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Scholarship FAQs

Absolutely not! We encourage you to apply as soon as possible so that we can begin to communicate with you about opportunities for you here at SVSU, including scholarships. SVSU academic scholarships are guaranteed with no SAT or ACT test required. Students will be awarded the top academic scholarship you qualify for based on your cumulative high school GPA.

SVSU will begin awarding academic scholarships to all admitted students of the incoming freshman class in October.  You will receive a mailed notification of the academic scholarship you have been awarded.

SVSU will automatically use your cumulative high school GPA to determine your eligibility.  You do not need to submit a separate application for any of our academic scholarships. The President's Scholarship is the only competitive academic award for students.

No. When you accept a scholarship on your financial aid award letter or attend the President's Scholarship Competition, it is merely an indication to SVSU that you are still considering attending. On the other hand, it does commit the University to hold your scholarship for you. When you are ready to commit to SVSU, you will put down your deposits for orientation and housing (housing is optional for all students). While you can sign up for orientation as of December 1st, the University does not require a commitment until March 1st for scholarship recipients.  Students may also elect to defer until May 1st, by request, if you are still unsure of your decision at that time. 

You should absolutely submit new info that can improve your changes of receiving a higher scholarship. Most scholarships are based solely on your GPA (with the exception of the Academic Excellence Award, which is based on an SAT/ACT score). SVSU will accept improved scores and GPAs all the way through your final semester of high school.

Students may combine their academic scholarship with the Valley Housing Scholarship and/or the Academic Excellence Award.

Visit the Scholarship page for more information.

It is a weighted formula consisting of high school GPA, timed essay, and an assessment of non-cognitive traits like leadership, community service, and goal-orientation. Students who meet the minimum qualifications as of December 1 (and admitted by December 15) are automatically invited to compete in one of our President's Scholarship Competitions. Students must reserve a space at one of our programs to be considered for the President's Scholarship. Students will write their essays during one of two competition dates hosted on SVSU's campus. The essays will be reviewed by SVSU English faculty.

Students who do not initially receive the President's Scholarship will be placed into a waitlist. We know that many students and families are unclear about what being on a waitlist means, and the questions below will explain more about the waitlist process.

The President's Scholarship covers tuition and selective mandatory fees up to 124 credit hours toward your first degree.

Students who qualified for the President's Scholarship were mailed an invitation with instructions to reserve their space at one of the competition dates.  If you no longer have that invitation, please call the Office of Admissions at (989) 964-4200.

First, congratulations are in order! Because of your 3.95+ cumulative high school GPA, you are eligible to compete for the scholarship. The President's Scholarship covers tuition and mandatory fees up to 124 credit hours toward your first degree. In other words, your first bachelor’s degree is on us!

Each year, 30 scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen. This year, we will use a combination of cumulative high school GPA, an assessment of non-cognitive measures like leadership, community service, and goal-orientation, as well as a timed essay to determine the recipients.

NOTE: Students must be admitted to the university and meet all eligibility requirements by December 1st to participate in the President's Scholarship Competition.

Minimum of TWO DAYS before your competition date (Midnight, November 8 & Midnight, January 17): Complete the online President’s Scholarship Questionnaire (PSQ) that will assess non-cognitive traits like leadership, community service, and goal-orientation. Your answers to the PSQ will be anonymized, then scored using a rubric by SVSU's Center for Community Engagement.

The PSQ should take 15-45 minutes and you should be prepared to complete the assessment in one session. Once you have begun the PSQ, you cannot save your progress and must complete the entire assessment. If you encounter technical difficulties during the assessment, you may email our Office of Admissions at to have your PSQ reset.

Competition Dates - November 10 or January 19: You will be asked to complete a timed President’s Scholarship Essay (PSE) at one of these on-campus events. You will sign up on a first-come-first-served basis for either Friday, November 19th or Friday, December 3rd. On your assigned competition day, you will complete your essay on a given prompt, meet with faculty from your major of choice, have a free lunch on us, and tour the school!
February 1st - March 1st: A committee comprised of SVSU faculty will review the President’s Scholarship Essays and assign a score to each. These scores will be combined with the PSQ and your cumulative high school GPA to award 30 President’s Scholarships. Recipients will be notified by mail.

Yes! SVSU has nearly $2M in private scholarships available for new freshmen to reward things like academic excellence, leadership and extracurricular involvement. You can apply for all of the scholarships that you qualify for at

Our top private scholarship is the Robert & Ellen Thompson Working Families Scholarship which is $5500 per year toward your first SVSU degree. President’s Scholarship competitors meet all of the academic requirements for the scholarship and are highly encouraged to apply at

Students who do not initially receive the President's Scholarship retain their Founder’s Scholarship and are also placed into a waitlist for the President’s Scholarship. We know that many students and families are unclear about what being on the waitlist will look like. The questions below will explain more about that process.

If a President's Scholarship becomes available after the initial awarding, the scholarship committee will review the files of all applicants remaining on the waitlist and immediately send a new award letter to the next best candidate based on their President’s Scholarship Score (PSQ+PSC+GPA).

In recent years, as few as one and as many as five students have gotten upgraded awards. However, we cannot predict the exact number for this year.

Initial awards for the President's Scholarship will be mailed out on March 1. All other candidates will be notified that they have been put into a waitlist. It is difficult to predict the timing of any upgrades for students on the waitlist; however, most final offers are determined by the end of May.

We would love to talk to you and your family one-on-one about your questions and any other scholarship opportunities. The best way to do this is to arrange an Admissions Appointment with an admission representative. If you haven’t visited campus or seen our #1 nationally ranked housing, you may also schedule a personal, on-campus tour here.


Office of Admissions
178 Wickes Hall, 7400 Bay Road, University Center, MI 48710
(989) 964-4200