March 19, 2002
CONTACT: Ward Mullens


YPSILANTI - The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents approved an enhancement to the fiscal year general fund scholarships and grants-in-aid in the amount of $828,500 at its regular meeting March 19.

The enhancement consists of two new awards: the Michigan Merit Plus Award ($528,500) and the Great Lakes Merit Award ($300,000). Both scholarship programs are structured to attract quality students, broaden the mix of students and reinforce the University's commitment to access.

The Michigan Merit Plus Award is available to Michigan Merit Award recipients who have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.30. Award amounts increase based on GPA levels as follows: 3.30-3.49, $750; 3.50-3.69, $1,000; and 3.70 or greater, $1,250. This is a one-time, non-renewable scholarship.

The Great Lakes Merit Award is designed to attract quality, full-time students from the states (excluding Ohio and Michigan) and Canadian provinces that border the Great Lakes, who otherwise, would not likely enroll at Eastern Michigan University. In the first year the award is limited to 50 students who meet the geographic requirement; have an incoming GPA of 3.0 (undergraduate) or 3.6 (graduate); and enroll in at least 15 undergraduate credit hours or eight graduate credit hours. The award amount is $3,000 per term (undergraduate) and $1,500 for graduate students. This award is renewable until graduation.

In other actions:
• The board approved stipend increases for graduate assistants and doctoral fellows. Both stipend base rates were increased four percent beginning with the fall 2002 semester.

Compensation for both consists of a stipend, tuition scholarship and other benefits including the payment of general, registration and technology fees.
A full-time G.A. appointment covers 34 weeks with 20 hours-per-week of assignment. The graduate assistant stipend for partial assistantships are prorated based on hour-per-week commitment. In past years, G.A.'s have been paid either a first-year or a second year rate ($6,568 or $6,843 for 2001-02).

To implement the recommendation for doctoral fellows, an increase of $7,868 for 2002-03 is required to increase the present 14 doctoral fellowships by the 4 percent proposed increase. This amount has been included in the 2002-03 General Fund Budget recommendation previously approved by Board action.

• The Board also approved Loren Estleman as the commencement speaker for the April 27, 2002 ceremonies.
Estleman, a 1974 graduate of EMU, has written 48 books and won 15 national writing awards. He has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and England's Silver Dagger Award.

He is best known as the author of the Amos Walker, private investigator series, now in its 15 installment. His latest novel is Sinister, published in February 2002.