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Centennial Campaign Goal No. 1: Maintaining an Exceptional Student Body

For nearly 100 years, Middle Tennessee State University has taken seriously its responsibility to provide a high quality, accessible education to the people of Tennessee and the region.  While the University’s growth has been exponential over the past two decades, we have never wavered from our commitment to the individual success of each student.  As we clearly state in our academic master plan, the University is committed to maintaining the highest standards of quality – in the caliber of students we attract and the educational experience we provide.  And as we strive to maintain a student centered environment, we are committed to the educational and personal growth and achievement of every member of our University family.

Maintaining our position as the institution of choice in Tennessee requires more than well-crafted words in our master plan; the University must be competitive in our ability to recruit future student-scholars. The brightest young minds, destined to become the next generation of doctors, lawyers, statesmen, scientists, and teachers, are sought by universities around the world. These students command innovative educational opportunities and financial resources to meet their needs and expectations.  Accordingly, as the first tenet of our long range plan, we are committed to enhancing the scholarships and stipends available to our students and have identified three strategic needs.

100 Centennial Scholars:  The Centennial Scholars program is the centerpiece of our efforts to maintain an exceptional student body.  The MTSU Centennial Scholars will provide the University with one of the most competitive, highly desired scholarship programs in the region.  These scholarships will enable the University to continue to offer the region’s most outstanding students a place where they can live and study without leaving the area.   

Merit and Need-based Awards: Today, less than 20% of the state’s population has a four-year college degree.  One of the primary reasons for this – the lack of adequate financial aid.   With nearly one-fourth of our students being first generation attendees and two-thirds qualifying for financial aid, we must increase the funds available to support these talented and deserving students.  Critical to our ability to serve the people of Tennessee is an expansion of the funds available to our overall student body, to be awarded based on both academic merit and financial need.

Graduate Assistantships and Stipends: The role of research and graduate education has become a vibrant element of our educational enterprise and is critical to our ability to help meet the fiscal and business needs of the state and nation.  There is a direct correlation between the economic vitality and growth of a region and the presence of an active research program to provide the scientific research and discovery that leads to the development of new products and supports growth in the business community.  MTSU is well positioned to educate and provide trained scientists and entrepreneurs who will lead the next century’s economy.  Securing support for endowed and reoccurring stipends will enable us to expand the number of graduate opportunities for our students, assuring the University’s continued contributions to the sciences and education, as well as contributing to the economic development of the region.

 


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