Scholarship hopes to bring diversity to U of M - WNEM TV 5

Scholarship hopes to bring diversity to U of M

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A nonprofit organization at the University of Michigan is investing in diversity.

The Alumni Association of the University of Michigan announced Tuesday it will be expanding its LEAD merit scholarship for underrepresented minority students by $30 million.

Minority enrollment at the university has declined 11 percent since 2006, and by 50 percent among African-American students.

The Alumni Association developed the Leadership, Excellence, Achievement and Diversity (LEAD) Scholarship Program in 2008 to bolster minority enrollment and improve access to opportunity.

The association is an independent nonprofit that supports the University of Michigan.

“Diversity makes for a better university, in every facet, which is why we felt that tripling our LEAD scholarship fund was the right thing to do,” said Steve Grafton, president of the Alumni Association. “Not only does a diverse student population help minority students feel more welcome on campus, it teaches all students the value of engaging with people of all creeds and cultures. Diversity is a primary tenant of U-M’s principles and one we are dedicated to improving for years to come.”

The Alumni Association is currently establishing a $10 million fund and will increase it by committing another $10 million immediately from its endowment.

 The nonprofit will also campaign to raise another $10 million in a one-to-one match for gifts of more than $50,000.

With a full $30 million LEAD scholarship fund, the association hopes to award the scholarship to as many as 75 students per year by 2021.

LEAD will grant $5,000 to $15,000 per year, per student.

To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; have African-American, Latino or Native American heritage; have been accepted as a full-time, undergraduate student at U-M; possess a high school grade-point average of 3.5 or higher; and have an SAT score of 1220 or higher or ACT score of 27 or higher.

For more information on the scholarship, click here

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