President’s Speech and Debate Scholarships

If you have significant experience in interscholastic debate or speaking, you've won awards in open/senior/championship division, and you want to commit to full participation in the forensics program during your four years while at Whitman College, you are encouraged to apply for a President's Scholarship in Debate. Whitman's program competes in team policy debate, team parliamentary debate, and impromptu and extemporaneous speaking.

President's Scholarships are awarded to entering students in recognition of exceptional talent. The scholarship meets all of the recipient's demonstrated financial need when combined with scholarships or grants from any other sources and varies from $2,500 to $47,000 per year, according to need. President's Scholarships for students without demonstrated financial need will range from $2,500 to $6,000 per year, depending on available monies. Precise scholarship amounts will be listed in the student's Financial Aid Award Letter. Financial need is determined by the Office of Financial Aid Services using data from both the FAFSA and CSS Profile, which are due to the appropriate agencies by February 1, 2015.

President's Scholarship in Debate Application Process

If you are interested, please contact Dr. Kevin D. Kuswa, the Director of Debate at Once you contact the Director, he will ask you for a brief letter expressing your intent to apply for the scholarship opportunities and briefly sketching your experience in speech and debate. Then, by February 1st, you will be asked to send an official debate scholarship application to Dr. Kuswa at That application requires:

  • GPA information
  • SAT I/ACT scores
  • Forensics experience listed by year (activity, tournament, result)
  • A coach's letter of recommendation
  • A brief example of your work in forensics (portion of a file, an oratory, etc.) A short letter discussing your reasons for participating in debate in college and your commitment to putting four years into the activity. Please specify your commitment to an open and encouraging team environment and what that means to you.

Optional items you may decide to include:

  • A second letter of recommendation from a person qualified to talk about your academic or forensic skills
  • A video (file attachment) of a speech

We look forward to hearing from you. You are welcome to ask any addition questions by contacting Dr. Kuswa at