials are complete and have been received.

ALL REQUIRED MATERIALS must be received by the Honors office NO LATER than Tuesday March 24, 2020, by 5:00 p.m.

Scholarship application portfolio

To apply, a current or incoming Honors student must submit:

  • A letter of recommendation from one high school teacher or college professor who has taught you within the past eighteen months.  The letter should include the teacher’s/professor’s name, which class she/he had with the student, and give specific reasons why the student merits an Honors scholarship.  These reasons may include non-scholastic considerations (e.g., athletics, student government, community or church service, creative or artistic works).
  • A current unofficial transcript (showing grades through the end of 2019). High school transcripts must include the student’s academic class rank (e.g,, 35 in a class of 612).
  • Essay A (which is included on the Honors application), 500 to 1000 words long.  Current Honors students may either reuse their original essay or compose a new one.
    • Describe your short-term and long-term goals.  
      Specifically, begin with your academic goals: in what field(s) do you plan to major?; what college degrees are you planning on earning?; to what universities are you considering transferring?
      Next describe your career or professional goals: once you complete your higher education, what do you anticipate doing for the next thirty or forty years (in applying that education)?
  • Essay B, 500 to 1000 words long.
    • Imagine the following scenario.  Early in life (during your twenties and thirties) you become extremely successful in your career, and you earn a vast personal fortune; alternatively, you inherit a vast fortune from an outside source.
      You decide to give away one million dollars for your fortieth birthday – given to three or more recipients.  [These beneficiaries might include (but are not limited to) family members, friends, charitable organizations, educational or research institutions, fine arts organizations or institutions, philanthropies, church or religious organizations, environmental groups, human rights groups, civil liberties groups, animal welfare organizations, etc.]
      You must name the beneficiaries and how much money each recipient will receive, (e.g, $200,000 to person X, $300,000 to group Y, and $500,000 to organization Z). Then you must provide in detail the reasons for your choices and amounts, what criteria you applied to determine your selections, how you hope your gifts will be used, and any other groups or organizations you considered.

Guidelines for essays A and B

  • Each of the two essays must be 500 to 1000 words long.
  • Use standard, college level, formal written English for both.  Pay attention to such details as correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, sentence structure, etc.  
  • Very important; write your own essays!  Your submissions will be checked for possible plagiarism.  If substantial portions of your essays are identified as being plagiarized, your application will be rejected and you will not be eligible for the scholarship!

Contact Info

Phone: (928) 344-7685
Fax: (928) 344-7686
Location: LR 86
  • Monday - Thursday: 7:00am - 5:00pm