by Emily Vontom, Published November 11, 2012
Eastern Michigan University is a family affair for freshman Taylor Gakle of Saline, Mich.
Her parents met at Eastern, her uncles graduated from the University and her sister is currently enrolled in the College of Business. But, family ties aren't what persuaded Gakle to attend the University.
"Everyone was so friendly," Gakle said. "They took my questions seriously and treated me better than any other college I had visited. I felt very comfortable on the campus and thought that I could really accomplish great things here. After being here for a few months, I am confident that I will."
Gakle, a nursing major, is also one of Eastern's 16 Presidential Scholars. The Presidential Scholarship is an elite four-year award that pays 30 credit hours per year of in-state tuition, housing, food allowance and mandatory fees.
"I have always wanted to do something in the healthcare field and started seriously considering nursing my freshman year of high school after being in the hospital," said Gakle. "Since then, it has been the only thing I can see myself doing."
Gakle lives on campus as part of her scholarship and also is a member of the community service organization VISION (Volunteers Incorporating Service into Our Neighborhoods).
"I volunteered with VISION and really enjoyed working in the community," said Gakle. "I look forward to continuing to be a part of that organization. I also personally think that my residence hall is the best hall there is."
Presidential Scholars are selected during Eastern's annual Presidential Scholarship Competition in December. 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.