Admission for High School Seniors

Frequently Asked Questions

 How do I know if Honors is right for me?
  • It depends...Beyond what you can offer with impressive high school credentials, do you see yourself as a true academic scholar--as someone who desires to fully engage in the life of the University both in and outside the classroom?
  • Before applying to the Honors Scholar Program at CMU we ask students to reflect on the question, "Is Honors the right fit for me?" by reviewing the Honors Program Mission and Vision Statement as well as its four core values. How closely do our four core values seem to fit with who you are as an individual? 
  • Are you motivated in the classroom by more than earning just a letter grade?  Is it exciting to imagine yourself engaging in lively discussions with top CMU faculty and a diverse group of high academic-ability peers who will challenge you to think in new ways?  Do you see yourself as a participant in a research group or creative project team?  Are you intrigued to by the opportunity to study abroad in places like Europe, China, and South Africa?  Do you have a desire to serve others for the greater good?
  • In short, are you someone who has aspirations to aim higher and achieve more to make the world a better place?
  • If you can answer yes to most of these questions then we invite you to apply to the Honors Scholars Program at CMU! 
 
What are the benefits to being in the Honors Program?
  • Smaller class sizes
  • Unique curriculum offers alternative specialized ways to meet general education requirements
  • Caring and dedicated Honors faculty willing to mentor students 1:1 in their discipline
  • Special opportunities to take Honors courses taught across the U.S. and around the globe
  • Ability to live and learn with other high academic ability Honors students in Honors housing
  • Opportunities to collaborate with faculty on research projects and creative endeavors.
  • Priority Registration
  • Access to advising/mentoring for National Scholarships
  • Opportunities to participate in Honors cultural and enrichment activities
  
How many students are in the CMU Honors Program?
 
Approximately 750 students, or about 4% of the CMU on-campus student body is a member of the CMU Honors Program.
 
How are high school seniors admitted to the CMU Honors Program?
 
Admission to the CMU Honors Program is granted through receiving a Centralis scholarship by competing in the January 2021 Centralis Scholarship Competition.
 
AwardAward AmountHow to Apply / Compete for this scholarship
Centralis Scholar Award
Full-tuition, Fees, Room and Board, and a $5,000 
study away award
  • Compete in the Centralis Scholarship Competition. Must have a 3.7 HS GPA and a minimum 1260 SAT or 27 ACT score to compete. See competition details below.
Centralis
Gold
Award
Full-tuition and $5,000 
study away award
  • Compete in the Centralis Scholarship Competition. Must have a 3.7 HS GPA and a minimum 1260 SAT or 27 ACT score to compete. See competition details below.
​Centralis Maroon Award
​In addition to a student's  earned tuition merit scholarship, Maroon recipients receive a $5,000
 study away award
  • Compete in the Centralis Scholarship Competition. Must have a 3.7 HS GPA and a minimum 1260 SAT or 27 ACT score to compete. See competition details below.

 

 
What are the Competition awards?

Centralis scholarships are CMU's premier merit awards.   All Centralis Scholarship recipients are admitted to the CMU Honors Program as part of their scholarship package.

Centralis Scholar Award:

Awarded to high school seniors.  Award includes admission to the CMU Honors Program, full-tuition, fees and room and board each year for four years, and a $5,000 study away award. Its current four-year value is nearly $100,000.

Centralis Gold Award:

Awarded to up to high school seniors.  Award includes admission to the CMU Honors Program and covers full-tuition each year for four years, and a $5,000 study away award. Its four-year value is approximately $58,000.


Centralis Maroon Award:

Awarded to high school seniors.  Award includes admission to the CMU Honors Program, student's earned tuition merit scholarship, and a $5,000 study away award.


Who can compete?

All high school seniors who have applied to the university and who have a minimum high school GPA of 3.7 and a minimum 1260 SAT or 27 ACT score are eligible to compete. Students must be able to provide proof that they meet the above requirements in order to register.  Students who do not currently meet this criteria cannot register until they meet the criteria. Some students who do not meet the minimum competition criteria might be eligible for consideration under alternate criteria. Click here for more information on the Centralis Competition Alternate Criteria to see if you would qualify. 

 

What are the Competition Dates and Deadlines?

There are three important deadlines Centralis competitors must meet in order to be eligible for the competition:

  1. December 1, 2020: Deadline for competitors to submit a completed application for CMU Admission (application, high school transcript, SAT/ACT test score, and application fee).
  2. December 1, 2020:  Deadline to register for the Centralis competition.  Competition registration is available on the CMU Admissions Office website.
  3. January 1, 2021: Deadline to email completed Centralis Scholarship Appliction to honors@cmich.edu (even those applyting through alternate criteria must submit their Centrlias scholarship application by January 1).


How can I access the 2021 Centralis Scholarship Application?

You can download the Centralis Scholarship Application below in either a word document format or a PDF fillable form.  Either is acceptable.  You must email your completed Centralis Scholarship Application, in its entirety, all in one single file, to honors@cmich.edu by January 1, 2021.  The subject line of your email should be "last name, first name, Centralis Scholarship Application, CMU student ID number".


2021 Centralis Scholarship Application Form Word Document.docx



When will the scholarship winners be notified?

Scholarship recipients will be notified in early March 2021.


I meet the competition qualifications and can verify my GPA and ACT/SAT score. What must I do in order to compete? 

There are three important deadlines Centralis competitors must meet in order to be eligible for the competition:

  1. December 1, 2020: Deadline for competitors to submit a completed application for CMU Admission (application, high school transcript, SAT/ACT test score, and application fee).
  2. December 1, 2020:  Deadline to register for the Centralis competition.  Competition registration is available on the CMU Admissions Office website.
  3. January 1, 2021: Deadline to email completed Centralis Scholarship Appliction to honors@cmich.edu (even those applyting through alternate criteria must submit their Centrlias scholarship application by January 1).


I do NOT currently meet the qualifications.  Can I still register now?

No. You must currently have both a minimum 3.7 high school GPA and 1260 SAT score (or 27 ACT score) BEFORE you can register.  If you do not yet meet BOTH of these minimum criteria, you cannot yet register for the competition.  If you are waiting for either new grades or standardized test results to bring you up to the minimum criteria then you cannot register for the competition until you do meet both criteria.  If you register for the competition without meeting this minimum criteria, you will be deemed ineligible to compete, and your materials will not be reviewed. 

Some students who do not meet the minimum competition criteria might be eligible for consideration under alternate criteria. Click here for more information on the Centralis Competition Alternate Criteria to see if you would qualify.  



My credentials are very close to the minimum criteria, but either my GPA or standardized test score fell just short of the minimum criteria…Can I still register to compete?

 Some limited exceptions to the established criteria may be permitted.   Click here for more information on the Centralis Competition Alternate Criteria to see if you would qualify.


Due to Covid-19, my high school did not offer an SAT/ACT test option prior to January 1, 2021.  Can I still register to compete?

A student whose high school did not offer an SAT/ACT test option at their high school or nearby test site prior to January 1, 2021, can apply for eligibility to compete under alternate criteria.  The student must have the minimum 3.7 high school GPA and a letter from their principal verifying 1) that the high school did NOT offer an SAT/ACT test prior to January 1, 2021, and 2) that the student is a top student compared to high school peers.  Supporting data can include, but is not limited to:  high school class rank, past PSAT scores, evidence of success in Honors/Advanced/IB/AP curriculum, dual-enrollment, etc.  Nominators should have reasonable confidence that the student would have performed at or above the Centralis minimum SAT/ACT score had the student taken the test.  Click here for more information on the Centralis Competition Alternate Criteria

IMPORTANT:  Students whose high school offered an SAT/ACT test option prior to January 1, 2021, but who opted not to take the test, are NOT eligible to apply for alternate criteria.  This option is only for students whose high school, due to Covid-19, was not able to offer a test option at the high school or nearby test site prior to January 1, 2021.


What happens if an applicant registers who does not have the verifiable minimum 3.7 GPA and minimum 1260 SAT or 27 ACT score, or alternate criteria, needed to compete?  

Applicants who do not fully meet the minimum criteria cannot register until they do fully meet the minimum criteria.  If an applicant registers online who does not meet the established criteria, they will be contacted by the Admissions Office alerting them that they are not eligible to compete at the competition and that their application materials will not be reviewed for a Centralis Scholarship.  The only exception to this is students who are nominated by their principal through the Centralis Alternate Criteria Registration process.  

Click here for more information on the Centralis Competition Alternate Criteria to see if you qualify.


What if I receive my qualifying ACT/SAT test results after the December 1, 2020 registration deadline?

If you receive verification that your most recent SAT score is now 1260 or higher, or that your ACT score is now 27 or higher, and the December 1, 2020 competition registration deadline has passed, you still can register for the scholarship competition as late as January 15, 2021, by calling the Admissions office and registering over the phone. You will be asked to provide confirmation of your new test score.   If confirmation of new test score is not received, your Centralis application cannot be reviewed.  


What is the committee looking for with regards to the creative piece?  

Your goal in completing the creative piece is to distinguish yourself from the other applicants. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the review committee, as you wish, and to make your case for why you should be selected to join our University Honors community. There are no set guidelines for this part of the application as long as your response doesn't take up more than an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper (one sided) and no more than 1/2 inch tall. No additional information will be provided to applicants reagarding this part of the application as your creativity interpretation is part of the evaluative process.


Can I apply to be a member of the Honors Program without competing in the Centralis Competition?

Participation in the Honors Program of first semester freshmen is limited to Centralis Scholarship winners. If you do not receive a Centralis Scholarship but would still like to be part of the Honors Program you can apply to Honors at the end of your first year at CMU through the Honors Program Track II admission process. If admitted, Track II students begin taking Honors courses in fall 2022.


I still have questions about the Centralis Scholarship Program.

Please contact us at (989) 774-3902.  A member of the Honors Program staff will be happy to answer your questions.