Dowagiac student earns scholarship to WMU

Published 5:27 pm Monday, May 16, 2016

KALAMAZOO — Eleven high-achieving high school students have earned $60,000 Foundation Scholarships to begin their studies at Western Michigan University this fall.

Foundation scholarships are worth $15,000 annually over four years and are based on academic performance and demonstrated financial need. They are part of WMU’s mix of top scholarship programs for beginning students.

This year’s Foundation Scholars were selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants. To be eligible for the award, they had to have a high school grade point average of 3.7 or higher at the end of their junior year.

The 2016 award recipients have a 4.1 average high school GPA, and many are class valedictorians or salutatorians. All are from Michigan and will graduate from high school this June. They are scheduled to graduate from WMU during the 2019-20 academic year.

Among the recipients is Laura Lynn-Lee, of Dowagiac, who will graduate from Dowagiac Union High School. She plans to study psychology at WMU.

WMU established the Foundation Scholarship program in 2015 to expand college access for new first-year students. The scholarship is based on both merit and financial need, and is designed to provide a financial “foundation” to the recipients so they can focus on their academic studies.

The 10-member founding class performed exceptionally well during its freshman year. Each Foundation Scholar was named to WMU’s dean’s list and together, they finished the 2015-16 academic year with a 3.8 collective GPA.

In addition to the $60,000 monetary award, Foundation Scholars become members of WMU’s Lee Honors College. The college, one of the oldest honors programs in the nation, enhances the undergraduate learning experience by providing such benefits as smaller class sizes, individualized academic advising and a freshman mentoring program.

Foundation Scholars who complete their bachelor’s degrees in less than four years can apply the rest of their award toward graduate school. All semifinalists who do not receive the Foundation Scholarship receive a minimum of $3,000 in scholarships to attend WMU.

The Foundation Scholarship fund is set up in the WMU Foundation. Donations to the fund can be made at by clicking Giving, followed by Make a Gift, and typing Foundation Scholarship in the giving form’s special instructions box for designations.