College-Bound Students from the Upper Peninsula Are the Focus of New Scholarship Program at the University of Michigan
Current U-M students from Michigan's Upper Peninsula at a meet-and-greet event at the LSA building on Sept. 13, 2019. They, and the other students in attendance, look forward to welcoming the first cohort of U.P. Scholars next fall.
As part of a groundbreaking effort among higher education institutions statewide, the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) is launching a new cohort-based scholarship program for students from the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) who are considering attending the University of Michigan.
The U.P. Scholars Program will provide wrap-around financial, academic, professional, and social support for students. The inaugural cohort will start in fall 2020.
“We are committed to increasing access for students from across the state of Michigan, and the U.P. Scholars Program is our latest effort to do just that,” said Anne Curzan, dean of the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. “The U.P. Scholars Program will create a home away from home in Ann Arbor for students from the Upper Peninsula and provide them with mentorship, guidance, financial support, and a strong, close-knit community to bolster their success at U-M.”
This unique initiative was made possible by a gift from a private donor. The program’s design is based on the LSA Kessler Presidential Scholars Program, which has become a national model for innovative scholarship support for first-generation students. In addition to financial support for tuition and other expenses, the U.P. Scholars Program will offer students peer mentorship, career and academic guidance from professional staff, and a strong cohort of fellow students.
There are currently more than 100 students in LSA from the U.P., and approximately 230 students total at U-M. The U.P. Scholars Program sets out to increase those numbers and bring more students from the region to Ann Arbor. The initiative is also designed to break down some of the obstacles students face and misconceptions they may have about campus life at U-M.
“We’ve heard from students from the Upper Peninsula that they may be hesitant to apply to U-M due to the distance, perceived cultural differences, and financial barriers,” said Cheyenne Marlin, Assistant Director of the U.P. Scholars Program. “Our goal with this program is to change those perceptions and address these challenges. We want all students to have access to all of the resources and opportunities available to them so they can thrive here. No matter where you’re from in the state of Michigan, you belong at U-M.”
LSA administers the program for the university and, along with the Ross School of Business and the Office of Financial Aid, will identify scholarship recipients. The first cohort of U.P. Scholars will be selected from among newly admitted U-M students based on financial need, academic and personal achievement, leadership qualities, and commitment to service. The program is currently working with high schools in the U.P. to raise awareness about the program, and LSA staff will travel to Houghton and Marquette on Sept. 29-30, to meet with prospective students, parents, and school administrators who want to learn more about the U.P. Scholars Program.
The U.P. Scholars Program is just one of many programs offered through LSA to enhance student success. Other programs and initiatives include the Comprehensive Studies Program, Kessler Scholars Program, Opportunity Hub, and Passport Scholarship Program. These efforts directly tie into LSA’s diversity, equity, and inclusion plan to make college more accessible, affordable, and inclusive for all students, specifically students who are first generation, come from rural or under-resourced communities in the state, and/or have financial need.
To learn more about the U.P. Scholars Program, visit myumi.ch/upscholars.