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The HAIL Scholarship Program

Action Item (as stated with DEI strategic plan launch in 2016) 

To increase the socioeconomic diversity of the university’s undergraduate population and improve access for Michigan’s underserved communities, U-M will continue the HAIL (High Achieving Involved Leaders) Scholarship Program. This initiative provides full tuition and fees for high-achieving, low-income students from across the state.

Progress update

Since its inception in 2015, the HAIL Scholarship Program has contributed to an increase in applications from low-income students across Michigan, helping to grow the socioeconomic diversity of first-year entering classes. Overall, the program has boosted application, admission and matriculation rates, with the primary effect being a larger number of applications. During Year Five, the program encouraged 358 new low-income, first-year students to apply to U-M. Of those, 124 chose to enroll. In total, 1,253 HAIL recipients have enrolled during the first five years of the program, representing 77 Michigan counties and 330 high schools from across the state. Of these students, 87 percent received Pell Grants and 62 percent were the first in their families to attend college.

In Year Five of the DEI strategic plan, first-year retention metrics for HAIL Scholarship recipients continued to improve. The one-year retention rate for the first cohort (Fall 2016) was 92.4 percent. That number rose to 94.1 percent for the second cohort, 96 percent for the third cohort, and 97.4 percent for the fourth cohort. These statistics bring the HAIL retention rate in line with those of non-HAIL, in-state, low-income students. The four-year graduation rate for the first cohort (Fall 2016) was 62.3 percent, a number that is likely to grow over time, given the annual improvement in retention rates.

Table 1: Number of Applicants Among In-State Students with (Self-Reported) Family Incomes of $50,000 or Less (2015–2019)

Year Applications % Change over Baseline
Fall 2015 cohort (Baseline) 1,280
Fall 2016 cohort 1,724 25.8%
Fall 2017 cohort 1,695 24.5%
Fall 2018 cohort 2,103 39.1%
Fall 2019 cohort 1,858 31.1%
Fall 2020 cohort 1,659 22.8%

The HAIL Scholarship was initially offered to the Fall 2015 entering first-year class, which established a baseline for comparison in future years. Starting in Fall 2018, the Go Blue Guarantee has also contributed to the increase in low-income applicants from Michigan.

Responsibility: Office of Enrollment Management