by Emily Vontom, Published November 09, 2012
A passion for reading and writing is what brought freshman Shelby Hallenbeck of Flat Rock, Mich. to Eastern Michigan University.
Hallenbeck, 18, is a literature and creative writing major and wants to be a professor of literature. She is also one of 16 Presidential Scholars at the University.
The Presidential Scholarship is an elite four-year award that pays 30 credit hours per academic year of in-state tuition, housing food allowance and mandatory fees.
"I well in love with Eastern's campus in high school," said Hallenbeck. "I attended the Inkstains Writing Camp for four years in a row and that was how I recognized the school's strong English department."
She loves to read (Toni Morrison and John Green are among her favorite authors) and write fiction. She has even participated in the National Novel Writing Month, a contest in which participants are challenged to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November.
Hallenbeck's love for writing is especially helpful in her job as a copy editor at The Eastern Echo, the University's student-run newspaper.
"I have never had a real job before," said Hallenbeck. "Being able to do a job I enjoy and getting a paycheck every other week makes me feel independent."
Presidential Scholars are selected during EMU's annual Presidential Scholarship Competition. Awards are based on a competitive exam. To compete, high school seniors must have either a 3.7 GPA, with a minimum of a 25 ACT or 1,150 SAT score. Each scholarship winner must also complete a successful interview.