Applications from incoming freshmen who are eligible for one of Middle Tennessee State University’s guaranteed academic scholarships are up 26 percent as of mid-November, prompted in part by the newly increased Presidential Scholarship unveiled earlier this fall.
In response to the surge, university admissions officials are issuing urgent reminders to prospective students and high school guidance counselors about MTSU’s Dec. 1 application deadline for those eligible for a guaranteed award.
Dr. Deb Sells, vice president for student affairs and vice provost for enrollment services, said the university is featuring a digital countdown clock on its “How to Apply” web page, as well as digital billboards and other signage and advertising throughout the state, to stress the importance of the Dec. 1 deadline.
“We’ve seen such great interest in our guaranteed scholarships, particularly the Presidential Scholarship,” Sells said, “but you’ll leave money on the table if you don’t submit a completed application to MTSU by Dec. 1.”
In October, MTSU substantially increased the value of and broadened the eligibility for its Presidential Scholarship, a move that more than doubled the amount awarded to high-ability freshmen who enroll by Dec. 1 and meet all eligibility criteria.
The Presidential Scholarship increased to $18,000 in total value, paid out to eligible incoming freshmen at $4,500 a year for four years. Students must have a 3.5 high school GPA and score between 25 and 29 on the ACT to qualify for the expanded award.
MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee announced the increased scholarship during one of the first stops of the True Blue Tour, the 14-city, four-state road trip university admissions and other officials use to reach out to prospective students.
As of Nov. 20, the university confirmed 986 freshman scholarship applications; that’s compared to 783 by the same date last year.
“With these enhancements, the Presidential Scholarship becomes the largest guaranteed academic award given by any public university in Tennessee to students with these credentials,” McPhee said.
“For Tennessee residents, when combined with the Hope Lottery Scholarship provided by the state, it will substantially reduce the cost of tuition for these high-ability students to attend MTSU.”
The Presidential Scholarship was previously valued at $16,000, paying $4,000 a year to students with ACT scores of 28 to 29. The expanded award now replaces two of MTSU’s previous guaranteed scholarships: the True Blue Scholarship, which paid $3,000 a year to students scoring 26 or 27 on the ACT, and the Provost’s Scholarship, which paid $2,000 a year to students with an ACT score of 25.
MTSU is continuing to offer students who’ve earned a 3.5 minimum high school GPA and an ACT score of 30 or higher its guaranteed Trustee Scholarship, which pays $20,000 in four annual installments of $5,000.
Students with a 3.5 minimum high school GPA who score 29 or higher on the ACT can apply for MTSU’s highest academic award, the Buchanan Fellowship, a highly competitive full-tuition scholarship offered through the University Honors College.
Buchanan Fellows, who must complete a separate application process that’s limited to first-time freshmen, receive a host of special benefits, including a full tuition waiver, guaranteed for four years, for up to 16 hours per semester, excluding summers; special seminars; priority registration; a book allowance; and priority consideration for study abroad opportunities. More information is available at www.mtsu.edu/honors.
Like the Presidential Scholarship, qualified students must apply by Dec. 1 to be eligible for the Trustee Scholarship or Buchanan Fellowship. To apply, visit www.mtsu.edu/apply.
— MTSU News and Media Relations (firstname.lastname@example.org)