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Support Honors College Students

The MSU Honors community near and far is finding ways to make the world a better place.

The Honors College at MSU creates a challenging program for over 3,000 academically talented MSU undergraduates. The Honors College experience at Michigan State University includes small classes taught by professors that explore topics in-depth; opportunities to assist with faculty-led research; international study options; cultural and social activities; and community service opportunities. The Honors College allows students to pursue their academic interests through the customization of their program requirements in consultation with Honors College advisers. 

Gifts to the Honors College provide tuition assistance and experiential education opportunities for these students to maximize their potential. These high-achieving undergraduates are highly sought by public and private colleges and universities, and strong scholarships and other resources enable MSU to successfully recruit and retain them. Honors College students take full advantage of a world-class MSU education. By winning highly competitive scholarships (such as the Marshall Scholarship and the NSF Research Graduate Fellowship), launching companies, and gaining admission to top graduate schools, they bolster MSU's academic reputation.

Financial aid and research support allows MSU to provide Honors College students with cutting-edge classroom and experiential learning experiences. For example, we engage these students with faculty research in their first year and provide special learning abroad opportunities in countries such as Cuba and South Africa, or in research projects through top European research institutions. 

Some examples of programs and scholarships making a difference today include the Honors College Study Abroad programs, open only to Honors College students, which include custom curriculum developed with these students in mind. Our Alumni Distinguished Scholarships and University Distinguished Scholarships are awarded to up to 20 candidates based upon intellectual performance and participation in the MSU Alumni Distinguished Scholarship competition exam and an interview of finalists. The majority of these students participate at MSU as members of the Honors College. The Honors College is also home to the nationally successful MSU Debate Team, which has won the National Debate Tournament several times in the past two decades and serves as a leader in debate participant development at all levels of education through its Spartan Debate Institute summer programming on the campus of Michigan State University. 

A gift to the Honors College allows you to have a great impact on the individual lives of students as well as on this college. Members and alumni of the Honors College are a positive force in society. They deepen our understanding of cultures, unlock the mysteries of nature, protect human rights, and increase our ability to communicate effectively in a global world. They are entrepreneurs and innovators, launching business ventures, identifying the causes of disease and developing cures, testing the feasibility of alternative energies, and developing sustainable agricultural practices.

“Members of the Honors College excel in all aspects of life; whether it is doing exciting research and creative activities, tackling new career opportunities or volunteering in our respective communities. The MSU Honors community near and far is finding ways to make the world a better place.” Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, PhD Dean, Honors College.


Empower Extraordinary: Honors College Campaign Priorities

Featured Fund:

Golden Opportunity Scholarship

The Golden Opportunity Scholarship provides scholarships for students with exceptional academic records who also exhibit financial need. It was created in 2007 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Honors College.

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Featured Fund:

University Undergraduate Research & Arts Forum

The University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum is an annual competition that provides Michigan State undergraduates the opportunity to highlight their scholarship and creative endeavors.

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Supporting Honors Students 

Named University Distinguished or Alumni Distinguished Scholar 

Your gift of $1,000,000 creates a named University Distinguished or Alumni Distinguished Scholarship endowment. University Distinguished and Alumni Distinguished Scholarships effectively allow students to attend Michigan State University at no cost. These awards pay for full tuition, fees, room & board for one student at the out-of-state rate, leaving students to pay just for books and extraneous living expenses. If an in-state student receives the award the remaining balance of the investment income may be reinvested. 

Named Distinguished Scholar 

Your gift of $750,000 creates a named Distinguished Scholar Endowment. Distinguished Scholar awards help to alleviate the costs for students to attend Michigan State University by paying for the full tuition for one student at the out-of-state rate, leaving students to pay just for fees, room & board, school supplies and extraneous living expenses. If an in-state student receives the award the remaining balance of the investment income may be reinvested. 

Named Honors Award 

Your gift of $500,000 creates a named Honors Award endowment that pays for full tuition for one student at the in-state rate. 

Your gift of $250,000 creates a named Honors Award endowment that pays for half of one student’s tuition at the in-state rate. 

Your gift of $100,000 creates a named Honors Award endowment used for recruitment, and provides partial tuition scholarships for one or more students (depending on the size of the gift or endowment). Each scholarship award will be a minimum of $5,000. 

Enhancing the Student Experience 

Named International Experience Award 

Your gift of $100,000 creates a named International Experience Award endowment. International Experience Awards provide a financial aid package to cover expenses related to international study programs and study abroad. These programs could include traditional study abroad programs, international research projects, or international internships.

Named Professorial Assistantship 

Your gift of $60,000 creates a named Professorial Assistantship endowment. Professorial Assistants are first- and second-year students who are provided the opportunity to work directly with a faculty member on their research. 

Named Service and Leadership Award 

Your gift of $50,000 creates a named Service and Leadership Award endowment that supports two students. Awards support expenses related to service and leadership experiences for Honors College students. Students at Michigan State University have a myriad of opportunities to gain leadership experience. These awards help to defray students’ costs associated with these programs. 

Supporting Strategic Initiatives 

Gifts of any size can be contributed to the Honors College Dean’s Strategic Initiatives Fund. Monies will be spent on areas of strategic significance to the Honors College, which may include: cap-off scholarships; emergency need and hardship scholarships; student conference travel awards; research support grants; and University Undergraduate Research & Arts Forum grants.

Things To Consider When Supporting the Honors College

  • Gifts to support the Honors College will receive credit for Michigan State University donor recognition groups. 
  • Multi-year pledges to support the endowments are encouraged. Gifts payable over five years are readily accommodated. 
  • If you or your spouse work for a matching gift company, your gift may be matched at a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio from your company. 
  • The Honors College Advancement Office would be pleased to discuss how you may include the Honors College in your estate plans.