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MTSU Honors Transfer Fellowship has Feb. 15 application deadline

A special incentive in the form of a $3,500 scholarship for up to four semesters awaits prospective MTSU transfer students who meet the eligibility criteria and apply by the Feb. 15 deadline.

The MTSU Honors College is offering 30 Honors Transfer Fellowship awards, which are patterned after the highly successful Buchanan Fellows Program.

Dr. John Vile

Dr. John Vile

To apply, visit http://mtsu.edu/honors/transfer.php.

Chosen applicants will be a part of the fifth class of transfer students. The transfer fellowships began in 2013. In the previous four years, the Honors College awarded 15 such awards.

“In talking to President Sidney A. McPhee, this is two years after implementation of the Tennessee Promise (free community college tuition),” said John Vile, Honors College dean. “We are anticipating that significantly more community college graduates will be benefiting from that this year.”

The fellowship is open to students who anticipate having completed 60 hours of college or university coursework with a 3.5 GPA or better by the fall of 2017.

Honors College logoRecipients will gain special consideration for support for study abroad and for making presentations at scholarly conferences. Students who are accepted as fellows will complete a common class together during their first semester at MTSU.

For up to six out of state transfer recipients, the award will be $7,000 per semester because they pay higher tuition and fees, Vile said.

For those who do not receive the Honors Transfer Fellowship, MTSU Financial Aid also offers a guaranteed Transfer Promise Scholarship of $1,500 a semester to students with a 3.0 GPA who complete their application by Wednesday, Feb. 15.

Applications by mail must be postmarked by Feb. 15. Applications must include official transcripts of all college and university work, two letters of recommendation from college professors and/or honors administrators and a personal essay.

For more information, call 615-898-2152.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Dec. 1 deadline looms for prospective MTSU students’ applications

The message to prospective students from Middle Tennessee State University administrators and advertising campaigns this fall contains a specific deadline: Apply by Thursday, Dec. 1, or risk missing out on guaranteed scholarship money for those who meet the qualifications.

Laurie Witherow, left, associate vice provost for Student Affairs, talks about Middle Tennessee State University program opportunities with Kristi McHugh and her son, Brantley, of Gurley, Ala., during the True Blue Tour Recruiting visit to Huntsville, Ala., Oct. 11. Brantley McHugh, 16, is a junior at Madison County High School in nearby Gurley. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

In this October file photo, Dr. Laurie Witherow, left, associate vice provost for student affairs, talks about MTSU program opportunities and the importance of the Dec. 1 application deadline with Kristi McHugh and her son, Brantley, of Gurley, Ala., during the True Blue Tour recruiting visit at the U.S. Space & Rockent Center in Huntsville, Ala. Brantley McHugh, 16, is a junior at Madison County High School in Gurley. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

Guaranteed scholarships are available to high school seniors who plan to begin college at MTSU in August 2017 if those prospective students:

  • Meet academic requirements.
  • Complete the application.
  • Pay the application fee by Dec. 1.

“I have an assignment for the high school seniors over their Thanksgiving holiday: Apply to MTSU,” said Dr. Laurie Witherow, associate vice provost for undergraduate recruitment in the Division of Student Affairs.

Dr. Laurie Witherow

Dr. Laurie Witherow

“The application deadline for scholarship consideration is Dec. 1,” she added. “We need to have sixth-semester transcripts, ACT or SAT scores and an MTSU application by that date. MTSU guarantees scholarships to applicants who have at least a 25 ACT and a 3.5 high school GPA.

“Don’t miss out because you let the deadline slide.”

Guaranteed scholarships range from $2,000 to $5,000 a year for four years for recipients who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The awards include:

  • Chancellor’s Scholarship — $5,000 per year; requires a minimum 30 or higher ACT score and minimum 3.5 GPA.
  • Presidential Scholarship — $4,000 per year; requires a 28 ACT and 3.5 GPA.
  • True Blue Scholarship— $3,000 per year; requires a 26 ACT and 3.5 GPA.
  • Provost’s Scholarship — $2,000 per yearr; requires a 25 ACT and 3.5 GPA.

For equivalent SAT scores for these scholarships and other information, including the online scholarship guide, visit www.mtsu.edu/financial-aid/scholarships/incoming-freshmen.php.

Recipients must meet requirements for GPA, enrollment, satisfactory academic progress, and service, where applicable, to maintain their scholarship eligibility.

More information can be found at www.mtsu.edu/scholarships.

Prospective students whose applications are received after Dec. 1 may learn that scholarship money will not be available. Applications mailed to MTSU must be postmarked Dec. 1.

To learn more about the University Honors College and its Buchanan Fellowship, the highest award given to an entering MTSU freshman, visit www.mtsu.edu/honors.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Nov. 5 MTSU Fall Preview Day features ‘FAFSA Frenzy’ assistance

MTSU’s Fall Preview Day Saturday, Nov. 5, has a new wrinkle for the nearly 600 students and their family members planning to attend.

FAFSA — or Free Application for Federal Student Aid — assistance will be available from noon to 3 p.m. in the Business and Aerospace Building, 1642 MTSU Blvd., as part of preview day activities that start at 8 a.m. in the Student Union, 1768 MTSU Blvd. To find parking and buildings, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Director of Recruitment for Undergraduate Admissions Melinda Thomas.

Melinda Thomas

MTSU’s first “FAFSA Frenzy” is an extension of the College Goal Sunday events held at MTSU in the past when the federal government allowed people to begin the FAFSA online process on Jan. 1.

Now the government allows the process to begin Oct. 1, and MTSU officials thought Fall Preview Day would be a great chance for people touring campus to file their form to be eligible for grants, loans and work-study funds for college offered by the Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid.

“This is an opportunity for families to receive hands-on assistance in completing the FAFSA,” said Melinda Thomas, the director of the MT One Stop on the second floor of the Student Services and Admissions Center. The MT One Stop provides services in the areas of financial aid, course registration, tuition and billing and transcripts.

The FAFSA event, open to the public, is free. Several computers will be available in BAS, Thomas said. Additional information regarding the event can be found at www.mtsu.edu/goal.

The Student Services and Admissions Center is located at 1860 Blue Raider Drive.

For the 581 prospective students and nearly 1,130 guests accompanying them Saturday, Fall Preview Day lets them explore campus, tour buildings and meet faculty and staff from academic areas and the Division of Student Affairs. To learn more, visit www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/special-events.php.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Kyle Elliot, front left, a former Blue Elite tour guide member, leads an MTSU campus tour past the Student Union and near the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center in this August 2015 file photo. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

Kyle Elliot, front left, a former Blue Elite tour guide member, leads an MTSU campus tour past the Student Union and near the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center in this August 2015 file photo. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

MTSU initiates recruiting events with Sept. 24, Nov. 5 Fall Preview Days

Middle Tennessee State University will welcome prospective high school students and their families to visit the campus Saturday, Sept. 24, in the first of two Fall Preview Days.

MTSU conducts preview days as a way for prospective students to see the campus, take tours given by student guides, learn about departments, programs and student organizations and meet faculty and staff from academic areas and the Division of Student Affairs.

Kyle Elliot, front left, a former Blue Elite tour guide member, leads an MTSU campus tour past the Student Union and near the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center in this August 2015 file photo. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

Kyle Elliot, front left, a former Blue Elite tour guide member, leads an MTSU campus tour past the Student Union and near the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center in this August 2015 file photo. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

To register for any preview day or other special events, visit www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/special-events.php. Events begin in the Student Union.

To find various buildings and parking, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

In addition to the Sept. 24 preview day, other scheduled campus visit days include Saturday, Nov. 5, and Saturday, March 17, 2017.

Saturday’s preview day includes breakfast, lunch and an option to attend the 6 p.m. MTSU-Louisiana Tech football game.

Campus officials urge students to apply by Dec. 1 in order to be considered for scholarship consideration if they meet ACT score, high school GPA and other academic criteria.

To learn about scholarships, visit http://mtsu.edu/financial-aid/scholarships.

Linda Olsen

Linda Olsen

“We’re really promoting high school seniors to come out and spend the day with us,” said Linda Olsen, director of undergraduate recruitment.

“This will be their first opportunity to get the full celebration and display of departments and campus tour. … It’s a way to have a full day’s experience of what it means to be True Blue and a Blue Raider.”

MTSU also takes the campus on the road with its annual True Blue Tour. Stops will include:

  • Chattanooga, Tennessee, Oct. 4.
  • Atlanta, Georgia, Oct. 5.
  • Huntsville, Alabama, Oct. 11.
  • Johnson City, Tennessee, Oct. 18.
  • Knoxville, Tennessee, Oct. 19.
  • Franklin, Tennessee, Oct. 26.
  • Nashville, Nov. 1.
  • Memphis, Tennessee, Nov. 9.
  • Jackson, Tennessee, Nov. 10.
  • Bowling Green, Kentucky, Nov. 15.
  • Louisville, Kentucky, Nov. 16.

All True Blue Tour student and family receptions will begin at 6 p.m. local time, except for Nashville, which has a 6:30 p.m. start.

MTSU offers daily campus tours at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. every day the university is open, Olsen said. There also will be one other Saturday tour, scheduled for Nov. 19.

Transfer student tours will be held Friday, Oct. 14, and Friday, Nov. 11.

For admissions questions, email admissions@mtsu.edu or call 615-898-2233. For questions about events and tours, email tours@mtsu.edu or call 615-898-5670.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU, 60 schools recruit students at Rutherford County College Night

Area high school students, their parents and families are invited to attend the upcoming Rutherford County College Night — one of the first college recruiting fairs in the Middle Tennessee region this fall.

The event, hosted by MTSU, features nearly 60 colleges and universities from across the Southeast. It will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, in the Student Union Ballroom, 1768 MTSU Blvd., on the MTSU campus in Murfreesboro. For general information, visit www.mtsu.edu/rccn.

Rutherford County College Night will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, in the Student Union Building Ballroom. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

Rutherford County College Night will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, in the Student Union Building Ballroom. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

Anyone planning to attend should park in the Rutherford lot off Rutherford Boulevard on the east side of campus. Shuttles will transport visitors to the Student Union Building and return them when they leave. To find parking and building location, a printable campus map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Students from Rutherford and surrounding counties are welcome to attend.

Along with MTSU personnel, dozens of colleges and universities will send representatives in their effort to recruit students for the 2017-18 academic year and beyond.

“This year, we will be an automated fair,” said Joey Clark, an admissions recruiter who now works with Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties after previously recruiting Shelby County students.

Students can register at www.gotocollegefairs.com. After registering, the student will be provided a printable barcode or one that can be utilized from their phone. This will allow college recruiters to scan the student’s barcode and instantly receive all necessary information.

“Ultimately, this takes the place of contact cards and truly saves a great deal of time for the students and families,” Clark said. “It allows students to optimize their time with recruiters face to face.”

TACRAO logoKristen Russell, senior admissions counselor, said the event allows area high school students to efficiently maximize interactions with multiple schools, which is ideal for any student in their college search process.

For questions about the event, call 615-898-2233 or email admissions@mtsu.edu.

The Tennessee Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers endorse the event.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Alumna lands role as MTSU undergraduate recruiting director

It did not take long for Florida transplant Linda Olsen to make a major impact as a new leader in the MTSU Office of Admissions.

Just weeks after starting her job as director of undergraduate recruitment, Olsen attended a local community function. Murfreesboro resident and MTSU alumnus Don Witherspoon (Class of 1964) also was in attendance.

Friends Fady Abdelnour, left, 18, and Mary Sadek, right, 19, both of Nashville and Glencliff High School graduates, visit with Linda Olsen, the new director of undergraduate recruitment at MTSU during CUSTOMS freshman orientation June 1 in Tucker Theatre. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Friends Fady Abdelnour, left, 18, and Mary Sadek, right, 19, both of Nashville and Glencliff High School graduates, visit with Linda Olsen, the new director of undergraduate recruitment at MTSU during CUSTOMS freshman orientation June 1 in Tucker Theatre. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Witherspoon, the National Alumni Association vice president, introduced a graduating high school student planning to attend another university to Olsen, who then invited the student to visit MTSU the following week.

“After coming to campus and meeting with faculty and administrators, the young lady has decided MTSU is the best place for her,” Olsen said. “She is now committed to her hometown university.”

For Witherspoon, who will replace 2015-16 National Alumni Association President Tony Beard July 1, “it was one of the more gratifying things I’ve seen in my years as an MTSU alumnus,” he said.

“It was tremendous they (MTSU) were willing to do that and provide an opportunity for somebody who is very deserving,” Witherspoon added.

“Don is an alumnus and community member, and it was his guidance along with everyone working together to bring a student to the university,” Olsen said.

Dr. Laurie Witherow

Dr. Laurie Witherow

Dr. Laurie Witherow, associate vice provost for undergraduate recruitment, said MTSU “is delighted to welcome home one of our alumni to lead our efforts in recruiting outstanding students to our university.”

“Linda brings a love and appreciation for MTSU and for the students we serve,” Witherow added. “We are as excited to have her as she is to be with us. Linda is a great example of what it means to be True Blue.”

A 1998 graduate with a master’s degree in school counseling, Olsen said MTSU “has a sense of a small school with a feel of family.”

“Under President (Sidney A.) McPhee’s leadership, there’s an overall culture of caring for each student that includes every member of the community, both on and off campus, supporting students toward success,” she said.

Olsen comes to MTSU from Melbourne, Florida, where she was collegewide director of admissions and advising for Eastern Florida State College.

The first major event under Olsen’s leadership will be the Saturday, June 4, MTSU Preview Day on the MTSU campus. Admissions, housing, academic departments and more will be on hand to provide information, answer questions and host hundreds of prospective students and their families.

“I’m excited about the potential for building an outstanding future class of outstanding students,” Olsen said. “We have an enthusiastic team of energetic admissions professionals who are ready for the upcoming fall, and the opportunity to show students what a great place MTSU can be for them.”

Olsen is completing her doctorate in higher education leadership and policy studies with the University of Central Florida. Her children include a son Randy, who lives in Portland, Oregon; and a son, Robert, and daughter, Rachel, have also moved to Murfreesboro and plan to eventually enroll at MTSU.

Linda Olsen is the daughter of Dr. Jim Calder, a professor emeritus in elementary and special education in the MTSU College of Education, and Beverly Calder, an adjunct supervising MTSU student teachers.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Registration remains open for new MTSU students at June 4 Preview Day

Registration remains open for the MTSU Preview Day Saturday, June 4, with hundreds of prospective students and their family members expected to attend.

Former Blue Elite member Kyle Elliot, wearing MTSU blue at left, leads a campus tour past the Student Union and near the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center in an August 2015 file photo. (MTSU file photo)

Former Blue Elite member Kyle Elliot, wearing MTSU blue at left, leads a campus tour past the Student Union and near the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center in an August 2015 file photo. (MTSU file photo)

Admissions, enrollment and academic officials are preparing for the preview day, which runs from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. and will begin in the Student Union, located at 1768 MTSU Blvd.

To find parking and building locations, a searchable campus map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

To register, visit www.mtsu.edu/how-to-apply. Then go to the tabs labeled “Schedule a Campus Visit” and “RSVP for Special Events.”

Preview Day is the university’s signature open house for prospective students and their families. This campus visit program includes department presentations, opportunities to meet faculty and staff from academic areas and student affairs, and take campus tours.

Linda Olsen

Linda Olsen

Linda Olsen, new director of MTSU undergraduate recruitment, is inviteing prospective students and their families to “come out and join us for Preview Day, where members from all areas of the True Blue community will be on hand to share what makes MTSU the place you want to call home.”

“Students will have an opportunity to meet with faculty, staff, administration and current students while touring the campus and learning what we have for you here at MTSU,” she added.

To contact admissions, call 615-898-2233 or email admissions@mtsu.edu. For questions about tours, call 615-898-5670 or email tours@mtsu.edu.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Registration remains open for MTSU Spring Preview Day

Registration remains open for the MTSU Spring Preview Day scheduled Saturday, March 19, as the university awaits a campus visit from hundreds of prospective students and their families.

The recruits will enjoy the full campus experience at the preview day, which will begin at 8 a.m. in the Student Union Building, 1768 Blue Raider Drive, in Murfreesboro. All of the guests will get to see departments from across campus.

MTSU junior Tim Maginn, left, of Bartlett, Tennessee, leads a recent special Saturday tour through the Science Building. Saturday, March 19, will be the Spring Preview Day. Maginn is majoring in aerospace and seeking a minor in military science. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

MTSU junior Tim Maginn, left, of Bartlett, Tennessee, leads a recent special Saturday tour through the Science Building. Saturday, March 19, will be the Spring Preview Day. Maginn is majoring in aerospace and seeking a minor in military science. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Preview Day is MTSU’s signature open house for prospective students and their families. All students are welcome. High school seniors and transfer students are highly encouraged to attend.

To learn more, visit http://tinyurl.com/l5pg7amemail tours@mtsu.edu or call 615-898-5670. To find parking near the Student Union, a searchable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

“This is a great time of year for rising high school seniors to begin their college search,” said Wendi Pelfrey, interim director of undergraduate recruitment. “Attending Preview Day is an easy way to obtain lots of information on MTSU in one easy and fun day.”

In addition to campus tours, visitors can meet with faculty and staff from academic areas and Student Affairs.

Attendees will be able to visit the Student Services and Admission Center and MT One Stop, which is across from the Student Union at 1860 Blue Raider Drive. It houses the offices of admissions, tours and records on the first floor. The second-floor MT One Stop handles student concerns regarding financial aid, scholarships, bills, scheduling, transcripts and more.

The Summer Preview Day will be Saturday, June 4.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Sister joins 2 brothers as MTSU Buchanan Scholars [+VIDEO]

When Delanie McDonald enrolls at MTSU this fall, she will be part of a rare occurrence for the University Honors College.

In what is believed to be an Honors College first, McDonald will join older brothers Collin and Connor as Buchanan Fellows in college at the same time.

“I’m very excited about coming to MTSU,” Delanie McDonald, 17, said Monday, Feb. 15,  during a break from the Honors College’s annual Presidents’ Day Open House.

“Ever since both of them received Buchanans (Fellowships), my last three years of (home-schooled) education have been devoted to earning my Buchanan.”

The Buchanan Fellowship, limited to 20 students per year, is the highest award given to an entering MTSU freshman. The program is named in honor of the late Dr. James M. Buchanan, an MTSU alumnus who earned a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science.

All of the McDonalds were home-schooled by their mother, Lorrie, in Carthage, Tennessee.

Rossview High School student Alden Vaughn, left, of Adams, Tenn., and MTSU adviser Eric Miller discuss offerings in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Rossview High School student Alden Vaughn, left, of Adams, Tennessee, and MTSU adviser Eric Miller discuss offerings in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

An aspiring missionary pilot, Collin McDonald chose aerospace maintenance as his career path and has set his sights on a cross-country trip, following in the footsteps of Cal Rogers in 1911. It will be the basis for his honors thesis.

Connor McDonald is a junior political science major and senator in student government who has ambitions of being an attorney.

Delanie McDonald intends to pursue public relations, but admits she has a strong interest in photography.

She and others who braved a cold, rainy day to attend the annual open house said they thoroughly enjoyed physics and astronomy professor Eric Klumpe’s “Mad Science” demonstration.

Delanie, who’s visited MTSU before, called the Honors College event — a mixture of academic and admissions booths combined with various tours and mock trial and “mad science” demonstrations — “a really good experience that I enjoyed.”

Lorrie and her husband, David McDonald, earned their degrees from Tennessee Tech and the University of Georgia, respectively, but they’re sold on an MTSU Honors College education for their children and for others.

MTSU Honors College Dean John Vile, standing right, visits with incoming Buchanan Fellows and their families in the Student Union Feb. 15 during the Presidents’ Day Open House.

MTSU Honors College Dean John Vile, standing at right, visits with incoming Buchanan Fellows and their families in the Student Union Feb. 15 during the Presidents’ Day Open House.

“I’m always helping sell the campus,” Lorrie McDonald said. “The Honors College is a small college within a big college.

“The boys had Dr. Klumpe in class. He had them and other students over to his house and did this on several occasions. You don’t see this happening just anywhere.”

David McDonald added that he finds it “amazing how the entire honors staff is interested in their students succeeding.”

Jiwood “Elina” Park, 17, a junior at Cascade High School in Wartrace, Tennessee, said she liked how the open house “had a lot more to offer. It was very in-depth.”

Park, who plans to pursue microbiology in college, was among more than 100 people attending Klumpe’s physics demonstration in the Student Union Building’s Parliamentary Room.

“The Honors College Open House was an educational and fun day,” said Laura Clippard, the honors staff member who organizes the event.

“Students had the opportunity to talk to academic advisers, financial aid and housing, and we had some really cool tours associated with aerospace and also with (the College of) Media and Entertainment.”

To learn more about daily and special campus tours, visit www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit or call 615-898-2233.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Professor Eric Klumpe performs a physics demonstration to an audience attending the Feb. 15 Honors College Presidents’ Day Open House. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Dr. Eric Klumpe performs a physics demonstration for an audience attending the Feb. 15 Honors College Presidents’ Day Open House at MTSU.

Feb. 15 deadline nears for transfer students’ guaranteed scholarships

Prospective students planning to transfer from community colleges or other four-year schools to MTSU need to be aware of an upcoming deadline: Those who are eligible need to apply by Monday, Feb. 15, to receive the MTSU Guaranteed Transfer Promise Scholarship.

Wendi Pelfrey

Wendi Pelfrey

The university is offering $3,000 per academic year, renewable for up to four semesters.

The requirements include:

  • a 3.0 cumulative college GPA.
  • Forty-five to 105 earned hours after the fall semester before enrolling in the summer or fall at MTSU.
  • applying for admission and meeting all scholarship requirements by Feb. 15. No separate scholarship application is required for the Transfer Promise Scholarship.

More information can be found at www.mtsu.edu/financial-aid/scholarships/incoming-transfer.php. Other scholarships available to transfer students can be viewed at this site.

“We don’t want first-time transfer students to miss an opportunity to secure scholarship funds by missing the upcoming Feb. 15 deadline,” said Wendi Pelfrey, interim director of undergraduate recruitment.

MTSU transfer recruiters and admissions staff have been emphasizing the deadline during recent “Paint the Community Colleges True Blue” visits across the state and contact with other potential transfers.

To contact admissions, call 615-898-2233 or email admissions@mtsu.edu.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

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