Differential Tuition Scholarship


In establishing differential tuition for the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, a tuition fund was generated based on the following concepts: “One-fourth of all differential tuition collected will be returned to students in CEAS through scholarships to be consistent with WMU’s policy on tuition increases. These scholarship funds will be strategically distributed based on merit and need.” The differential tuition proposal continues, stating “Funds will also be used to support our enrolled students with financial needs reducing their financial barriers to retention.”
This policy has been developed to fulfill this commitment and serve a significant number of current and potential ECE students, both pre-ECE and ECE, with a significant scholarship to support their attendance and continuing education at WMU.

Scholarship goals

The goal of the scholarships is to provide funding for up to five percent of the undergraduates enrolled in ECE pre-engineering or engineering programs. The scholarship funding level is intended to partially offset the yearly cost of differential and course tuition for the academic year granted. Award criteria are based on both merit alone and a combination of need and merit for the recruitment and retention of students. Scholarships will be based on student applications and will be granted for one academic year.
As a separate criteria, a small award will be made to recognize accomplishment and support degree completion for the department electrical engineering, computer engineering and presidential scholars.

Application process

Yearly awards will be considered based on student applications. For incoming students, the WMU application will be considered. For all other undergraduates, consideration will be based on completing an application available in the department office or available on the ECE website.
In the second case, the scholarship application should include: the student’s name and contact information, WIN, expected semester for taking ECE 4810 Senior Design I, a list of academic honors, a list of any scholarships, grants or other sources of financial assistance, a list of activities to include employment, WMU extra-curricular, or community activities and a brief statement summarizing how the scholarship would support their efforts to earn a bachelor of science in engineering degree.

Scholarship allocation

Scholarship recognition awards of $300 each will be given to the top department scholars; they are the WMU presidential scholar, the ECE department electrical engineering scholar and the ECE department computer engineering scholar as selected by the ECE faculty.  Scholar selection will occur during the fall semester with awards being made for the spring semester.
Yearly scholarship awards, as a minimum, will be granted to two incoming freshman as recruitment awards, two freshman advancing to sophomore status as retention awards, two sophomores advancing to junior status as retention awards, two juniors advancing to senior as retention awards and two general retention awards regardless of grade level. Additional awards will be made as general retention awards based on available funding as the department works toward the goal of granting awards to five percent of undergraduate students.
Awards will be distributed once per year with applications and selection in the spring semester and funds available to students for the fall semester.
The yearly award level goal is to be significantly greater than the differential tuition cost of 30 credit hours and sufficient for at least 6 credit hours of tuition.
The scholarship award committee will determine the award amount and number of awards each year based on the above minimum number of scholarships (10), 5 percent of students goal, and dollar amount criteria.

Yearly scholarship awards will be granted based on need and merit for the first award at every level and merit for the second award. Additional and general retention awards will be offered as need and merit first and then merit. Need and merit shall account for 50 percent or more of the awards.

Selection process

Once all appropriate applications have been received, the WMU financial aid office will be asked for a FAFSA student aid report for each student applicant. The student report information will be merged with the student grade level, number of credits, GPA and submitted application for consideration by the designated ECE undergraduate scholarship committee.  For students who did not participate in FAFSA or believe that the FAFSA data is inaccurate, the requested application essay will be evaluated to establish financial need. The committee will select award candidates based on the following criteria.

For need and merit scholarships, the committee will rank order the applicants based on the perceived student need in the appropriate credit or grade level category. The students with the highest need and merit, based on a combination of GPA, the application requested information and the application essay will be considered for final selection. Grade level or credit based scholarships will be considered first, with general scholarships considering all remaining applicants.

After the need and merit based scholarships have been determined, the remaining applicants will be ranked based on merit, with GPA the initial defining factor followed by academic honors, WMU or community activities or service and any applicable application essay material, in the appropriate credit hour or grade level category. The students with the highest merit based on these factors will be selected. Grade level or credit based scholarships will be considered first, with general scholarships considering all remaining applicants.

After selecting award candidates, the names and alternates will be forwarded to the ECE department chair for a final review of eligibility and appropriateness.

Awards announcement and monitoring

Scholarship award candidates will be notified of the scholarship awards by the ECE department chair.  Any unused or returned scholarships will be awarded to alternates previously reviewed and selected as general retention award candidates.


Applicants with existing scholarships or grants that will be directly reduced dollar for dollar by these scholarships will not be considered for a need and merit based scholarship. Applicants receiving CEAS based multi-year Medallion scholarships will not be considered as they are already receiving significant support based on differential tuition.