MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award

2014-15 marks the 26th year Farm Bureau Insurance has sponsored the MHSAA's Scholar-Athlete Award.  This year 32 $1,000 scholarships will be available to high school seniors who meet the eligibility requirements listed below. 

Where Are They Now?
25 Years Ago: Jennifer Bissell Forrest, Vestaburg HS; Scott Kieser, Bay City Western HS
20 Years Ago: Kiran Khanuja Taylor, East Lansing HS
15 Years Ago: Leslie Barnhart Mailloux, Ogemaw Heighs HS
10 Years Ago: Mike Goorhouse, Holland Christian HS
5 Years Ago: Abigail Cohen, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood HS

Application and Rules
Scholar-Athlete Application (Word format)
Scholar-Athlete Competition Rules (PDF)

Tracking the 2014-15 Award
2014-15 Applicants (Deadline Dec. 5, 2014)
Finalists (Announced late January)
Class C-D Winners (Announced early February)
Class B Winners (Announced mid February)
Class A Winners (Announced mid February)

Four Eligibility Requirements for Entering the Scholar-Athlete Award Contest:

1. Enrollment
- Student must be enrolled and participating in interscholastic athletics at an MHSAA member school.
2. Senior Status - Student must be a senior graduating during the 2013-14 school year.
3. Varsity Letter - Student must have prior to senior year won a varsity letter in a sport in which the MHSAA sponsors a post-season tournament. The list of sponsored sports include: baseball, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls bowling, girls competitive cheer, boys and girls cross country, football, boys and girls golf, girls gymnastics, ice hockey, boys and girls lacrosse, boys and girls soccer, softball, boys and girls skiing, boys and girls swimming and diving, boys and girls tennis, boys and girls track and field, girls volleyball, and wrestling.
4. 3.50 GPA - Student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. You may not round up a 3.4x grade point average for the purposes of qualifying.

Call or e-mail Andy Frushour at the MHSAA with any questions -- (517) 332-5046 or afrushour@mhsaa.com.

Helpful Hints for Applicants

1. Make Sure You Meet the Requirements

If you're a senior with at least a 3.50 GPA, you've earned at least one varsity letter in an MHSAA sport, and you're enrolled at an MHSAA member school, you're eligible to enter the scholarship competition.

2. Don't Wait Until the Last Minute
There are multiple parts to the application package, so don't get caught procrastinating.

  • Check with the Scholar-Athlete Award administrator at your school (probably your athletic director) to see if you've been nominated to compete in the competition. If your administrator needs more information about the Scholar-Athlete Award, direct him or her to this Web site.
  • Make contact with the two people who will write your letters of recommendation.
  • Write, edit, and re-write your 500-word essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics. 500-words are the maximum for this essay.
  • DO NOT HANDWRITE any part of your application. Judges won't even look at your application if it is hand-written.
  • Turn in your application package by the school issued internal deadline (typically the November date listed on the front of the application). In turn, schools must send its applications so it is received at the MHSAA by 4 p.m. on December 5.  DO NOT mail the app yourself -- it must be mailed by the school.

3. Know How the Applications are judged

  • Essay (40%): Be creative in telling the judges why sportsmanship is important to educational athletics. VERY IMPORTANT: the judges will be reading dozens of essays - make yours stand out! Tell the judges a personal story about sportsmanship; don't give them the Webster's definition of sportsmanship.
  • Extra-Curricular Activities Form (30%): Focus on significant leadership experiences and significant athletic achievements and academic awards won.  Judges are looking for quality of experiences, not quantity of experiences.
  • Short-Answer Questions (20%): Use this space to tell us more about how you've personally benefited by staying active – both with school sports and with outside school activities.  These are not throw-away questions, consider them mini-essays.
  • Letters of Recommendation (10%): Approach coaches, teachers, school administrators, youth group leaders or others in your community to have them write recommendation letters so the judges can learn a little bit more about you.

4. The Application Packet
STAPLE together the four parts of the application.  DO NOT seal Letters of Recommendation inside of envelopes. DO NOT attach certificates, awards or transcripts of any type to your application. DO NOT use folders, covers, binders or clips -- these will all be disassembled and we'll use a simple staple before sending to the judges.  NOTE ABOUT STAPLING ORDER: Please staple your application in the following order – Applicant Information Cover Sheet, Extra-Curricular Activities Form, Short Answer Questions, Essay, and Letters of Recommendation.

5. So, Who Wins the Award?
Thirty-two (32) student-athletes will win a $1,000 scholarship. A graduated scale based on MHSAA enrollment classification will be used to allocate the first 30 scholarships. In Class A, six boys and six girls will be selected as winners. Four boys and four girls from Class B schools will be selected as scholarship recipients, while three boys and three girls in Class C and two boys and two girls from Class D schools will receive the $1,000 scholarship. The last two at-large scholarships are designated for minority candidates and will be chosen after the first 30 scholarship recipients have been selected.

Schools are only allowed to submit a limited number of applications. This limit is based on the same graduated scale that determines the first 30 scholarship winners. For instance, since only 4 Class B girls will win the award, Class B schools are only allowed to submit applications from 4 girls.

6. Scholar-Athlete Award Timeline

  • Students can fill out applications NOW by downloading the application from the MHSAA Web site.
  • Schools administrators can start filling out the online School Applicant List in mid-October.
  • Many schools set an internal deadline identical to the November date listed on the application.. Check with the school administrator to verify when they need your application packet.
  • Applications are due to the MHSAA by December 5, at 4:00 p.m.
  • Judges will convene at the MHSAA in early February to select the 32 scholarship winners.
  • Winners will be notified of their status by mid-February.
  • Throughout February, the names of winners will be released to the public and media via the MHSAA Web site.
  • Winners will be recognized at halftime of the Class C Boys Basketball Finals.

SA2011

Class of 2014

Notes for Administrators

1. Determine how you will nominate students from your school. Schools are limited to the number applications submitted based on enrollment classification. Many schools allow ALL eligible students to enter, and then judge the applications internally using the MHSAA judging formula (40-30-20-10) to determine which applications to forward to the MHSAA.

3. Direct students to the MHSAA Web site to download and fill out the application.

4. Collect applications from students and complete the Scholar-Athlete Award applicant list in the password-protected area of the MHSAA Web site (the link is on the left, under School Administrator Services). Be sure to indicate students who are eligible for the additional at-large scholarships designated for minority students.  This will NOT be available until October.

5. Send in ALL applications with the School Applicant List (it is automatically created after filling out online form) to the MHSAA in one package. This package is due in the MHSAA office by 4 p.m. on December 5.

Please mail all application materials to:

MHSAA
Scholar-Athlete Award
1661 Ramblewood Dr
East Lansing, MI 48823

 

Where Are They Now?

We need your help! The MHSAA is starting a “Where Are They Now?” program to highlight past winners of its Scholar-Athlete Award. Since it began in 1990, 608 student-athletes have won this award, and we could use your assistance in finding these great student-athletes of years past.

The first step in this process is to find a current email and/or mailing address for each of the past winners. If you have contact information for anyone on this list of All-Time Scholar-Athlete Winners, please send it to Andy Frushour at afrushour@mhsaa.com.

Starting in mid-January, we will start contacting these folks directly and have them fill out a short questionnaire. Our goal is to feature these winners in our souvenir programs, Benchmarks, and on our website, as well as bringing a few past winners back to our Boys Basketball Finals every year.

For more information, please contact Andy Frushour at the MHSAA.