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Nineteen new students win $50,000 Medallion Scholarships

by Deanne Puca

July 7, 2011 | WMU News

KALAMAZOO--Nineteen freshmen have won coveted Medallion Scholarships to begin their studies at Western Michigan University this fall. Medallion Scholarships are the highest merit-based award WMU can bestow on an incoming freshman. Valued at $50,000 each over four years, they constitute one of the largest merit-based awards in American higher education.

Fifteen of this year's incoming scholars received a Presidential Medallion Scholarship. The remaining four scholars received awards that bear the names of their scholarships' donors or the individuals for whom the scholarships were established.

The 2011 recipients were announced in June. The students were selected after competing for the awards in the 28th annual Medallion Scholarship Program Competition Jan. 22 at WMU. Invitations to compete were based on a combination of grade point averages and ACT scores, and were extended to students who had applied to WMU by Dec. 3, 2010.

A total of 683 seniors from across Michigan and the United States participated in this year's competition. The daylong event included essay writing and group problem-solving activities for the students as well as an informational session for the participants' parents.

The 40 top-performing competitors returned to campus and were interviewed as finalists for the Medallion Scholarship, with 19 ultimately being selected to receive the honor.

In addition to the $50,000 monetary award, Medallion Scholars become members of WMU's Lee Honors College. The college, one of the oldest honors programs in nation, enhances the undergraduate learning experience by providing such benefits as smaller class sizes, individualized academic advising and a freshman-mentoring program.

The finalists not awarded Medallion Scholarships were offered a top-tier Deans' Scholarship worth $6,000 over two years, and all of the remaining competitors were offered a one-time Dean's Scholarship worth $3,000. In addition, every Dean's Scholarship recipient who lives in a WMU residence hall during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years will receive a $4,000 Residence Hall Award to offset their 2012-13 housing costs.

This year's Medallion Scholars have an average ACT score of 30.74 and a grade point average of 4.20. They will begin their studies at WMU in the fall and are scheduled to graduate during the 2014-15 academic year.

For more information about the Medallion Scholarship, visit or contact Christopher Voss at or (269) 387-2051.

2011 Medallion Scholars