Sixteen Eastern Michigan University freshmen have been awarded the Presidential Scholarship, the largest academic award at EMU.
The scholarship is a four-year full-ride award that pays 30 credit hours each year of in-state tuition, housing, food allowance and mandatory fees.
Students must live in university residence halls the first two years of the award, complete at least 15 credit hours each semester and maintain a 3.5 GPA.
The students participated in a competition consisting of an essay test; a personal interview with EMU faculty and staff; and a review of their academic and extracurricular background.
The process was competitive and, upon review, 45 participants were invited back for a final round of interviews in January.
Twenty-nine students were awarded the Regents Gold Scholarship, which is worth $32,000 over four years. Other participants were awarded the Regents Scholarship – $3,000 per year.
The students were informed they won in December.
Olivia Scheffler was one of the 16 students to win the Presidential Scholarship. Scheffler has three members of her immediate family who graduated from EMU.
“It came down between Eastern and an out-of-state school in Indiana,” Scheffler said. “I did visit the other school and it wasn’t what I wanted. Plus half of my family went here.”
Scheffler, a biology major, was active in various organizations in high school and some at EMU as well.
Scheffler is involved in Christian Challenge, a religious group that does a lot of community outreach programs.
“I’ve met a whole new circle of friends through it that I’ve gotten to know really well,” she said.
Outside of obtaining a full ride to EMU, Scheffler said there are a number of things that drew her to the university.
“The biggest thing I like is that it’s just big enough where you don’t know everyone, so it still feels like a huge campus,” she said. “Yet, everything is right where you need it. It’s like your home away from home.
“It’s big enough where you can interact and get the whole experience, but yet you can walk across the whole campus in ten minutes.”
Amanda Price also received the Presidential Scholarship. She said the scholarship was not all that made her want to attend EMU. Price is majoring in special education because she has a passion for it.
“I realized that every child has potential, and I want to help them reach that,” she said.
Price has gained more valuable things than just a scholarship from EMU.
“I’ve met lifelong friends already in the few months that I’ve been here,” Price said.
Price also values the relationships she has built with faculty members.
“I’ve met a couple of faculty members that I’ve gotten close with and they have taken me under their wings,” Price said. “They are so nice to me and very willing to help me out in my future career.”
Other scholarship winners include Rose Branstorm, a public relations major, and Kerry Gould, a nursing major.