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National Scholarship Program

Assisting talented students pursuing national and international scholarships and fellowships. The Central Michigan University National Scholarship Program assists top academic students competing for prestigious annual awards, including the Boren, Fulbright, Gates Cambridge, Goldwater, Mitchell, Madison, Marshall, Rhodes, Truman, and Udall scholarships and fellowships.

Since 2012, CMU has had:

  • 11 Fulbright U.S. Students
  • 7 Goldwater Scholars
  • 4 Boren Scholars/Fellows
  • 2 Humanity in Action Fellows (only 26 U.S. students awarded annually)
  • 1 Udall Scholar – environment category (only 55 awarded annually)

National Scholarship Program staff work closely with CMU faculty to identify prospective, highly qualified students, and will assist potential candidates throughout the application process to address guidelines, develop ideas, and strengthen and submit the application.

Many of the national scholarships and fellowships require nomination by or endorsement from CMU faculty and the National Scholarship Program Committee.
We encourage you to browse this website to learn more about the National Scholarship Program, and the scholarships and fellowships we support.

We serve all CMU students, staff, faculty, and alumni.​


CMU junior receives competitive Boren Scholarship

by Ari Harris

A female student with long hair and glasses wearing a gray sweater smiles at the camera.Elizabeth Valicenti, a junior from Belleville, MI, double majoring in political science and international relations, and minoring in philosophy, has been awarded a prestigious Boren Scholarship to study language and culture at Yonsei University in South Korea. 

Valicenti, like many other students, had one normal semester of college before the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to move home. The time away from campus may have been a turning point in her college experience.

“As a first-generation, Pell-eligible student, I didn’t think that I was going to be able to attend college. In my freshmen year, I questioned whether it was the right path for me due to the cost of college and because I felt lost in the new environment,” Valicenti said. 

“While I was at home, I decided to give college my strongest effort. I applied successfully for more scholarships, and when in-person classes resumed, I committed to getting more involved on campus.”

This new approach resulted in a more meaningful and connected college experience. Valicenti became the president of the CMU chapter of Amnesty International, completed an internship with Reggie Miller’s campaign for Michigan State Representative, became an intern then research director for political consulting firm New Way Forward Strategies, and more.

Valicenti also began exploring possibilities for graduate school. She found the McNair Scholars Program, which helps first-generation, Pell-eligible and underrepresented students prepare for doctoral degrees. She was at first skeptical about applying to the program. 

“Honestly, at first, I didn't take the opportunity seriously because I was afraid to get my hopes up. It wasn't until I was accepted and started research that I finally got to see what this opportunity had done for others, and what it could do for me,” she said. “I will be conducting research under the guidance of Dr. Prakash Adhikari this summer, exploring the mental health determinants of Bhutanese refugees in the United States.”

Boren Scholarships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, support students who wish to work in the federal national security arena. The awards provide funding for U.S. students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests.

Valicenti worked with Maureen Harke, director of the CMU National Scholarship Program throughout the application process and with Marko Schubert, assistant director of Study Abroad, to build a study abroad program. 

Ultimately, Valicenti plans to pursue a career in national security through diplomacy. 

“Studying in South Korea provides the opportunity to learn more about their cultures and customs,” she said. “Given that I wish to specialize in East-Asia political affairs, studying Korean allows me to prepare further for opportunities to work overseas.”