Board of Regents approves $54 million in financial aid

The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents approved $54 million in financial aid for the 2016-2017 school year at its Oct. 13 meeting.

Undergraduate scholarships will receive most of the amount, $38.1 million.

Of that amount, $19 million will go towards Emerald scholarships, which requires that full-time students maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.

The Educational First Opportunity Scholarship will receive $7.5 million. For this scholarship, the university pays the difference between a Pell Grant and the tuition amount. Students must take 30 credit hours a year, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and receive an ACT score of at least 20.

The National Scholars Program will receive $6.5 million. This scholarship is for students living off-campus and pays the difference between out-of-state and in-state tuition. Students must maintain a 2.75 GPA and received an ACT score of at least 20.

The Presidential Scholarship Competition program will receive $1.3 million.

The Educational First Opportunity Scholarship, National Scholars Program and Presidential Scholarship will all increase because of their tuition sensitive nature.

Athletic grants-in aid will receive $10 million. $500,000 will go towards federal and state mathes and $5.5 million will go towards graduate student aid.

Geoff Larcom, executive director of media relations at EMU, said he believes that through the financial aid being approved, EMU is fulfilling its vision.

“The increase in financial support points to what I would characterize as EMU’s sustained effort to help Michigan’s students and their families during what’s been a tough economic climate,” Larcom said.

Of the fifteen in-state public universities in Michigan, EMU has had the second lowest pure dollar increase in tuition over the past seven years. Financial aid is also bearing results in terms of the freshman to sophomore retention rates, which has gone up from 72.6 percent in fall 2013 to 74.7 percent in fall 2014.

Lauren Gilbert, a senior majoring in social work, said this is good news.

“The more affordable you can make college, the better,” Gilbert said. “The more accessible an education is for people is great.”

Gilbert also plans on possibly attending graduate school for social work at EMU because of the affordability.

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