Scholarships for Undergraduate Students

While most U.S. federal financial aid is restricted to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, international undergraduate students may apply to other funding sources. For a U.S. university to issue an I-20 or DS-2019, international students must provide evidence of the ability to pay for all tuition and living expenses.

A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further their education and can be awarded upon various criteria that might include academic merit and demonstration of financial need. 

Undergraduate Scholarship Opportunities at WMU 

Most scholarships can be combined so we encourage you to apply for as many scholarships as possible!

Global Education Merit Scholarship (Fall 2023 Onward)  

We are excited to announce the 2023 Western Michigan University (WMU) Global Education Merit Scholarship for international students starting Fall 2023 and onward. WMU is proud of its deep and historic commitment to international student success and well-being. We are among only 50% of public universities to offer a scholarship designed for international students.

The WMU Global Education Merit Scholarship offers a scholarship with annual  awards of $5,000 based on merit to first-time international students (dispersed at $2,500 for Fall and Spring semesters) for a maximum duration of 4 years (equal to 8 semesters for Fall and Spring semesters). Scholarship is awarded for tuition only. The scholarship supports your success at WMU: one of the most affordable, public research institutions in the Midwestern USA. WMU's International Student and Scholar Services (I3S)—a unit of the Haenicke Institute for Global Education—connects international students to additional financial resources such as on-campus employment and other scholarship sources.

Upon submission of your complete application for admission to WMU, including a required Personal Statement essay by the deadline below, scholarships are awarded to selected applicants by a committee based on merit.  No additional application is necessary!

Deadlines & Notifications

WMU Application DeadlineAward NotificationAcceptance Deadline*
March 1April 1April 15

*Terms of acceptance are provided in award letters. 

Eligibility for Scholarship Consideration

    • Complete academic admission with all application materials AND required Personal Statement essay received by March 1, 2023. No additional application is necessary.
    • Personal Statement Essay (REQUIRED):

      You are required to submit a one-page (maximum 500-word), typewritten essay with your online application by deadline. In the essay, please explain and highlight your curricular and co-curricular achievements and activities related to your current plans and goals at Western Michigan University and beyond.

    • Undergraduate degree-seeking student entering WMU for the first time after secondary school or transfer from another post-secondary institution in a FALL semester. This includes undergraduate degree pathway programs. 

    • Non-resident international status.
    • Intending F-1 SEVIS active full-time students to study in the US.
    • 3.5 minimum cumulative GPA (on a four-point scale)

Exclusions from Scholarship Consideration:

  • Visa holders other than F-1
  • Students fully funded for tuition through Governmental or NGO scholarships
  • International undergraduate students applying for and enrolled in fully online degree programs (programs comprised of all online courses) 

Terms and Conditions (Effective Fall 2023)

The Global Education Merit Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship awarded to international students upon first-time admission to Western Michigan University.  The WMU Global Education Merit Scholarship offers annual awards of $5000 based on merit to first-time international students. 

Award Duration

Eight semesters or until graduation, whichever comes first.

Students in the Pathway Program (Dual Enrollment) may be eligible to renew up to nine semesters.

Scholarship Payments

Scholarship will be credited to your student account in two equal installments of $2,500 each for fall and spring. Scholarship disbursement is contingent upon full time enrollment (minimum of 12 credits a semester).

Scholarship applies only to WMU academic tuition.

Scholarship funds will cover only the academic credits, not the ESL/CELCIS credits during the Pathway Program. Students coming to CELCIS before WMU will be awarded the scholarship for WMU academic classes only after successfully completing the CELCIS program. 

Note: International undergraduate students enrolled in fully online degree programs (programs comprised of all online courses) will not be eligible for the scholarship.

Payment Adjustments After Drop/Add Period  

If your enrollment drops below 12 credit hours after your scholarship has been paid, your scholarship for that semester will be canceled and billed back to your WMU student account.

Renewal Criteria

The scholarship will be automatically renewed to the second, third and fourth years if you have:

  • Earned a minimum of 3.0 GPA during the previous academic year
  • Successfully completed a minimum of 24 credits per academic year
  • Enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits in each of the fall and spring semesters
  • Continued to hold active F-1 status
  • Continued to hold nonresident status for tuition purposes

The scholarship is usually posted approximately a week prior to the beginning of the semester.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Please monitor your semester grades, and the total credit hours you had successfully completed in each academic year.  If you are NOT maintaining the required GPA or credit hour requirements, the scholarship will be suspended. You will have one opportunity to explain your deficiency and appeal for re-instatement of your scholarship.  Following is the appeal process:

  • You must contact International Student and Scholar Services (I3S) to learn the procedure to submit an appeal form
  • An appeal committee will review the documents.  You will be notified of the committee's decision approximately one week after the appeal form and supporting documents are received in the I3S office.
  • If you choose not to appeal, your appeal is denied, or you choose to stop attending WMU for a fall and/or spring term, your scholarship will not be reinstated.

Changes in Enrollment

Please notify International Student and Scholar Services of your plans in writing if you will be:

  • Enrolled in less than 12 credit hours for academic reasons (i.e. enrolled in an internship, graduation, or other extenuating circumstances)
  • Taking leave of absence for one or more fall/spring semesters.
  • Scholarship re-instatement may be approved upon return from Leave of Absence only if the absence was for unavoidable official reasons or due to medical problems.

Termination of Scholarship

You will no longer be eligible for this scholarship if:

  • You leave WMU or transfer to another college or university or are academically dismissed
  • You fail to meet any of the renewal criteria above

Terms & Conditions Subject to Change  

Eligibility and award amounts as published here represent currently approved scholarship amounts. However, Western Michigan University reserves the right to amend the scholarship terms and conditions without prior notice, upon approval by the Haenicke Institute for Global Education.  Awards of scholarships are contingent upon available funds.

Global Engagement Component  

By accepting this award you become eligible to participate in the Haenicke Institute for Global Education’s (HIGE) global engagement promotion and recruitment activities, for which you will be contacted by the HIGE staff.

(Last updated February 28, 2023)