Admission for High School Seniors

Frequently Asked Questions

How are high school seniors admitted to the CMU Honors Program?
Admission to Honors is granted through receiving one of the 150 full-ride or full-tuition scholarships by competing in the Centralis Honors Scholars Competition.
Award ​Number Available ​Award Amount ​​How to Apply / Compete for this scholarship
Centralis Scholar Award ​20 awards
four-year total
  • ​Compete in the Centralis and Honors Scholarship Competition fall 2015. Must have a 3.7 HS GPA and a minimum 27 ACT score to compete. See competition details below.
130 awards
four-year total
  • ​Compete in the Centralis and Honors Scholarship Competition fall 2015. Must have a 3.7 HS GPA and a minimum 27 ACT to compete. See competition details below.
When are the Competition Dates?


What are the Competition awards?

Centralis awards are CMU's premier merit scholarships. These exclusive honors are awarded only to students who participate in the Centralis Honors Scholarship Competition. Honorees are accepted into in the prestigious Honors Scholars Program and receive a four-year renewable financial award.

 Centralis Scholar Award:

Awarded to 20 outstanding high school seniors and covers 36 credits of tuition each year for four years, in addition to room and board and some general expenses.  Its current four-year value is approximately $87,000.  

Centralis Gold Award:

Awarded to 130 outstanding high school seniors and covers 36 credits of tuition each year for four years.   Its four-year value is approximately $52,000. 

Who can compete?    

All high school seniors who have applied to the university and who have a minimum of a 3.7 GPA and an ACT score of 27 or higher are eligible to compete.  Students must be able to provide proof that they meet the above requirements in order to register.

What does the Competition day look like?    

Attendees can expect the following:

    • Opportunities to learn about CMU's prestigious Honors Scholar Program and meet with current Honors students, staff and faculty.
    • Receive information about CMU's more than 200 academic programs at the bachelor's, master's, specialist and doctoral levels, including nationally ranked programs.
    • Learn more about CMU's Residence Life, Career Services, Academic Advising and Scholarship & Financial Aid offices.
    • Competitors will have one hour to complete a timed essay in response to a prompt given on site.
    • Parents will participate in special programing during the essay portion of the day, that includes opportunities to speak with a panel of CMU professionals.
    • Opportunity to embark on a campus tour and enjoy refreshments following the competition.

When will the scholarship winners be notified? 

Scholarship recipients will be notified mid-December 2015.

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

There are three steps you must complete to participate:
  1. Apply for Admission to CMU.  Submit your official high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores and the $35 application fee.  
  2. Register for the Competition.  Beginning in mid-July 2015 you may register for the competition by visiting or via phone at (989) 774-3076. 
  3. Download the Centralis Honors Scholarship Competition Application.  Once you register for the competition you will receive the link to the application via email.  Bring the completed application with you on the day of the competition.  IMPORTANT:  Students must bring the scholarship application and all supporting documentation with them to the Competition Day.  Failure to do so will make the student ineligible to compete.     


I do NOT currently meet the qualifications, but am retaking the ACT?  Can I still register now?   

No.  You must have the minimum 3.7 GPA and 27 ACT at the point you register.

My credentials are very close to the minimum criteria…I have a 3.69 and/or a 26 ACT, can I still register to compete?  

Unfortunately, no.   To register you must have applied to the university and have the minimum verifiable 3.7 GPA and 27 ACT.  

 What happens if an applicant registers and/or competes who does not have the verifiable 3.7 GPA and 27 ACT?    

If an applicant registers and/or competes and it is determined that they do not have the verifiable 3.7 GPA  and 27 ACT their application will not be considered in the process for a Centralis Scholarship.

What if I receive my ACT results (bringing me up to a 27 or higher) after the registration deadline?  

If you receive online verification that your new ACT score is 27 or higher, and your desired competition deadline has passed, you still can register for the scholarship competition by calling the Admissions office and registering over the phone.  Bring a printed copy of your verification with you to the competition.  You eventually will be required to have your test scores officially sent to CMU for verification.

 I have commitments on the two competition days.  Is there an alternative day to compete? 

While we understand that students lead busy lives, and that sometimes tough choices need to be made, unfortunately there are no make-up days or proctored test opportunities for those who have a date conflict with the Centralis Competition.  Students must attend one of the two competitions in order to be considered for a Centralis Scholarship and a seat in the Honors Program. 

I registered, but need to switch to a different competition date.  What are my next steps? 

Please contact the Admissions team at 989-774-3076 to discuss changing dates.  Seats are reserved on a first come, first served basis, so please register early.

I live out of state.  Is there a way I can compete without travelling to CMU for one of the competitions? 

Students who live outside an adjoining state to Michigan (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois), or students who are studying abroad during the competition, may request permission to have the test proctored at their high school via a teacher or guidance counselor.  Please note that every effort must be made to attend one of the competitions and this will only be used as a last resort for those living outside Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.  You may request a proctored test by calling the CMU Admissions office.   

If you are writing the competition at a proctored test site (because you live outside the Midwest) your essay and the application must be mailed together in one envelope, with a postmark no later than November 7 to:  CMU Honors Program Office, 104 Powers Hall, Mount Pleasant, MI  48859.

What is the committee looking for in regard to the creative piece and the written personal statement? 

Your goal in completing both the creative piece (Part 1) and the written personal statement (Part 2) 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).  No additional information will be provided to applicants about this part of the application so please do not call asking for more direction.

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

Not at this time.  Participation in the Honors Program by first semester freshmen is only available to Centralis Scholarship winners.   If you do not receive a Centralis Scholarship offer and want to still 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 2017.  Currently, there are no scholarships available for Track II students.




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