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The Eastern Echo Wednesday, June 12, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

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Eastern Tuition Advantage: Eastern Michigan University's upgraded tuition-free program

Eastern Michigan University upgraded its tuition-free program; new eligibility requirements have been introduced.

Eastern Michigan University has unveiled its newly upgraded tuition-free program called Eastern Tuition Advantage.

The program is for incoming first-year students, awarding free tuition to those with a cumulative high school grade-point average of 3.0 or higher and an annual household income of $60,000 or less. The award covers the financial cost of up to 16 credit hours per semester, spanning across up to eight fall and winter semesters in a row, after any applicable federal grants have been applied. Students cannot recieve the Eastern Tuition Advantage during summer semesters.

Previously, the tuition-free program was called Education First Opportunity Scholarship, and the model surrounded the Pell grant.

With the transformed program comes new eligibility requirements, which must be met each year to continue to recieve the scholarship. To obtain the Eastern Tuition Advantage, eligible students must enroll in a minimum of 15 credit hours every semester and maintain a minimum 2.75 EMU cumulative GPA. Students must also complete FAFSA by the declared deadline in order to continue receiving the award.

“We understand that the college financial aid process can be daunting. As an institution that serves high volumes of low-income and first-generation students, simplifying our awards is a focus,” Alexander Landen, director of admissions at Eastern Michigan University, said in a written statement.

Benefits of Eastern Tuition Advantage can be inferred when looking at the previous modeled program Education First Opportunity Scholarship. Over the past ten years, EMU has awarded approximately 4,000 Education First Opportunity Scholarship awards. On average, recipients of the award have nearly 10% higher graduation rates than the university’s average, and first to second year retention rates are averaged around 4% better.

“Providing access to an affordable education will allow more students to stay on track to graduation and earn their degrees in four years,” Landen said in a written statement.

There is no limit to how many incoming first-year students can receive the award per application period. In addition, recipients of the award are not required to live on campus.

For more information on Eastern Tuition Advantage, individuals can visit the university’s website.