Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Connect with UMSI Presentations and New UMSI Initiative for Student Engagement

Last week we held Connect with UMSI events for prospective students.  Check out links to the presentations here.  This can be a great way to get a taste of the content from the sessions.  Keep in touch with us if you'd like more information or to connect with a current student!

Not included in the video presentations are descriptions of the exciting new UMSI initiative for student engagement which includes many new and existing programs.  From the article: "The Initiative for Information Impact, which includes funding to establish new programs and expand existing ones, also will engage students in the broader U-M community in projects to benefit communities in the United States and overseas."  Read more here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Funding and Scholarship Resources and Information

It may only be October, but you may be thinking about how to fund your graduate school education.  All students who apply are considered for our merit based scholarships, and those who apply by January 15 receive first consideration for these scholarships.

There are also several external scholarships that you can apply for before admission.  Many of these scholarships have deadlines in November and December, so please check out our external scholarship spreadsheet for specific deadlines and requirements.  In addition, UMSI is often able to match funding awards from external scholarships.  Graduate School can be affordable, so please take a look at all of the funding resources detailed below. 

UMSI Scholarships
Our UMSI Scholarships are merit-based, and typically cover half of tuition for full time students (regardless of your residency status).  We go through 3-4 rounds of UMSI Scholarship offers throughout the term. We hope to complete the first round in late February/early March. The second round will be in mid to late April, with the third round in mid to late May.

The first round of UMSI Scholarships are entirely merit-based. Subsequent rounds will always have merit as the primary factor for consideration, but we will also look at your motivation to attend UMSI. These factors can be demonstrated by professional, consistent communication with us. You are welcome to submit an additional letter/email for the admissions committee's consideration. I've seen previous admissions committees look at your excitement about UMSI, your efforts in applying for external fellowships, anything particular about the nature of your need, the connections you make at Visiting Days, the professionalism of your interactions, and other things for the subsequent rounds of UMSI Scholarship.

Merit is still the primary factor, and by merit we mean the strength of your statement of purpose and personal statement, your letters of recommendation, your internship/research/work experience, your academic record including your GRE, demonstration of leadership, service, comfort with ambiguity, etc. It is NOT just your GRE/GPA.

UMSI matching funds for external tuition awards
UMSI master's students who receive scholarships administered by external sources, such as associations, foundations, and corporations, are eligible to request matching funds from the School of Information.

UMSI students who receive an external scholarship prior to their first term of enrollment or through their first year (12 months) of enrollment are eligible for up to $10,000 in matching funds, depending on the award amount, the level of funding already awarded by UMSI, the remaining unmet need for cost of attendance, and the availability of funds remaining in the annual matching funds budget. Admitted students who receive an external award should submit the original award statement (keeping a copy for personal records) with a request for matching funds to

Funding Links

Scholarship Announcements
This spreadsheet of external scholarships will be continually updated throughout the winter and early spring.  Please check back for more opportunities, and we will continue to alert prospective students of these as we learn of them.  

Please note the University Library Associate scholarships require a separate application, due January 15, 2014.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Resources for Navigating the Application Process

Applying to grad school is a big decision and as a current student, I remember how overwhelming the process can be.  If you’re feeling the same way I felt two years ago, go ahead and take a deep breath because I am here to help! I have a compiled a list of resources to help you navigate the UMSI application process. 

First of all, take advantage of the wealth of information on the UMSI website.  There you will find information on different areas of interest within the MSI program, courses offered, career outcomes, funding, and more.  Also, if you are still wondering if an MSI degree is the right fit for you, I would encourage you to check out these pages on what an MSI entails and why you should consider earning one.  Also, don’t forget that the MSI program in general is very flexible and allows you to tailor your degree program to explore your specific interests.  Check out the tailored MSI option if you think your goals/interests would be better met that way.

I would also recommend registering with us to receive e-mails about upcoming events and other important news. We can even connect you with one of UMSI’s information mentors who would be glad to speak to their experience as a current student.

And don’t forget about one of the other great resources mentioned previously on our blog- our prospective student Facebook group where you can connect with current students, staff, and other prospective students.

Of course, after reading the specialization descriptions, checking out the available classes, & scoping out their faculty lineup, I was ready to start my application to UMSI.  And just like most of you, the first thing I wanted to know was what materials I would need to submit in order for my application to be complete.  Well, UMSI’s website has another checklist for you- the MSI application requirements page. Refer to this page to make sure you have crafted not only a great application, but also a complete one.

Also, be sure to keep up-to-date with this blog.  In the coming weeks, we will have posts from current students on topics like funding your degree, asking for letters of recommendation, and writing your personal statement.

If you have any questions, feel free to send us an email at We’re always happy to help!