Undergraduate education is at the core of our land grant mission.

Undergraduate education is at the core of our land grant mission. We aim to expand students’ horizons through the pursuit of knowledge, discovery, engagement, and opportunities to apply learning to make the world a better place. 

Our challenge is to ensure access to an MSU education to promising high school students, from Michigan, across the country, and around the world. Diversity is key to our success. We seek to remove barriers to education, allowing students to achieve their full potential. We want students working side by side with faculty, becoming a part of our scholarly community, and making their contributions both inside and outside of the classroom. 

We have a long tradition of welcoming students who are the first in their families to attend college, and we also have a base of families who have attended MSU for many generations. This makes MSU a great place for undergraduates to build an academic foundation with students from many different backgrounds, learning to appreciate different perspectives and learn from each other. 

Experiential Education - Undergraduate Research 

While MSU offers a world-class education, sometimes the most intense learning takes place away from the classroom. Experiential learning - including study abraod, study away (somewhere in the United States), an internship, or undergraduate research - has become a vital part of undergraduate education. 

This is especially true for research. When undergraduates work alongside faculty members and graduate students, they help solve problems and see knowledge being created - not just served up in a textbook. Just as a picture is said to be worth a thousand words, academic investigation in a lab, the field, or a library is often more illuminating than time spent in a classroom. In collaboration with people from multiple disciplines, students experience the benefits of teamwork, and come to see that discoveries result less from “Aha!” moments and more from critical thinking, precise and exacting work, and dynamic collaboration among team members. They develop skills that will serve them well over the course of their lives. Many choose to share their experiences at the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, an annual competition that provides Michigan State undergraduates the opportunity to highlight their scholarship and creative endeavors by presenting their findings to faculty, peers, and external audiences. 

In addition to traditional undergraduate scholarships, we are also seeking support that will expand access for undergraduates to participate in experiential learning opportunities.

“Undergraduate education should be the foundation for students’ continuing growth and development, promoting knowledge, attitudes and abilities that prepare students to be global-ready graduates, lifelong learners, and citizens working effectively among diverse people and ideas.” Douglas Estry, PhD Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of Undergraduate Studies 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cu0sAtTqac8

Empower Extraordinary: Undergraduate Education Campaign Priorities

Supporting Undergraduate Students 

Named All-Inclusive Scholarship 

Your gift of $1,000,000 creates a named all-inclusive scholarship endowment. All-inclusive 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 Full Tuition Scholarship 

Your gift of $750,000 creates a named full tuition scholarship endowment. Full tuition scholarship 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 Partial Tuition Scholarship 

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

Your gift of $100,000 creates a named partial tuition scholarship 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 will be a minimum of $5,000. 

Enhancing the Student Experience 

Named Freshman Seminar Abroad Award 

Your gift of at least $50,000 creates a named freshman seminar abroad award endowment. A freshman seminar abroad award allows a student to participate in the freshman seminar abroad program at no cost to the student. The freshman seminar abroad program is open to all first-year students and allows them to explore intriguing topics in small, intimate learning environments as part of a study abroad program during the summer before they come to campus for their first year of college. 

University Undergraduate Research & Arts Forum Award 

Your gift of $200,000 creates a named University Undergraduate Research & Arts Forum (UURAF) Award endowment. This endowment provides award funding in recognition of the outstanding efforts of student winners in the UURAF competition. This event provides Michigan State undergraduate students with an opportunity to showcase their scholarship and creative activity. 

Named Adaptive Innovations Support Award 

Gifts of any size can support programs and opportunities that allow students to become adaptive innovators through educational programs that span boundaries and special projects (such as research, creative and entrepreneurial initiatives) will allow our students to prepare to work on society’s grand challenges. Gifts in support of adaptive innovations initiatives can help us prepare students for working in the modern world. 

Supporting Strategic Initiatives 

Gifts of any size can be contributed to the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education Strategic Initiatives Fund. Monies will be spent on areas of strategic significance to undergraduate education, which may include: sponsorship monies for high quality students to attend conferences and present their research, or provide emergency assistance for students in need that might not otherwise be covered by other funds.

Things To Consider When Supporting Scholarships


  • Gifts to support scholarships 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 University Scholarships & Fellowships Advancement Office would be pleased to discuss how you may include Michigan State University in your estate plans.

Featured Fund

MSU Promise Endowed Scholarship

The MSU Promise Scholarship fund allows donors to contribute to general undergraduate student scholarships, without needing to create their own endowment. Donations to this fund help the University award many scholarships each year.

Make a Gift
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.

Make a Gift
Frequently Asked Questions

I want to create a scholarship or fellowship at Michigan State University. What are my next steps?

If you would like to create a scholarship or fellowship to benefit students at MSU, please contact our office by email at Empower@SupportForStudents.msu.edu or by phone at 1-517-432-7345. We are happy to assist you in the process of creating a gift in support of our students. Our office will work with you to draft a legal endowment or expendable fund agreement, outlining the criteria and procedures for dispersing the award.

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We're Feeling Thankful for Our Supporters

Student scholarship recipients stand with Sparty in front of The Rock. The Rock is painted to read "Thank You For Giving."

Thank you to all who support students at Michigan State University!

Fight Song Tweet-A-Long

Sparty stands with the marching band

On September 2, in celebration of College Colors Day, several university Twitter accounts had a Fight Song Tweet-A-Long. We've gathered their messages below so you can see the full conversation.

Trained to Jump Out of Airplanes... and to Carry the Burden of Care

Skip Shipley in an operating room

Spartan Nurse Skip Shipley (Captain, U.S. Army Reserve) graduated from the ROTC in 1993, and later returned to MSU for his MSN. Scholarship and fellowship support helped him along the way.

Throwback: What Is In Linton Hall Tower?

Linton Hall depicted on a postcard from 1910

An article originally published in fall 1993 shares the secrets of the tower perched atop Linton Hall.

See-and-Do at MSU: September 2016 Edition

A panoramic view of campus with fall colors in the tree leaves

Each month we curate a list of events and opportunities that may be of interest to you. This is your guide to things to see and do on campus (or online!) during the month of September.

Iceland to California, a Summer Story

Jaaz and his friends in Iceland

This post comes from Jaaz Catterall, a student staff member in our office. Jaaz is studying at MSU on a generous full-ride scholarship. This financial freedom allowed for some very interesting summer adventures, which we've asked him to share. Enjoy!