February 24, 2024
cornerstone university scholarships

Cornerstone University is a private, Christian liberal arts university located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Founded in 1941, Cornerstone has a long history of providing faith-based higher education to students from around the world.

With a main campus situated on 192 acres just 10 miles east of downtown Grand Rapids, Cornerstone offers a scenic suburban setting while still being close to the city. The university’s campus is known for its elegant, collegiate Gothic-style architecture featuring towering spires and ivy-covered brick buildings.

As a liberal arts school, Cornerstone offers a wide array of majors across the arts, humanities, sciences, and professional programs. Some of the university’s more notable undergraduate programs include business, engineering, nursing, education, and ministry/theology. Cornerstone is ranked regionally for several of its programs, such as its engineering, education, and nursing majors.

The university is divided into four colleges: Arts & Sciences, Professional Studies, Graduate Studies, and Ministry Leadership. Across its colleges and programs, Cornerstone emphasizes the integration of faith and learning with the goal of developing Christ-centered men and women equipped to serve in the workplace, church, and community.

Types of Scholarships Offered

Cornerstone University offers several different types of scholarships and financial aid to help students fund their education. The main categories of scholarships include:

Merit-Based Scholarships

Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on a student’s academic achievements, test scores, extracurricular involvement, leadership skills, and other talents or attributes. These scholarships recognize students for their hard work. Some examples of merit scholarships at Cornerstone include the President’s Scholarship, Dean’s Scholarship, and Academic Achievement Scholarship. The amounts range from $5,000 to full-tuition awards per year.

Need-Based Scholarships

Need-based scholarships provide financial assistance to students who demonstrate financial need. To qualify, students must complete the FAFSA form. Need-based awards help bridge the gap between a family’s resources and the cost of attendance. Some need-based options at Cornerstone are the Cornerstone Grant, Christian Leadership Scholarship, and the Student Employment Program.

Athletic Scholarships

Cornerstone offers athletic scholarships for various men’s and women’s sports. Recruited athletes may receive scholarships covering a portion or all of their tuition, fees, room and board. Sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

Subject-Specific Scholarships

Some scholarships are available to students pursuing specific subjects or academic programs. For example, Cornerstone offers scholarships for students in fields like business, education, music, worship arts, and more. These are based on a student’s chosen major or minor.

External/Third-Party Scholarships

There are many scholarship opportunities through private organizations, communities, religious groups, employers, etc. The university encourages students to apply for external scholarships to lower their out-of-pocket costs.

Merit-Based Scholarships

Merit-based scholarships at Cornerstone University are available for both new and current students. These scholarships are awarded based on a student’s academic achievements and do not take financial need into account.

The main merit-based scholarships at Cornerstone include:

  • Presidential Scholarship – Awarded to incoming freshmen with a minimum 3.8 high school GPA and 30 ACT or 1340 SAT score. This scholarship covers full tuition.
  • Dean’s Scholarship – Awarded to incoming freshmen with a minimum 3.5 high school GPA and 28 ACT or 1260 SAT score. This scholarship covers 80% of tuition.
  • Academic Achievement Scholarship – Awarded to incoming freshmen with a minimum 3.2 high school GPA and 26 ACT or 1170 SAT score. This scholarship covers 50% of tuition.
  • Transfer Academic Scholarship – Awarded to transfer students with a minimum 3.5 GPA from previous college credits. This scholarship covers between $5,000-$10,000 per year based on GPA.

Current Cornerstone students can also qualify for merit scholarships based on their cumulative GPA after completing 30 credit hours at the university. The Faculty Scholarship is awarded to current students with a 3.8+ GPA and covers 25% of tuition. The Dean’s List Scholarship goes to students with a 3.5-3.79 GPA and covers 15% of tuition.

To be considered for merit scholarships, students must submit a completed application, high school or college transcripts, and standardized test scores. The priority deadline for incoming freshmen is November 1st. Merit scholarships are renewed each year provided the recipient maintains satisfactory academic progress and required GPA level.

Need-Based Scholarships

Cornerstone University offers several need-based scholarships for students who require financial assistance to attend college. These scholarships help make an education at Cornerstone affordable for students from lower-income families.

To qualify for need-based scholarships, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. The FAFSA is used to determine a family’s financial need based on factors like household size, income, and number of children in college.

Students who demonstrate high financial need based on their FAFSA may be eligible for scholarships like the Cornerstone Grant or Advantage Scholarship. There are income thresholds to qualify, usually around $45,000 or less for a family size of four. The lower a student’s family income, the more need-based aid they may receive.

Need-based scholarships do not require a minimum GPA or test score. The key requirement is showing financial need. Renewal of need-based awards is contingent on re-filing the FAFSA each year and maintaining satisfactory academic progress.

Along with university scholarships, students with financial need may qualify for federal and state grants like the Pell Grant or Michigan Competitive Scholarship. Cornerstone’s financial aid office will work to package all available aid so students can afford college.

Need-based aid makes Cornerstone accessible to deserving students of all backgrounds. Students should complete the FAFSA early and contact the financial aid office to learn about options. With the right need-based scholarship, an education at Cornerstone can become reality.

Athletic Scholarships

Cornerstone University is a Division II school that competes in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). The university offers athletic scholarships for a number of men’s and women’s sports.

Some of the men’s sports that provide athletic scholarships are:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Track & Field

Women’s sports that offer athletic scholarships include:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball

The amount awarded for athletic scholarships varies by sport and the student-athlete’s abilities. Coaches determine scholarship amounts based on athletic skills and the needs of their teams. Scholarships are generally partial awards that cover a percentage of tuition and fees. Full ride scholarships are rare, even at the Division II level.

On average, athletic scholarship amounts at Cornerstone fall within these ranges:

  • Men’s sports: $5,000 – $15,000 per year
  • Women’s sports: $5,000 – $15,000 per year

The exact amount a student-athlete receives depends on their athletic talents and the resources available for that specific sport. But Division II athletic scholarships can make Cornerstone more affordable for gifted athletes.

External/Third-Party Scholarships

In addition to scholarships offered directly by Cornerstone University, there are many external organizations and community groups that provide scholarships to Cornerstone students. Here are some options to explore:

  • Local community foundations often offer scholarships to students from their geographic area. Research foundations in your hometown or region to find opportunities.
  • Your parent’s employers may provide scholarships for employees’ children. Ask your parents to check with their HR department about scholarship programs.
  • There are many national organizations and affinity groups that offer scholarships based on criteria like ethnicity, religion, field of study, hobbies/interests, etc. Do some research to find ones that fit your background and interests.
  • Your high school’s guidance counselor likely has information on local scholarships from community groups like the Rotary Club, Lions Club, etc. Check with your guidance office for opportunities.
  • Fastweb.com and Scholarships.com are large databases of national scholarships searchable by a variety of factors. Create a profile on these sites and apply for eligible scholarships.
  • Check with your place of worship, your parents’ credit union, your library, or other community organizations you’re involved with about potential scholarship opportunities.
  • If your parents work for a large corporation, check to see if they offer scholarships for employees’ children. Many have programs to support education.

The key is casting a wide net and taking time to search out and apply for external scholarships that are a fit for you. With some effort, you may be able to significantly lower your out-of-pocket costs at Cornerstone.

How to Apply for Scholarships

Applying for scholarships at Cornerstone University is straightforward, but requires attention to deadlines and preparation of supporting documents. Here are some tips for successfully obtaining scholarships:


  • Review scholarship deadlines early and note important dates. Deadlines for first year students are typically in February. Deadlines for transfer and continuing students are usually in March or April.
  • Submit applications and documents before the deadline. Late or incomplete submissions may not be considered.
  • If a scholarship deadline has passed, don’t give up. Some scholarships accept applications year-round or have later deadlines.

Required Documents

  • Prepare transcripts, test scores, FAFSA forms, recommendations letters, essays, and any other required documents in advance.
  • Follow instructions carefully and provide all requested supplemental information. Neatly type essays rather than handwriting them.
  • Proofread all materials before submitting. Typos or errors can impact scholarship chances.

Application Tips

  • Thoroughly read scholarship requirements before applying. Only apply to those you are eligible for.
  • Make copies of all applications and documents before submitting.
  • When possible, request confirmation that your application was received. Follow up if you do not receive confirmation.
  • Prioritize scholarships that align with your strengths, experiences, field of study, interests, background, or financial need.
  • Applying to many scholarships takes time, but maximizes your chances and options for financing college.

Maintaining Scholarship Eligibility

Scholarships at Cornerstone University are not guaranteed and students must meet certain criteria each year to maintain their eligibility. The three main requirements for continuing scholarship recipients are:

  • GPA Requirements – Most scholarships require students to maintain a minimum GPA, usually around 2.0-3.0, depending on the specific scholarship. Students should carefully review the GPA terms for their scholarships and be proactive about keeping their grades up. Dropping below the minimum GPA, even for one semester, could result in the loss of scholarships.
  • Credit Completion – Students must successfully complete a certain number of credit hours each academic year to keep their scholarships. Typically this ranges from 24-30 credits per year for full-time students. Failing to complete the required number of credits due to failed or withdrawn courses may jeopardize scholarships.
  • Other Stipulations – Some scholarships have additional requirements, such as maintaining full-time enrollment, continuing in the same academic major, performing community service hours, etc. Students need to fully understand all the terms tied to their specific scholarships and fulfill them accordingly.

The financial aid office and students’ academic advisors can provide guidance on scholarship renewal criteria. But ultimately, it is each student’s responsibility to monitor their eligibility status and ensure they are meeting the stipulations each year. With careful planning and hard work, Cornerstone students can maintain their scholarships throughout their academic career.

Scholarship Resources

The Office of Financial Aid at Cornerstone University is the best place to start your scholarship search. The financial aid office maintains a comprehensive database of all university-sponsored scholarships, external scholarships, state and federal grants, loans, and work study programs available to CU students.

To get personalized guidance on finding and applying for scholarships, make an appointment to meet with a financial aid counselor. Counselors can help match you with scholarships you may be eligible for based on your academic program, extracurricular activities, financial need, and other factors. They can also assist with the application process and provide tips on presenting a strong application.

In addition to the financial aid office, each academic department at Cornerstone has designated faculty counselors who can advise on scholarships within their fields of study. Connect with department counselors to learn about opportunities specific to your major. Academic advisors can also point students to relevant scholarships.

The financial aid website contains the scholarship database along with downloadable applications, eligibility criteria, deadlines, and other resources. Students should check the site regularly, as new scholarships are frequently added. Create an account to save scholarship searches and get alerts about new offerings.

Applying for scholarships takes time and effort, but the investment pays off. With counselor support, a persistent search of the scholarship database, and polished applications, Cornerstone University students have an excellent chance of securing funding to reduce the cost of attendance.

Choosing Cornerstone University

Cornerstone University offers many benefits that make it an attractive choice for prospective students. Here are some of the key reasons to choose Cornerstone:

Benefits of Attending

  • Faith-based learning environment – Cornerstone provides a Christ-centered education that integrates faith and learning. Students can grow spiritually while pursuing their academic goals.
  • Small class sizes – With a student to faculty ratio of 15:1, classes are small and intimate. This allows for more personalized attention and interaction with professors.
  • Variety of degree programs – Cornerstone offers over 100 majors, minors, and pre-professional programs across its traditional undergraduate, adult, and graduate divisions.
  • Beautiful campus – The suburban campus in Grand Rapids, MI spans over 1,200 acres and provides a scenic collegiate setting. State-of-the-art facilities include the Faber Center for Entrepreneurship.
  • Study abroad opportunities – Cornerstone has partnerships in over 30 countries for international study experiences. This allows students to gain global perspective.
  • Strong community – Cornerstone fosters community with over 80 student clubs and organizations. The residence life program promotes growth through activities and mentorship.

Support Services

  • Academic support – Free tutoring services, counseling, and an academic success center help students excel and reach their potential.
  • Career services – Career services guides students through the career search process with resume help, mock interviews, networking events, and job/internship fairs.
  • Disability support – Accommodations are available for students with disabilities to provide equal access to academic programs and campus facilities.
  • Financial aid – The financial aid office helps students access scholarships, grants, work study, and loans to make Cornerstone affordable.

Student Outcomes

  • High graduation rates – Over 60% of Cornerstone students complete their degree within 6 years, higher than the national average.
  • Successful graduates – 97% of graduates are employed or attending graduate school within 6 months of graduation. Cornerstone prepares students for career success.
  • Satisfied students – Current students rate their experience highly, citing quality instruction, supportive community, and spiritual growth as standout features.

Choosing Cornerstone University opens the door to an enriching and transformative educational journey grounded in faith and academic excellence. With supportive student services and successful outcomes, Cornerstone empowers students to thrive.

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