Eastern Michigan University is set to implement a new scholarship program next fall to help incentivize students to graduate within four years.
The program, 4WARD Graduation Scholarship, will fully outline in advance the fixed cost of attendance for the student’s freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years. According to Kevin Kucera, vice president for enrollment management at EMU, the program will be beneficial for families who have questions and concerns about college affordability.
Under the scholarship, students will pay the annual set tuition fee of $13,000 for their first and second year. During their third and fourth year, EMU will fully cover the cost of tuition. Additionally, each year, students will pay a locked-in flat rate of $10,500 for room and board fees, which includes a standard double room and standard meal plan.
Students are required to live on campus for all four years and the tuition price will include 30 credit hours per year.
EMU officials note that national research suggests that students living on campus hold a higher GPA, become more involved with campus programs and organizations, stay connected with professors and classmates, remain enrolled in the university and are overall more satisfied with their college experience.
“We hope that this [scholarship] help students really enjoy the on-campus experience and the academic experience,” said Geoffrey S. Larcom, a spokesman for EMU. “This scholarship really paves the way for that. So I hope it really helps a variety of students in both an academic and social sense.”
Currently, the number of in-state Michigan and Ohio residents who attend EMU is 16,544 while only 642 students come from other states.
The new scholarship “will likely appeal to some students who might not otherwise be aware of Eastern Michigan University in a variety of neighboring states,” said Larcom.
Students must meet eligibility requirements to be considered for the scholarship, including a 3.0 GPA in high school, a minimum score of 20 on the ACT and 1020 on the SAT. There is no cap on the number of students who can earn the scholarship.
“I just think that it is an exciting option for a family to consider,” said Kucera. “It is not for everyone and I totally understand that, we are not billing it that way. I think it’s a relatively unique option and I think it’s going to help some families who never would have considered Eastern Michigan in the first place to really take a look at us. So, again, I think it could be a win-win situation.”
In addition to the new program, EMU offers need-based, academic-based and department-based scholarships. However, the 4WARD Graduation Scholarship cannot be combined with any of the other university scholarships.
“This program is not meant to replace any of our existing scholarship programs,” said Kucera. “It is just meant to be one more option in our tool box of institutional financial aid possibilities.”
Sarah Wood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.