CMU annually seeks top high school seniors to comprise the incoming freshman class of Centralis Honors Scholars. Scholars are selected from two on-campus essay competitions held each fall. Winners are awarded a spot in the prestigious Honors Scholar Program and a Centralis Scholarship ranging from full-tuition to a full-ride. Competition spots are limited and pre-registration is required. 

The Honors Scholar Program is a comprehensive fully-enriched academic experience for high academic ability students who seek to aim higher and achieve more meaningfully through unique educational opportunities and experiences.

January 16 and 23, 2021

The contest is open to high school seniors who are accepted for admission to CMU and meet the academic qualifications of a minimum high school GPA of 3.7 and a minimum 1260 SAT or 27 ACT score.

Limited exceptions to these criteria may be permitted for students who meet one but not both of the competition criteria
Centralis awards are CMU’s premier merit scholarships and are awarded only to students who participate in the Centralis Honors Scholarship Competition. Honorees receive a spot in the prestigious Honors Scholar Program and a four-year financial award.

Centralis Scholar Award (Full-ride) – Covers 100 percent of tuition*, room and board, fees, and a $5000 study away award. Its current four-year value is nearly $100,000.

Centralis Gold Award (Full-tuition) – Covers 100 percent tuition* and a $5000 study away award. Its current four-year value is approximately $58,000.

*Up to 33 credits per academic year. Renewable for up to four years.

Centralis Maroon Award - In addition to student's top earned merit scholarship, Maroon recipients are admitted to the Honors Program and receive a $5,000 study away award.

  • High school GPA and SAT/ACT score
  • Information provided on the competition application
  • Essay competition performance
  1. Apply for admission to CMU - A completed admissions application includes official high school transcripts, SAT/ACT score, and the application fee.

  2. Register for the competition - Check back to see when dates and registration are available.

  3. Download and complete the competition application - Download the Honors Scholarship Competition application (PDF | Word). Submit your completed application at the event.
  • Check in and attend a welcome reception.
  • Visit with current Honors Scholar recipients.
  • Learn about CMU's prestigious Honors Scholar Program.
  • Receive information about CMU's academic programs and get a feel for life on campus.
  • Complete a timed one-hour essay in response to a prompt given onsite.
  • Learn about student and parent support services such as academic advising, career services, residence life, scholarships and financial aid.
  • Choose to participate in an optional campus tour.

For questions about the competition, please visit the Centralis Competition FAQ page.

For additional information about registration or admission, contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office at 989-774-3076 or