January 27, 1998
KALAMAZOO -- More than 500 of the brightest stars of the 1998 high school senior class in Michigan and six other states will gather at Western Michigan University over two Saturdays, Feb. 14 and 21, for the 14th annual Medallion Scholarship Competition.
The top seniors from more than 275 high schools will converge on the WMU campus to compete for four-year scholarships valued at more than $2 million to attend WMU beginning this fall. The Medallion Scholarships represent some of the largest merit scholarships in American public higher education.
Since the program began 14 years ago, nearly 10,000 students have participated and some $70 million in four-year scholarships has been offered.
Capping off the scholarship program are the prestigious Medallion Scholarships, currently worth $32,000 over four years. In 1997, 21 students earned Medallion Scholarships and, to date, 197 students have received the top awards totaling some $4.6 million.
Also available are $24,000 and $4,800 awards. Each student who participates in the event and enrolls at WMU is guaranteed a $4,800 scholarship, the equivalent of approximately 12 credit hours of free tuition each year for four years.
Only the cream of the crop of this year's high school graduating classes is invited to attend. Students had to apply to WMU by Dec. 31 and had to carry at least a 3.8 grade point average and an American College Test score of 25 or better. The selection committee will consider grades, courses, test scores and performance in the on-campus competition as well as leadership activities, recommendations and, in some cases, personal interviews. Awards will be offered by March 31.
Among the participants this year are 241 students who have perfect 4.0 GPAs and 143 who have ACT scores of 30 or higher. The highest ACT score is 36.
Some 1,000 of their parents also will be attending to participate in information sessions and other activities. The parent agenda for the day will feature sessions on the Lee Honors College, financial aid, housing and study abroad, as well as discussions with current scholarship recipients and parents of current recipients. Tours of Eldridge-Fox residence halls, Waldo Library and the Student Recreation Center also will be conducted. In addition, parents will have an opportunity to cheer on the Bronco women's basketball team and see WMU's award-winning vocal jazz group, Gold Company, in concert at Miller Auditorium.
Registration for the event will be conducted from 9 to 10 a.m. in the first floor lobby of the Bernhard Center. At 10 a.m. in the center's East Ballroom, students will be welcomed by John Fraire, dean of admissions. Also welcoming students will be Dr. E. Thomas Lawson, chairperson of the Medallion Committee and of WMU's Department of Comparative Religion, and Christopher W. Tremblay, assistant director of admissions.
In the morning, representatives of more than 40 departments and offices will be available so students and parents may obtain information about services and resources offered to these admitted students.
Throughout the rest of the day, the students will participate in essay writing and group problem solving activities. They also will attend panel discussions featuring some of the current Medallion Scholarship recipients and representatives of the Lee Honors College. In addition, students will experience a WMU class by participating in one of 15 "honors colloquia."
Besides the Bernhard Center, events will take place in Sangren Hall, the Fetzer Center, Schneider Hall and the Lee Honors College.
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA