Considering Honors?

The Honors Program at Ferris State University requires a separate application from the one you completed to attend Ferris.  

Campus in the fall

Eligibility and Application Processes

  • Students who have applied to Ferris State University who meet two of the following three criteria are invited to apply for the Honors program: 

    • Cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
    • 25 ACT composite or 1150 SAT (combining math and reading scores) or higher.
    • Ranked in the top 10% of graduating class by GPA.

    Students who are close to meeting the criteria for invitation and have records of significant and meaningful extracurricular academic achievement (Odyssey of the Mind, Editor of Student Newspaper / Yearbook, Debate/Forensics, etc.), outstanding community service or exemplary leadership positions will be considered for invitation following individual review of those credentials by the Honors Program staff.

    To apply to the Honors program, each student must

    And then complete ONE of the following:

    • Submit an essay or video
    • Attend the Honors invitational (see next tab)

    Being invited to apply to the Honors program is no guarantee of admission to the Honors program. Students are evaluated on all measures before admission is granted.

    A student must be admitted to Ferris State University before being admitted to the Honors program. If you have not completed an Undergraduate Student application to Ferris State University, the application can be found at

  • To apply to the Honors program as a transfer student, each student must

    • Complete an application
    • Deadline to apply for Spring semester is December 1.
    • Deadline to apply for Fall semester is July 15.
    • Students must apply to Ferris State University and then apply to Honors (separate applications).
    • Criteria:
      • 3.30 cumulative college GPA in at least 12 credits, none of which are remedial or developmental classes.
      • No academic or conduct violations at previous institution
      • Previous membership in Honors Program, or completion of Honors coursework, if available.


Honors Invitational

Each student must do EITHER the essay / video OR attend the invitational. You do NOT need to complete both.

The Honors Program is charged with educating "highly able and motivated students, while encouraging service and leadership for the public good."  A students' Highschool GPA and SAT score give a sense of how 'able' a student is. But it utterly fails to measure 'motivation', or one's commitment to service and leadership.

To address this, we ask students to provide more information about themselves, in the form of an Essay, a Video, or by participating in a classroom 'roll-playing' game (like Model UN) during our Honors Invitational. At the invitational, applicants will be broken up in class-sized groups, and will participate in a mock-Honors seminar. All relevant readings and materials will be provided. Applicants will be evaluated holistically by members of the Honors faculty. The event is not an interview, as students are not interviewed alone, but faculty will observe each student in the group using evaluation criteria that are similar to interview criteria.

Regardless of which you choose, your work will be evaluated in accordance with the mission and values of the Honors program. 

Video Submission Instructions: 

If you choose to submit a video it must address 3 personal achievements that you're proud of. Explain what they are and why they're important to you. Videos should start with a short introduction where you state "Hello, my name is [insert name] and I'm from [insert hometown & state]." Videos should be about 2-3 minutes long and under 20MB. 

If you want to submit a longer video with a larger file size, please upload your video to YouTube. To upload a video, please follow the instructions at the following link: Please keep in mind that YouTube no longer accepts recordings uploaded directly from your computer's web cam. For instructions on how to upload your video through your cell phone, please follow this link:

For instructions on how to download your video from your camera to a computer, please click the following links for Macs ( and Windows ( If you would like to edit your video, please use iMovie if you own a Mac or download this free editing software for Windows at the following link:

Choose and register for the Honors Invitational.

Three are three dates for the Honors Invitational this year:

  • Early Admission: Nov. 4th
  • Admission: Feb 24th
  • Late Admission: May 26th (if space is available in the program)

Admissions decisions are made in three 'waves', in the month immediately following the Invitational.  Those choosing the Essay or Video option will be considered for admission with the students who attend the first invitational following their submission date. If a student wants to be considered with the first group, he or she MUST complete his or her essay or video by Nov. 4th. The second group by Feb 24th, etc.

Admissions decisions are made on the basis of each student's application, High-school cumulative GPA and composite SAT/ACT score and their score on the Essay, Video or Invitational.  We seek to admit about 350 first year students annually starting with the first group who complete their attend the Nov. 4th invitational or.

We will notify successful applicants by mail approximately four weeks after the Due date / Invitational.

Prospective honors students will participate in some leadership-development academic activities, and be evaluated holistically by members of the Honors faculty.  



  • The Honors Program admits students on a rolling basis starting in late March to May 1. Students who attended the Honors Invitational will be the first to be be notified of admission to Honors.  

    If you are accepted into Honors, you will automatically be placed in an Honors Orientation session after you confirm your acceptance with the Honors Program Office.

  • The Honors Program at Ferris State offers a residential option for students in dedicated Honors halls. Many of the rooms in these halls are set up to be single occupancy, but there are some double occupancy rooms available. There is a surcharge for the cost of the single / private room which will be partially offset by the Honors Residential Life Scholarship.

    Students are required to live in an Honors hall if they are required to live on campus according to the residential life policy of the University.  Typically, this means for the students' first year. Honors students are welcome to continue to live in our halls beyond the requirements of the university, but the Honors Residential Life Scholarship will no longer be available. Other incentives, such as the Sophomore, Junior and Senior Incentives, will be available for these students.

  • The Honors office is not qualified to discuss specifics of financial aid, but certain is willing to help where we can. The basics of the automatic scholarship program Ferris offers, along with the Honors Residential Life Scholarship are available on the Honors Financial Aid page. 

    For any further questions or concerns, please get in touch with the University's Financial Aid Office.



Honors Fun day 2014

Move-in day for Honors halls is typically the day before (Thursday) move-in day for the campus. This gives the Honors Peer Mentors the opportunity to meet their mentees and engage in some leadership development exercises (as well as mixers) on what we call 'Fun Day'.

Students who cannot attend Fun Day (such as fall athletes) should contact the Honors office prior to arrival, so we can inform your peer mentor.

Resources for the Honors applicant:

Ferris State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, veteran or military status, height, weight, protected disability, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable State or federal laws or regulations in education, employment, housing, public services, or other University operations, including, but not limited to, admissions, programs, activities, hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, fringe benefits, job training, classification, referral, or retention. Retaliation against any person making a charge, filing a legitimate complaint, testifying or participating in any discrimination investigation or proceeding is prohibited.

Students with disabilities requiring assistance or accommodation may contact Educational Counseling & Disabilities Services at (231) 591-3057 in Big Rapids. Employees and other members of the University community with disabilities requiring assistance or accommodation may contact the Human Resources Department, 420 Oak Street, Big Rapids, MI 49307 or call (231) 591-2150.

Inquiries or complaints of discrimination may be addressed to the Director of Equal Opportunity, 120 East Cedar Street, Big Rapids, MI 49307 or by telephone at (231) 591-2152; or Title IX Coordinator, 805 Campus Drive, Big Rapids, MI 49307, or by telephone at (231) 591-2088.