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High-achieving student scholarships

The following scholarships are awarded to a limited number of incoming freshmen based on grade point average, class rank, standardized test scores or similar criteria. Consideration for these awards is automatic, and no additional applications are required.



Alumni Distinguished Scholarship

Awarded to the top 15 candidates based on intellectual performance and participation in the MSU Alumni Distinguished Scholarship competition. Invitations to compete in the examination are sent to the most outstanding students who apply for admission by November 1. Renewable over eight semesters,* these scholarships include tuition, fees, room and board (double occupancy in an MSU residence hall and silver meal plan), and $1,000 annually. Four of the 15 awards have special designations:

  • Baldwin Foundation Alumni Distinguished Scholarship
  • James E. Nordberg Distinguished Scholarship
  • Hanna M. Rasmussen Memorial Scholarship
  • Guy G. Speeker Alumni Distinguished Scholarship


Distinguished Freshman Scholarship
Awarded to 20 runners-up in the Alumni Distinguished Scholarship competition; includes tuition and fees for eight semesters*

Alumni Distinguished Scholarship Commended Finalist

Awarded to 30 finalists in the Alumni Distinguished Scholarship competition; $2,500 per year for eight semesters*



Alumni Distinguished Scholarship Commended Semifinalist

Awarded to 65 semifinalists in the Alumni Distinguished Scholarship competition; $1,500 per year for eight semesters*



MSU National Merit Scholarship

Awarded to National Merit finalists who name MSU as their first-choice institution; $750-$2000 annually, depending on financial need. According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation rules, students who have been offered any other National Merit Corporation Scholarship are not eligible for the MSU National Merit Scholarship. Those receiving $2000 nonrenewable awards are guaranteed supplemental awards from $250-$1500 annually, renewable for eight semesters.*



Merit Recognition Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to a limited number of non-Michigan residents who are National Merit finalists and name MSU as their first-choice institution; includes $4,000 annually plus room and board (double occupancy in an MSU residence hall and silver meal plan; students with sophomore academic standing or higher who have lived for a minimum of one year in an MSU residence hall are eligible to live in an on-campus apartment and receive the residence hall double occupancy award plus the silver meal plan, based on space and class standing; off-campus housing is not included in this award), renewable for eight semesters.* Merit Recognition recipients must comply with housing requirements and procedures for living on campus to receive the full benefit of the award.



MSU Special Merit Scholarship

Awarded to a limited number of Michigan residents who are National Merit Finalists and name MSU as their first-choice institution; $2,000 annually, renewable for eight consecutive fall or spring semesters of undergraduate enrollment



Honors Distinction Scholarship

Awarded to non-resident Honors College invitees who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents or citizens of Canada or Mexico; $5,000 annually for eight semesters



Honors College Excellence Scholarship
Awarded to a select group of non-Michigan residents and international students who are Honors College invitees; $13,000 annually for eight semesters

Honors College STATE Scholarship

Awarded to a select group of Michigan residents who are Honors College invitees; $5,000 annually and renewable for up to eight semesters, provided the student remains a member of the Honors College*



Professorial Assistantship

Offered to a select number of domestic Honors College invitees who have GPAs that place them in the top 5% of applicants to MSU from their respective schools. International and homeschooled students are also eligible for this offer, however their eligibility is based on a holistic review of their individual academic records. Professorial Assistants receive an annual stipend of approximately $3,500 for 8-10 hours per week of faculty-mentored research or scholarly activity, renewable for four semesters.* Visit the Honors College website for more information about the Professorial Assistantship program.



A. Gordon Adams, Jr. Alumni Distinguished Scholar Award
Awarded to a participant in the Alumni Distinguished Scholarship competition


Academic Merit Scholarship — Catherine Hooper Fredin Award
Awarded to a National Merit Scholar interested in majoring in science and technological fields

Albert E. and Audrey Vincent Gilpin Scholarship Award for Outstanding Students

Awarded to four National Merit finalists who participate in the Alumni Distinguished Scholarship competition



Lewis W. Kaminga Alumni Scholar Award

Awarded to a limited number of Honors College invitees with outstanding academic records and superior performance on standardized tests


*Fall and spring semesters during undergraduate enrollment