College of Arts & Sciences Communication Studies

Speech & Debate Scholarships

Jordan Scholarship (for Incoming Freshman)  

A total of four incoming freshman can receive a Jordan Scholarship worth $300. The application process for incoming freshman seeking the Jordan Scholarship begins in January of each year. Students who have been accepted to the University can apply for a Jordan Scholarship from January 2 through April 9 at midnight. A complete application consists of the following materials:

  • Typed 300 word personal statement.
  • Typed list of debate awards received within the current or last year of high school competition.
  • Typed personal contact information including a physical address, phone number, and email address.

Please send your electronic application to Dr. Shane Semmler at  The application should be sent as either an MS Word document or as a .pdf file.

Those selected to receive a Jordan Scholarship will be contacted by the end of business on April 13. Receipt of the Jordan Scholarship is contingent on the prospective student's commitment to attend USD, active participation in the forensic team, and a thank you letter addressed to the scholarships' donors.

Frieberg Participation Scholarship

The forensic scholarship for upper class students is the Frieberg Participation Scholarship. It is divided between all active team participants ($2800 per year divided by the number of active participants, usually about 6 to 10 debaters/speakers). Active participation is defined as attending 80% of practice meetings and at least 4 of 5 tournaments. Frieberg Participation Scholarships are allocated in the spring semester of each academic year and after the close of the regular season (i.e., early March). Students earning a Frieberg Participation Scholarship must write a thank you letter to the scholarship's donors.