Deadline approaches for MTSU’s newly enhanced scho...

Deadline approaches for MTSU’s newly enhanced scholarships

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.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, talks to Ashley Conser about the Presidential Scholarship she will receive for 2019.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, talks to Ashley Conser of Knoxville, Tenn., center left, Oct. 24 after announcing that she’s a recipient of a Presidential Scholarship at the True Blue Tour recruiting event at The Foundry on the Fair Site in Knoxville. Her father and mother, Matt and Terry Conser, show their excitement and relief as they listen. The four-year MTSU Presidential Scholarship is for $18,000, or $4,500 per year. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

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.

Dr. Debra Sells, vice president of student affairs and vice provost for enrollment and academic services

Dr. Debra Sells

“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.

MTSU Awarding Larger Scholarships Banner GIF image with link to Scholarships page.

Apply before the Dec. 1 deadline! Click this GIF to learn more.

“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.”

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee addresses Knoxville crowd.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee talks to the crowd attending the Oct. 24 True Blue Tour event at The Foundry On the Fair Site in Knoxville, Tenn., about the benefits of coming to Murfreesboro to continue their education: facilities, caring faculty and staff, scholarship incentives and more. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

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

Like the Presidential Scholarship, qualified students must apply by Dec. 1 to be eligible for the Trustee Scholarship or Buchanan Fellowship. To apply, visit

— MTSU News and Media Relations (