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All Fremont High School and Archbishop Bergan graduates will be offered scholarships to Midland University, based on GPA and ACT scores, as part of a new partnership announced by Midland this week.

The “Tiger to Warrior” program was announced at an academic awards ceremony at Fremont High School Thursday night. A “Knight to Warrior” program is similarly being rolled out with Archbishop Bergan as well, though Merritt Nelson, vice president of enrollment management at Midland University said that it’s still going through approval processes.

The current class of seniors will be eligible for the scholarship awards, Nelson confirmed.

The program has been in conception since September when Nelson conducted an audit of Midland’s admissions processes and recruiting strategies. That audit ultimately found that the university could do “a better job of recruiting the local talent,” Nelson said.

“I felt like there’s a lot of high-quality students in the Fremont area that were not considering Midland for a variety of reasons and we wanted to make sure that we created an opportunity for them at least to consider us, for us to be an option,” Nelson told the Tribune. “We know that there’s lots of reasons why students would go to colleges in other places, but we also realize that without the whole story and knowing everything that we offer and the opportunities that we’re willing to give them, in many cases, we weren’t even an option.”

According to information provided by Midland, higher ACT scores and GPAs yield higher awards, with the lowest possible award coming in at $10,000 for ACT scores of 19 and below. All awards are given out on a per-year basis and are renewable for four years.

The highest award, for students who score a 30 on their ACT and log a 3.75 GPA, is at least $25,000.

The money for scholarships is culled from donations from Midland’s alumni base as well as other local donors “who have agreed that we need to keep the best talent from Fremont in town,” Nelson said.

Students receiving scholarship money can also still apply for other need-based aid, and can additionally receive athletics and performing arts awards.

“Students in Fremont, through our dual credit courses offered through Metropolitan Community College and Midland University, have the opportunity to complete nearly an entire year of college before graduating from high school,” said Mark Shepard, Fremont Public Schools Superintendent. “This program supports the Chamber of Commerce and GFDC ‘Think Local’ campaign, and provides an incentive for our best and brightest to stay in Fremont while completing their college degree – our local employers and the entire community stands to benefit.”

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