The 411 On Michigan State Sponsored Scholarships

Obtaining a college degree is a difficult feat for most people, especially those who belong in the underprivileged class. The dream of a brighter future of some undergraduate students can suddenly go dim when lack of financial resources get in the way. It is an established fact that the kind of training the students receive in schools can turn them into competent professionals. That is why state governments offer various scholarships that can lessen the financial burden and help further develop the skills of well-deserving students.

The Michigan state sponsors many types of scholarships for those who excel in different academic fields. This is to ensure that the state's undergraduate achievers will not run out of opportunities in pursuing their studies. Michigan sees achievers as great contributors to the success of the state in the future. If found worthy and qualified for a degree or a certificate, a student will be awarded a scholarship, and it may or may not be based on financial status. This means that as long as the student performed well on the given assessment tests, he is considered qualified regardless of his financial background.

The following is the list of educational scholarships offered by the state of Michigan, with a brief description of the programs and the eligibility requirements:

Merit Scholarship
The Public Act 94, better known as the Michigan Merit Award, was commissioned by the Michigan legislature in 1999. It aims to grant scholarships amounting to $3,000 to high school graduates who attained the prescribed ratings in the Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) exam.

While most scholarships require students to fill up forms and submit numerous other requirements, it is not necessary for students to do these steps to obtain a Merit Scholarship. Students are automatically eligible for this type of scholarship after taking the MEAP test and acquiring a Level I (Exceeded Michigan Standards) or Level II (Met Michigan Standards) status. A copy of students' test scores are transmitted to the Michigan government office and successful examinees are notified via mail. Once the students received the notice, they are expected to inform their interest in the award money by way of certification. The on-line certification that can be found on Michigan's Department of Treasury website is the fastest and the most convenient way to facilitate the certification process.

Michigan Competitive Scholarship
To be eligible for the Michigan Competitive Scholarship, a student must be both financially in need and has an excellent academic track record. This scholarship is open only for students who have the intention of attending one of the authorized post-secondary institutions in Michigan. Applicant must have the required ACT score before deemed qualified for this scholarship grant.

Interested undergraduate students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA forms are available at the high school counselor's offices and college financial aid departments. However, students also have the option of applying on-line by going to the FAFSA main site, which is http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ for a speedy review of their applications. The FAFSA application must be renewed each year to keep track of the the student's scholarship eligibility status. For a continued eligibility, the student must maintain a general point average of 2.0 and meet the participating institution's satisfactory academic progress policy.

Maximum awards of this scholarship program are set yearly and are subject to restrictions. Only mandatory and tuition costs are covered by the competitive scholarship, thus, books and other allowances are not included.

Michigan Nursing Scholarship
The Michigan Nursing Scholarship is for Michigan residents who are enrolled in one of the participating institutions in the state government's scholarship program. The candidate must be a student taking up any of the following courses: Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) certification, Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN), or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The scholarship awards can range from $2,000 to $4,000 depending on what scholarship category the student falls into. There are basically three categories under the Nursing Scholarship: full-time students, three-quarter time students, and half-time students.

Unlike the two other scholarships mentioned earlier, there are no test to be taken nor application forms to be filed in this type of scholarship. It is up for the colleges to determine who among the enrollees are most deserving for the scholarship award, and they may base their judgment on the following criteria: academic excellence, financial background, coursework, or a merger of the aforementioned factors or other outside determinants.