Apply by Dec. 1 to be considered for top MTSU scho...

Apply by Dec. 1 to be considered for top MTSU scholarships

Melinda Thomas, left, MTSU admissions director of recruitment, helps Columbia (Tenn.) Central High senior Salama McGuire look up information at a “True Blue Experience” event last month in the new Student Union Building as McGuire’s family looks on. Thomas is encouraging prospective freshmen to apply for scholarships before Dec. 1 to receive priority consideration. (MTSU file photo by News and Media Relations)

High school seniors who plan to attend MTSU in the 2013-14 academic year and want priority consideration for freshman academic scholarships should take note: The deadline to apply is Saturday, Dec. 1.

Completed applications must be postmarked Dec. 1 or delivered to the Office of Admissions by 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, said Melinda Thomas, MTSU director of recruitment.

Included in the list of available scholarships is the Buchanan Fellowship, MTSU’s largest award for first-time freshmen who meet academic requirements. Recipients are selected by the University Honors College with funding provided through the financial aid office.

Freshman academic scholarships also include the National Merit/Achievement/Hispanic Scholarship, the Chancellor’s Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship, the Academic Service Scholarship  and the Provost’s Scholarship.

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The impending Dec. 1 deadline “will be a pivotal point for many prospective students,” Thomas said. “We want them to have access to the maximum amount of scholarship dollars, so that’s why we encourage them to complete their admissions file by the deadline.

Melinda Thomas

“Many students do not realize that every year there are thousands of dollars available to offset the cost of their college education, but for a variety of reasons, the (Dec. 1) deadline is ignored by many. The pools of scholarship dollars begin to dry up as we move farther away from the priority deadline.”

The yearly monetary awards range from $1,000 for the International Baccalaureate  Scholarship to $6,000 for the National Merit/Achievement award. The Buchanan Fellowship, which is limited to 20 students per year, includes four years’ tuition, a book allowance and more. These scholarships primarily are based on high-achieving students’ grade-point averages and ACT/SAT scores.

Other scholarships — including the DREAM and Foundation awards — have a Feb. 15 deadline. In general, department scholarships for music, ROTC and athletics have a Feb. 15 deadline, but they can vary.

Thomas cautioned that prospective students who submit applications between Dec. 2 and Feb. 15 may not be awarded a freshman academic scholarship.

To be considered for scholarships, students must submit an admissions application, transcript and ACT/SAT score along with a $25 application fee.

The following websites will be helpful in meeting the Dec. 1 deadline:

— Randy Weiler (