MUHLENBERG MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS
(for students matriculating Fall 2019 and later)
In an effort to recognize and reward outstanding academic achievement, Muhlenberg College has established a variety of Merit Scholarships. These Merit awards range in value from $2,500 to $30,000 and are renewable for all four years at Muhlenberg based on academic performance (2.5 GPA by end of freshmen year, 3.0 GPA by the end of the sophomore year) and good campus citizenship. Muhlenberg also offers Talent Grants in the Visual and Performing Arts ranging from $1,000 to $4,000. Talent Grants are renewable for all four years at Muhlenberg.
Although some of the students who receive Muhlenberg merit awards demonstrate financial need, merit awards at Muhlenberg are offered solely on the basis of academic and extracurricular achievement in high school and promise for excellent scholarship and extracurricular contribution on the college level.
HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR A MERIT AWARD?
All students who file a complete application for freshman admission are considered for merit awards. In recent years, in an applicant pool that numbers nearly 5,000, between 800 and 900 students typically demonstrate the qualifications to receive serious consideration for a merit award. After a preliminary screening of all applications, these especially well qualified students move into a "second round" of very serious consideration and evaluation.
In a typical year, Muhlenberg will ultimately offer over 500 merit awards-some as part of a need based financial aid package, some to students who either have not applied for financial aid or who have not demonstrated financial need. Approximately 180 new students enroll at Muhlenberg each year with some kind of merit award from the College.
In recent years, students receiving merit award from Muhlenberg typically have ranked in the top 10% of their high school classes, taken a very strong junior and seniors course schedule, and made outstanding extracurricular contributions to their school or community. Starting in the 2020-2021 application cycle, students who apply test-optional will be considered for merit scholarships as well as any of our four honors programs.
Because of the strength of our applicant pool, the competition for Muhlenberg Merit Scholarships is clearly quite rigorous. Muhlenberg's merit selection process is aimed at considering the whole human being within the context of strong academic achievement. For that reason, extracurricular accomplishments, the strength of the college essay, and teacher and counselor recommendations are weighed heavily in making distinctions between and among strong merit candidates. Demonstrated interest in Muhlenberg is also a factor in merit selections-and a campus interview is the best way to demonstrate serious interest, as well as give an admissions officer the opportunity to get to know you well enough to act as an advocate for you in the merit selection process.
TYPES OF MERIT AWARDS
Henry Melchior Muhlenberg Scholarship - $40,000. Honoring the College's namesake, this award recognizes superb academic performance, extracurricular commitment, and positive character and citizenship.
Muhlenberg Presidential Scholarship - $10,000-$30,000. Awarded for outstanding academic and extracurricular accomplishment, and potential for excellent contributions to both the classroom and campus community at Muhlenberg.
Commitment to Excellence Award - $2,500-$9,000. Awarded for outstanding academic and extracurricular accomplishment, and potential for excellent contributions to both the classroom and campus community at Muhlenberg. Preference given for extracurricular leadership and/or community service.
Talent Grant - $1,000-$4,000. Awarded on the basis of audition or portfolio to students in performing arts or visual arts who intend to continue performing during college (not necessary to major in Music, Theater Arts, Dance or Art; simply must contribute to performing groups at the College while at Muhlenberg).
In addition to Merit Scholarships, Muhlenberg offers four Honors Programs which provide for an enriched academic experience. Each program carries an annual $5,000 scholarship, and students can be selected for both a Merit Scholarship and an Honors experience and scholarship. The programs are described below:
The Muhlenberg Scholars Program - $5,000 annual scholarship. Limited to approximately 15 students per entering class. The Muhlenberg Scholars Program provides a four-year enriched experience emphasizing small seminar style classes, research and independent study opportunities with a faculty mentor, and an active learning style. Students are invited to participate in the program based on a review of completed admissions applications. In addition to the $5,000 per year scholarship, Muhlenberg Scholars are also eligible for both need based and merit assistance. Participation in the Muhlenberg Scholar Program provides an enriched academic experience and does not preclude a major in any area.
The Dana Scholars Program - $5,000 annual scholarship. Limited to approximately 30 students per entering class, The Dana Scholars Program also includes an internship experience, a mentorship component, and an emphasis on linking the liberal arts with "real world" situations. As with the Muhlenberg Scholar Program, Dana Scholars are eligible for additional need based or merit assistance. Participation in The Dana Scholars Program provides an enriched academic experience and does not preclude a major in any area.
R.J. Fellows Program - $5,000 annual scholarship. Limited to approximately 15 students per entering class, the R.J. Fellows Program provides a four-year enriched experience emphasizing small seminar style classes, research and independent study opportunities with a faculty mentor, and an active learning style. Students are invited to participate in the program based upon a review of completed admissions applications. R.J. Fellows are eligible for additional merit or need-based financial assistance. Participation in the R.J. Fellows Program provides an enriched academic experience and does not preclude a major in any area.
Shankweiler Scholars - $5,000 Annual Scholarship. The Shankweiler Scholars Program is an honors program designed for highly motivated undergraduates who are preparing to pursue an MD degree after graduation and a life of serving humanity through clinical practice and/or research. As a liberal arts pre-medical experience, the program is particularly well-suited for pre-medical students planning to major in the humanities or social sciences or natural science majors with broad intellectual interests.
Merit Awards at Muhlenberg College are renewable for a total of eight semesters, provided the recipient is in good social standing and maintains the minimum GPA requirement:
The minimum cumulative GPA required at the conclusion of the student’s first year is 2.5
The minimum cumulative GPA required at the conclusion of the student’s second and third years is 3.0
Merit Scholarships are awarded at the time of admission based on the student’s academic performance and the rigor of their course selection throughout their high school career.
It is Muhlenberg College policy that merit scholarships do not increase. It is a fixed amount for each semester (ie, the student can not receive a full year amount in just one semester) the student is a full-time traditional student and the student is eligible for a maximum of 8 semesters. Any unused merit due to part-time status, withdrawal or early graduation is forfeited. Merit scholarships are distributed proportionately over all billable charges. Billable charges are defined as Tuition and mandatory fees, room and meal plans.
In exceptional circumstances including but not limited to unexpected changes in Cost of Attendance or billable charges, the College reserves the right to modify a student financial aid award.
It is Muhlenberg College policy that Merit Awards do not increase.
In the event that a family’s financial situation changes, we encourage the family to apply for additional assistance by completing the need-based financial aid application process.
A FINAL WORD
There are many talented students across the country who now see their range of college options limited by cost and affordability issues. We at Muhlenberg believe strongly in the power of the small, selective, private college experience to transform lives and provide truly inspirational learning opportunities. We want to encourage strong students to include Muhlenberg in that group of colleges that will receive their serious consideration.
In that sense, Muhlenberg's Merit Scholarships and Honors Programs represent a very special invitation to talented students. They represent an opportunity to enter into a special relationship with Muhlenberg where excellence will be recognized and rewarded.
Beyond Muhlenberg's merit and honors opportunities, the College offers significant amounts of need based financial aid. If you have questions about any of these programs or need additional information, please don't hesitate to be in touch with the Office of Admissions.