WMU boosts need-based aid for 10 top incoming students

Contact: Cheryl Roland
Photo of two WMU students

WMU's new Foundation Scholarships consist of 10 $50,000 awards.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—High-achieving students who intend to be part of Western Michigan University's fall 2015 incoming class will have a shot at one of 10 new $50,000 scholarships that will be awarded based on both academic performance and demonstrated financial need.

The University is adding the new Foundation Scholarships to its mix of top scholarships for beginning students. The awards will provide recipients with $12,500 per year for four years and are similar to WMU's famed, merit-based Medallion Scholarships. High-need, high-achieving students may be eligible to enter the running for both types of scholarships, but can only receive one.

"As a University community, our goal is always to expand access and opportunity," says WMU President John M. Dunn. "Too often, we meet students with real need who are incredibly well qualified for admission and who have the ability to make enormous contributions to society. These new scholarships were designed to provide a foundation that ensures such students have an opportunity to reach their full potential."

Nominations, applications and deadlines

To identify prospective awardees, WMU is asking high school principals, advisors and teachers to nominate students who fit the academic and need requirements of the scholarships. Timing is critical, as such nominations must be received by WMU no later than Dec. 15. Nomination forms and additional information about timing and eligibility requirements are available at wmich.edu/admissions/freshmen/scholarships/foundation/.

To qualify, students must have a high school GPA of 3.7 at the end of their junior year or a minimum ACT score of 26. Students with those qualifications who have already applied or are planning to apply will automatically be added to the candidate pool if they've signified financial need by having an approved fee waiver request at the time of application. To be eligible, students must apply by Dec. 22 and be admitted for fall 2015 by Jan. 5.

Once the application/admittance deadlines have passed, a selection committee will narrow the pool to a smaller group of semifinalists. Those students will be invited to complete a biographical sketch and provide a two-minute video to be used in the finalist selection process. Those materials must be submitted by 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9.

Scholarship offers will be made to students by March 15. For students who are selected, the criteria for continuing eligibility will be to maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA at WMU and good standing in its Lee Honors College. Semifinalists who do not receive the Foundation Scholarship will receive a minimum of $3,000 in scholarships to attend the University.

Foundation Scholarship

The Foundation Scholarship fund is set up in the WMU Foundation. Donations to the fund can be made at mywmu.com/gift, using Foundation Scholarship in the designation message.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.

For additional information about the new scholarship program, contact Dr. Christopher Tremblay, WMU associate provost for enrollment management, at christopher.tremblay@wmich.edu or (269) 387-4336.