by Emily Vontom, Published November 15, 2012
Isabelle McCormack, 18, loves being at Eastern Michigan University and the freedom that college brings.
"I love the freedom and independence of college," McCormack said. "It was a little overwhelming at first, but I'm starting to enjoy the liberties of becoming an adult. I am able to make my own decisions and learn from my mistakes. I would have gone to college a long time ago if I knew it would be this much fun."
McCormack, of Canton, Mich., is one of 16 new Presidential Scholars at Eastern Michigan University. The Presidential Scholarship is an elite four-year award that pays for 30 credit hours per year of in-state tuition, housing, food allowance and mandatory fees.
Both of McCormack's parents earned their bachelor's degrees from the University, as well as most of her extended family.
"My family has a long tradition of attending Eastern," McCormack said. "I wanted to carry on the family tradition as well as stay close to home."
McCormack is studying nursing with the hopes of becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner so she can work with children. She also likes volunteering with animal rescue organizations in the community.
"One of my true passions is volunteering for animal resume organizations such as Homeward Bound Rescue League," said McCormack. "I hope to become a foster parent to homeless dogs and possibly open my own dog rescue one day."
McCormack is focusing on getting adjusted to college life and balancing her course load, but she loves living in the residence halls, she says.
"It's been a great experience living here," said McCormack. "The people are welcoming and friendly. There are always activities to participate in and the rooms are cozy. It feels like home."
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.