Central Michigan University (CMU) is a public research university located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Founded in 1892, CMU offers over 200 academic programs at the undergraduate, master’s, specialist, and doctoral levels.
CMU is committed to making higher education accessible and affordable. The university offers numerous scholarships and financial aid programs to help students fund their education. Scholarships are monetary gifts that do not need to be repaid by the recipient. They are awarded based on criteria such as academic merit, financial need, field of study, talents, or other attributes.
CMU has scholarships available through various sources including the university, academic departments, athletics, external organizations, and more. There are scholarships for both incoming first-year students as well as currently enrolled students. Some scholarships are automatically renewed yearly if academic and eligibility criteria are met.
The CMU scholarship application process varies by each award. Some require completing the general scholarship application, while others call for supplemental essays or portfolios. Competitive scholarships often factor in academic achievement, test scores, leadership experience, and community involvement. Applying early and understanding all requirements are key for scholarship applicants.
CMU awarded over $48 million in scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year. This guide provides an overview of the major CMU scholarship categories, application process, renewal information, and helpful resources for prospective and current students. Whether looking to fund undergraduate or graduate studies, CMU has diverse scholarship options to help students access and succeed in higher education.
At Central Michigan University, academic scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen based on high school GPA, ACT/SAT test scores, and class rank. These merit-based scholarships reward students for their academic achievements and do not take financial need into account.
The top academic scholarship offered is the President’s Scholarship, which awards full tuition and fees to students who have a 3.7+ GPA and a 30+ ACT score (1380+ SAT). Other academic scholarships include:
- Trustees Scholarship – Covers $6,000 per year for students with a 3.5+ GPA and 28+ ACT (1300+ SAT)
- Deans Scholarship – Covers $3,000 per year for students with a 3.2+ GPA and 25+ ACT (1170+ SAT)
- Award of Distinction – Covers $2,000 per year for students with a 3.0+ GPA and 21+ ACT (1010+ SAT)
To qualify for academic scholarships, students must be admitted to CMU as a first-time freshman student. The scholarships are renewable for up to 4 years as long as the student maintains satisfactory academic progress and full-time enrollment.
In addition to the GPA and test score requirements, some academic scholarships have additional eligibility criteria, such as an interview, audition, portfolio review or nomination. Students should check the CMU scholarship website for the most current details on requirements and selection criteria.
Academic scholarships reward hard work and give students financial support to achieve their goals at CMU. By maintaining a high GPA, incoming freshmen may qualify for a renewable scholarship that recognizes their past academic success.
Central Michigan University offers a wide range of scholarships to students based on financial need. These scholarships help make college more affordable for students from lower-income families.
The main source of need-based aid is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). By filling out the FAFSA, students are automatically considered for all need-based financial aid, including grants, work-study, and scholarships. CMU requires students to submit the FAFSA each year to determine eligibility.
Some of the major need-based CMU scholarships include:
- CMU Grant – Awards up to $5,500 per year based on need. No separate application required beyond the FAFSA.
- CMU Access Scholarship – For new undergraduates with high need. Awards up to $2,000 per year.
- CMU Michigan Competitive Scholarship – For MI residents with financial need. Awards up to $1,300 per year. Requires separate application.
- CMU Work-Study – Part-time campus jobs to earn money during school. Award amount varies.
- Federal Pell Grant – Federal awards up to $6,345 per year based on exceptional need.
- Federal Supplemental Ed Opportunity Grant – Additional federal awards up to $4,000 per year for students with high need.
CMU also offers several departmental scholarships for needy students in specific programs, such as education, health sciences, music, and more. Students are automatically considered for these upon declaring their major.
Meeting financial need is a high priority for CMU. By submitting the FAFSA and any other required applications, students in need gain access to numerous aid opportunities to make their education attainable.
Central Michigan University offers a variety of scholarships for specific undergraduate majors and academic departments. These are awarded by the department or college to outstanding students pursuing degrees in that field of study.
Some examples of CMU departmental scholarships include:
- Accounting Scholarships – Awarded to accounting majors who demonstrate academic achievement and an interest in pursuing a career in accounting. These include scholarships like the Fraud Examiners Scholarship and Deloitte Foundation Scholarship.
- Art and Design Scholarships – The School of Art and Design offers talent-based scholarships to incoming freshmen pursuing degrees in art, graphic design, photography, and more. Portfolios are required.
- Business Scholarships – The College of Business Administration provides scholarships to high-achieving business students, with awards for various majors like marketing, management, finance, and hospitality services.
- Chemistry Scholarships – Chemistry majors can apply for departmental scholarships like the Herbert H. Dow Scholarship, Louis C. Salvatore Chemistry Scholarship, and plenty more based on merit and financial need.
- Journalism Scholarships – The School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts offers many scholarships for journalism majors based on skill and academic performance, such as the Ron Bierman Photojournalism Scholarship.
- Music and Theatre Scholarships – Talent scholarships are available for outstanding musicians, vocalists, and thespians through auditions and portfolio reviews.
Students should contact their department advisor to learn about scholarship opportunities within their major. Maintaining a high GPA and pursuing leadership opportunities can help students qualify.
Central Michigan University offers athletic scholarships to talented student athletes across various sports. These scholarships help student athletes cover the costs of tuition, room and board, books, and fees while competing for CMU’s Division I athletic programs.
Some key points about CMU’s athletic scholarships:
- Scholarships are awarded by the coaching staff of each sport. Sports offered include football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, swimming, track & field, wrestling, and more.
- The NCAA allows Division I programs like CMU to provide student athletes with scholarships covering tuition, fees, room, board, and books. These are called full scholarships. Teams can also award partial scholarships.
- Scholarship amounts are determined by coaches based on athletic ability, competition level, team needs, and recruiting strategy. Full ride scholarships are rare and often split among multiple athletes.
- Prospective student athletes should contact coaches of their sport starting in their junior year of high school to express interest and potentially be recruited.
- Incoming freshmen must meet NCAA academic eligibility requirements, including minimum GPA and test scores, to qualify. Current students can also walk-on and potentially earn a scholarship.
- Scholarships are renewed each year at the coaches’ discretion based on factors like athletic performance, grades, conduct, and team contribution. Injury can impact renewal.
Obtaining an athletic scholarship provides a great opportunity for student athletes to continue their sports career while earning an affordable college degree. CMU has a tradition of competitive athletic programs where hard-working student athletes can thrive on and off the field.
In addition to scholarships offered directly by Central Michigan University, there are many outside scholarships available from other organizations, companies, foundations, and more. These can provide excellent opportunities to help fund your education.
Some places to look for outside scholarships include:
- Your employer or your parents’ employers – Many companies offer scholarships or tuition assistance programs for employees and their families. Check with the HR department to learn about opportunities.
- Community organizations – Local rotaries, chambers of commerce, women’s clubs, and other community groups often provide scholarships, especially for community service.
- Professional or affinity organizations – Groups you or your family belong to based on heritage, religion, career interests, hobbies, etc. may offer scholarships to their members.
- Banks and credit unions – Many banking institutions offer scholarships, particularly credit unions which focus on community initiatives.
- High school guidance counselors – Your high school may still have resources on scholarship opportunities available to their graduating seniors or alumni.
- Online scholarship databases – Sites like FastWeb, Scholarships.com, BigFuture by CollegeBoard, and others allow you to search and apply for thousands of national and local scholarships in one place.
- Federal or state government – Check for Pell Grants, SMART grants, TEACH grants, state-level programs, and more.
- High school and community foundations – Local foundations, especially in the city where you went to high school, are worth checking with about their scholarship offerings.
- Religious institutions – Churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. may have scholarships available for affiliated students.
- Ethnic associations – Scholarships may be offered through Hispanic, Black, Asian, Jewish, Italian, etc. associations.
The key is to search broadly for outside scholarships you may qualify for. Even smaller $500 or $1,000 awards can add up over time to make a difference in covering college costs. Be sure to apply to as many reputable scholarships as possible that match your background and interests.
Scholarship Application Process
Prospective and current students at Central Michigan University have access to a wide variety of merit and need-based scholarships. The application process varies depending on the specific scholarship, but here is an overview of the general process:
- Start early – Begin researching scholarships and gathering application materials at least 6-8 months before the academic year begins. Deadlines are usually early in the calendar year for the upcoming fall semester.
- Review eligibility – Each scholarship has its own eligibility criteria, such as GPA, major, financial need, etc. Make sure you review the requirements carefully before applying.
- Fill out the FAFSA – Many need-based scholarships require you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This helps determine your financial need.
- Watch for deadlines – Application deadlines are usually in January through March for fall scholarships. Mark your calendar and submit materials on time.
- Prepare application materials – In addition to the application form, you may need to submit transcripts, test scores, essays, letters of recommendation, or other supporting documents.
- Submit online – Most CMU scholarship applications must be completed through the online scholarship system. Follow all instructions carefully.
- Check status – Log back into the scholarship system to track the status of your applications. Respond quickly if additional materials are requested.
- Accept award – If offered a scholarship, be sure to accept it by the deadline and complete any additional acceptance paperwork.
With advance planning and attention to deadlines and details, you can maximize your opportunities for scholarship funding at CMU. Contact the Financial Aid office if you have any questions about the application process.
Most scholarships at Central Michigan University are renewable for up to 4 years as long as you meet certain criteria. Requirements for renewal vary by scholarship, but generally include:
- Maintaining a minimum GPA. Most scholarships require at least a 2.5 GPA, while some require a 3.0 GPA or higher. Review your scholarship offer for the specific GPA required.
- Taking a full-time course load. Most scholarships require you to register for at least 12 credits per semester. Some have higher credit requirements such as 15 credits.
- Making satisfactory academic progress towards your degree. This means successfully completing your courses and staying on track to graduate.
- Meeting any other criteria outlined in your original scholarship letter. This may include things like maintaining enrollment in a certain academic program.
- Submitting a renewal application. Most scholarships require you to reapply each year by completing a renewal form. Deadlines are usually in the spring for the upcoming year.
- Providing any requested supporting documentation. You may need to submit new FAFSA forms, recommendation letters, transcripts, etc.
- Performing any required service. Some scholarships have volunteering, work-study, or other service requirements for renewal.
Keeping your scholarship is important for continuing to fund your education. Be sure to understand the specific renewal criteria for each of your scholarships and stay on top of deadlines and requirements. Reach out to the financial aid office if you have any questions about renewing your scholarships each year.
Common questions prospective students have about CMU scholarships:
What are the main types of scholarships offered by CMU?
CMU offers several types of scholarships for incoming students including merit-based academic scholarships, need-based scholarships, departmental scholarships within specific majors, athletic scholarships, and more. The main categories are academic, need-based, departmental, athletic, and outside scholarships.
How do I apply for CMU scholarships?
Most CMU scholarships require submitting either the general scholarship application, a separate departmental application, the FAFSA form for need-based aid, or an athletic application. Check each scholarship for its specific materials. The main application deadline is early March.
Are scholarships guaranteed all 4 years?
Most CMU academic scholarships are renewable for 4 years based on meeting certain GPA and credit requirements. Need-based and athletic scholarships must be reapplied for each year. Read the renewal criteria for your specific scholarships.
What is the average scholarship amount?
Scholarship amounts vary greatly. Academic awards range from $2,000 up to full tuition. Need-based and athletic awards also vary in amount based on financial factors and athletic standing. The average freshman academic scholarship is estimated around $5,000.
If I’m awarded multiple scholarships, can I stack them?
Yes, you can receive multiple CMU scholarships in one year. However, the combined amount cannot exceed the cost of attendance as determined by the financial aid office. Speak with your financial aid counselor if you receive scholarships exceeding this limit.
Additional Scholarship Resources
Central Michigan University offers many different scholarship opportunities for incoming and current students. However, there are even more scholarships available through external organizations, companies, nonprofits, and other sources. Here are some additional resources students can utilize to find more scholarships:
- CMU Financial Aid Office – The financial aid office maintains a database of both CMU scholarships and external scholarships that students can browse. They can help match students to potential scholarship opportunities based on their qualifications.
- Fastweb – This is a large online scholarship search engine where students can create a profile and get matched to scholarships. It has information on national, local, college-specific, and company-sponsored scholarship programs.
- Scholarships.com – Similar to Fastweb, this website has a large database of scholarships searchable by student profile. It provides information on scholarship requirements, deadlines, award amounts and more.
- Professional Associations – Many professional associations related to various majors and careers offer scholarships to student members. Checking association websites can unveil niche scholarship opportunities.
- Employers/Parent’s Employers – Many companies and corporations offer scholarships to children of employees or students pursing degrees related to their industry. Checking with employers is a great place to uncover these.
- Community Organizations – Local charities, churches, clubs, and other community organizations may provide scholarships, particularly for students from their region. Connecting with groups in your community can reveal local opportunities.
- Library Resources – Many libraries have books and access to scholarship databases that can assist students in finding additional aid opportunities. The CMU library has many of these resources.
With some dedicated searching across these avenues, CMU students can uncover many more potential scholarships beyond what the university itself offers. The financial aid office is the best starting point to learn about resources and get guidance on the scholarship search process.