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Eligibility for the Michigan Promise Scholarship

Easy ones first: it goes without saying that to receive the Michigan Promise Award you must be a resident of Michigan and be a high school graduate or hold a GED.

Now the details. Make sure you take the Michigan Merit Exam starting in grade 11 in high school. Why your junior year? If you score below a Level 2 in any of the required areas, you can retake the exam during grade 12 and make up the difference. This gives you better odds (by taking the exam on two different occasions) to meet the least test score needed to be eligible for the award. Also, check to make sure that you have not received a merit award under the Merit Award Act. If you have, you are not eligible for consideration for the Michigan Promise Award.

Upon receipt of the scholarship, students have two years to enroll in a postsecondary establishment that is approved by the State of Michigan. Please note, all military academies (USMA, USAFA, USNA, USCGA) are approved organizations even if they are not specifically called out. If you decide to enroll in the Armed Forces or the Peace Corps, you can request an additional two years to enroll in your choice of postsecondary institutions.

Once enrolled, you have four years to finish the requirements for your postsecondary institution. If you’re enrolled in a bachelor’s degree track, you need only finish 50% of the requirements. All other certificate, degree, or vocational programs must be finished within 4 years.

While attending your program of choice you must maintain a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA. In the event that your program does not grade on a normal scale, evidence of completion is still required and can be worked out with the school and the State of Michigan on a situational basis.

Payment of the award is broken down by timeline as seen below:
Students may receive as much as half of the Michigan Promise Award in two installments of $1000 each in the first two years of postsecondary education. To receive the final payment of $2000, students must fill out the “Michigan Promise Scholarship Application for Final Payment” form and submit it to the MSA Office. This can be done via the internet. All requirements for the scholarship must be completed prior to receiving the final payout (i.e. complete your program, or 50% completion in the event that you are enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program).

Finally, note that the real name of the program is the Michigan Promise Scholarship, not the Michigan Promise Award. The terms are used somewhat interchangeably even though the ‘award’ portion is a carry-over from the Michigan Merit Award. They are in fact one in the same, and there is not a separate scholarship for each.

Allen Wright is a freelance writer who covers any topic that interests him. Find more information about the Michigan Promise Scholarship, also known as the Michigan Promise Award by clicking on the link.

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