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Mahurin Honors College Membership Fee

A chart showing the usage of the MHC Fee


In line with the Climbing to Greater Heights: The WKU Strategic Plan 2018-28, the Mahurin Honors College (MHC) Membership Fee supports student success, academic excellence, preparing graduates for successful careers and rewarding lives within a sustainable budget model. The MHC Membership Fee supports the strategic plan by focusing resources on "intellectual experiences in and out of the classroom and [supporting] access to high-impact practices such as internships, study abroad, service-learning, and undergraduate research throughout their college careers."

Created in 2016, the MHC Membership Fee supports the WKU Climbing to Greater Heights strategic plan in three specific ways. 

  • Improve the academic experience by increasing the number of honors sections and high-impact practice (HIPs) opportunities within the MHC. 
  • Further enhance and expand diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in the MHC through additional need-based financial support and special programs for URM, first-generation, and international students. 
  • Provide financial assistance to facilitate honors students' involvement in a range of HIPs, including internships, study abroad, research, service-learning, Capstone Experiences/Thesis (CET) projects, national scholarship preparation, and academically focused field excursions.


Academic Colleges and Departments: Innovative Teaching and Learning

The MHC partners with all five of WKU's academic colleges to provide a world-class honors experience for our shared students. The MHC Membership Fee provides substantial funding to academic colleges for offering honors sections. These intellectually enhanced sections are the core of the MHC academic experience. Without the Membership Fee, the MHC could not provide the current honors curriculum

In addition to direct subsidies to academic colleges, the MHC Membership Fee supports faculty through Honors Faculty Engagement Grants (HFEGs). HFEGs allows professors to create innovative and enriched honors opportunities in and out of the classroom. Finally, these funds are used to support faculty mentoring honors students on their senior Capstone Experience/Thesis (CE/T) projects. Since its inception, the MHC Membership Fee has supported student success by helping fund:

  • 724 stand-alone honors courses to meet a students' major, minor, and general education needs.
  • 349 HEECs (Honor Enriched Embedded Courses) to reach a students' major, minor, and general education needs.
  • 198 faculty members who chaired honors CE/T committees, by providing intensive and engaging mentorship on research and capstone experiences for honors students.
  • 36 HFEGs (Honors Faculty Engagement Grants) were funded to enhance and enrich the student experience in the classroom


Scholarships and Grants: Supporting Student Success

The MHC invests in student success and helping honors scholars pursue their big dreams. The MHC Membership Fee provides scholarships to students with demonstrated need, Travel Abroad Grants (HTAG), Honors Development Grants (HDG), Life-Time Experience (LTE) Grants, Alternate Gilman Grants (AGG), and Gilman Supplemental Grants (GSG). Since its inception, the MHC membership fee has awarded over $230,000 to support the academic and career success of MHC scholars. For example:

  • 245 students received HTAGs. A total of ~$110,000. 
  • 95 students received HDGs. A total of ~$55,000 
  • 38 faculty received HFEGs. A total of ~$31,000. 
  • 22 students received LTEs. A total of ~$23,000
  • 5 student AGGs/GSGs (initiated in FY19). A total of ~$12,000

In support of the Climbing to Greater Heights strategic plan, the MHC Membership Fee has helped "Prepare students for career and life in a global context;" "Incentivize and support research and creative activities that promote student learning" and further enhance a "Culture of Innovation" at WKU.


Director's Fund for Diversity: Supporting A Diverse Body of Students

The Director's Fund for Diversity supports the Climbing to Greater Heights' strategic plan goal to "Enroll a diverse body of regional and global undergraduate, graduate, and nontraditional students who are fully prepared for a rigorous, fulfilling college experience." Through a combination of MHC Membership Fee Funds and private philanthropic gifts, the MHC is increasingly diverse and expanding access to High Impact Practices (HIP) to a higher percentage of honors students. 

In addition to tuition scholarships, the Director's Fund for Diversity provides grants for a range of HIPs, included, but not limited to: study abroad, internships, research, and conference travel. As a result of the Director's Fund for Diversity, 

    • The MHC has seen the diversity of the MHC first-year class increased from 8.8% to 16.17% (an 83.75% improvement). 
    • 15 students have received tuition scholarships ~$21,000

In part, as a result of the Director's Fund for Diversity, the MHC is increasing its overall diversity. Additionally, these honors students who bring richness to the MHC through race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability/disability status, religion, geographic background, socioeconomic status, and family educational background (first-generation status) receive additional investments in order to increase participation in HIPs and increases the likelihood they graduate from WKU in four years or less. The MHC Director's Fund for Diversity is one of a range of initiatives supporting the Climbing to Greater Heights goal of diversity and inclusion for all.


Cultural, Social, and Intellectual Programming: Improving the Quality of Life in the College and Community

To complement the academic experience of honors scholars, the MHC supports intellectual, professional, and personal development programming along with community service and opportunities for honors scholars to make friends, develop community, and enjoy their College years. 

  • Intellectual/career events including the Mahurin Speaker Series, medical school presentations, summer research workshops, scholar interview workshops, finals study nights, Young Alumni Speaker Series, and both the December and May graduation luncheons. 
  • Community development events include Center for Courageous Kids, Humane Society, Top Crops, 
  • The student-led Honors Student Planning Board sponsors a range of social programs throughout the year, including: Honors Freshmen Orientation Retreat, Honors Toppers, Honors Night at the Hotrods, Party on the Patio, Honors Basketball Night, Super Bowl Party, End of Year Bash, Honors Formal, kayaking trips, painting nights, and finals week study breaks. 


Unexpended Funds: Re-Investing in the Future

The goal is to invest 100% of the MHC Membership Fee in student success during each fiscal period, but a range of variables influence our ability to do so. Because the MHC Membership Fee is a student fee, funds must be spent for the purpose which they were initially created. Therefore, by policy, the funds cannot be "swept" to cover an institutional budget shortfall, they instead "rollover" to the next year. As you can see from the above, the MHC Membership Fee allows the MHC to fulfill the Climbing to Greater Heights Strategic Plan goal to "implement a budget model that is sustainable, [and] supports institutional priorities that ensure student success."


Your Input is Vital

We are always looking for new and innovative ways to support the success of our honors scholars, so if you have ideas on ways that the MHC Membership Fee can be invested to improve the overall MHC experience, let us know. You can provide us your ideas by:

  • Emailing your ideas to honors@wku.edu
  • Reaching out to your Honors Development Board (HDB) student representative, 
  • Contacting an Honors Student Planning Board representative, or 
  • Setting up an appointment with the MHC Executive Director. 

We are eager to hear your ideas. In fact, several of the initiatives referenced above were suggested by scholars, faculty, and professional team members.

Admissions Questions?

RyleZack Ryle
Assistant Director
Enrollment and Brand Management




Important Links

Welcome to Admissions

This page will introduce you to The Mahurin Honors College's Admission Process.

Schedule a Visit

We would love to see you and your family on campus.

Admissions Eligibility

Eligibility requirements for those pursuing admission to The Mahurin Honors College.

Application Components and Suggestions 

This page details the sections of our application, including essay prompts and the involvement summary.

Current and Transfer Admissions Requirements

This page details the requirements for both current WKU students and transfer students wishing to apply to The Mahurin Honors College.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

This page details some of the scholarships offered through The Mahurin Honors College as well as those at Western Kentucky University.

Membership Fee

Futher clarification is given on the fee for Honors, as well as some FAQ's related to the fee.

Meet our Ambassadors

The HonorsToppers are the official ambassadors for The Mahurin Honors College.  These students lead the VIP Visits for each prospective student/family.

H4 - Honors Freshmen Retreat

This page will include all information relevant to our freshmen orientation retreat, H4.

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 7/28/20