GameAbove introduces its new ‘Next-Gen’ Scholarship for Eastern Michigan University students

The GameAbove Next-Generation Scholarship will assist students facing financial aid challenges and aims to improve student retention and graduation completion rate

A young woman clad in a green t-shirt writes notes while looking at a laptop.

YPSILANTI – GameAbove, the alumni group at Eastern Michigan University (EMU), introduced the GameAbove Next-Generation (Next-Gen) Scholarship, offering financial support to EMU students on the brink of graduating but who are not able to finish their degree due to financial limitations. In partnership with the University and its Engage @ EMU office, GameAbove is designating $75,000 towards scholarships starting in January 2023. EMU estimates nearly 80 students could benefit from the new scholarship in the next two years. Students can learn more about the scholarship by visiting

GameAbove logo“GameAbove wants to do as much as possible to help students succeed,” said Karen LeVert, an advisory board member with GameAbove. “College should be a life-enhancing, transformative experience, but for some students, it comes with financial challenges. Those students then face the difficult decision to drop out and likely not to return to school. Working with the incredible Engage @ EMU team, we can provide students the opportunity to finish the journey they began, earn their degrees, and reap the tangible and intangible rewards of a college education.”

Engage @ EMU manages external partnerships with businesses and surrounding communities. The office also cultivates academic initiatives and programs focused on local impact. “We see many students with financial aid gaps during their final two semesters of college. We try our best to connect them with the resources to persist, finish school and graduate,” said Decky Alexander, professor and director of Engage @ EMU. “We have seen students facing these challenges fare better when they receive dedicated financial assistance to finish their degree. Therefore, we couldn’t be more appreciative of GameAbove’s support. The Next-Gen Scholarship could be a life-changer for some students.”

GameAbove Next-Gen Scholarship Eligibility

  • Student must be enrolled part- or full-time in a qualified EMU program
  • Student must have applied for all other available state and federal financial aid
  • Student is required to take part in one of EMU’s persistence programs: Eagle Engage Corps, Brotherhood/Sisterhood, Success Coach, TRiO SSS, Holman or Honors College

With the start of the Next-Gen Scholarship, GameAbove now offers EMU students two financial assistance solutions. The new scholarship is part of GameAbove’s Students Matter Most—one of the first two initiatives from the group and aimed to enhance the student experience at EMU. The $1.5 million committed to EMU in 2019 is to provide financial resources for clubs, intramural sports, student senate allocation needs, student homelessness, housing insecurity, and other designated needs. Included was $50,000 donated to the Student Emergency Fund, which awards a one-time monetary aid to students needing to cover unforeseen expenses impacting their ability to continue their education. Since 2020, the emergency fund has supported nearly 600 students. GameAbove continues to provide funds.

“The Student Emergency Fund and Next-Gen Scholarship complement each other in allowing students to continue and finish school without having the burden of working multiple part-time jobs and having outside factors affect their learning,” says LeVert.

“Whatever we can do to help alleviate the financial burden, especially during challenging times, will help students get to the finish line,” said Eastern Michigan University President James Smith. "Thanks to GameAbove and the Next-Generation Scholarship, we can provide the financial help necessary so more students can graduate and be on the road to their desired place in our ever-changing, high-tech, society."

GameAbove has committed nearly $25 million to EMU, supporting or creating programs that spark innovation and academic advancement. Those programs include enhancing faculty enrichment, supplying financial aid to students, and improving facilities that advance student-athlete achievements at EMU.

Learn more about all GameAbove initiatives at

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

About GameAbove
GameAbove at EMU's primary focus is to help shape, inspire and support the current and future students at Eastern Michigan University by reaching new heights in learning through transformation and inspiration in the educational experience. GameAbove aspires to help improve the higher education experience by exploring and supporting innovative financial models to sustain universities, enhancing the campus environment, elevating athletics, promoting pioneering academic programs, and creative giving within the community. To learn more, visit

Media Contacts:

Eastern Michigan University
Melissa Thrasher

Khalid Walton

November 03, 2022

Written by:
Khalid Walton

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher