CMU expands merit scholarships to reward about 800 more students

University now awarding $61 million in financial aid
CMU Warriner Mall

EDITOR’S NOTE: Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services Steven Johnson will be available for media interviews from 1 to 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18. To schedule an interview, email Steve Smith at smith1sf@cmich.edu

About 800 additional freshmen will receive academic merit scholarships to Central Michigan University next fall thanks to an increase of $6 million in institutional financial aid.

CMU is investing a record $61 million in an effort to make a college education more affordable for more families. The new scholarships will benefit nearly one third of the typical incoming freshman class.

In addition to awarding more scholarships, CMU also is increasing their value — most will be worth $3,000 to $6,000 a year, which equals up to one half of a student’s tuition.  What’s more, for the first time ever, students with GPAs of 3.0 to 3.49 will be eligible for the merit awards.

Previously, students had to have a GPA of at least 3.5 to qualify for CMU’s merit awards, including the prestigious, full tuition Centralis Scholarship.

“CMU is a first-choice university for students driven to discover and achieve,” said CMU President George E. Ross. “They should be rewarded for their academic achievement in high school.”

“Student success at CMU starts with affordability.  It then delivers robust experiences inside the classroom and beyond,” Ross said.  “Those include hands-on research and creative work, extensive leadership opportunities, volunteer efforts, and study abroad.”

Close to 80 percent of CMU’s 27,000 students receive some form of financial aid. In addition to CMU’s $61 million investment, the university distributes close to $300 million in private, state and federal financial awards and grants.

Highlights of CMU’s new financial aid and scholarship program include:

  • 130 Centralis Gold competitive, full-tuition, four-year scholarships for the most academically talented students — an increase from 20 awards a year.
  • Three new merit scholarships awarded on a first-come, first-served basis based on GPAs of at least 3.0 and ACT score of at least 21:
    • the Academic Prestige Award, valued at $6,000 a year;
    • the Academic Excellence Award, valued at $4,500 a year; and
    • the Academic Success Award, valued at $3,000 a year.
  • To renew the scholarships for three years, students must maintain a cumulative 3.25 GPA and successfully complete 30 credit hours each academic year.
  • Under old guidelines, CMU merit scholarships were valued at $2,500 a year.

“CMU’s goal is to make college possible for a greater number of high-achieving students,” said Steven Johnson, vice president of enrollment and student services. “This investment will assist students in significantly reducing debt and successfully graduating in four years.”

Details of CMU’s financial aid program are available here or by contacting the CMU Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at 989-774-3674 or Admissions at 989-774-3076.