Lake Effect Scholarship

A private education, but not a private price. See full eligibility requirements below.

Lake Effect Scholarship

There’s just something about Finlandia University. Nestled into the cozy coastline of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, Finlandia is located 20 minutes from Lake Superior. Whether it’s the beautiful snow-filled winters or the serenity we feel by being on the water, the “Big Lake” is a huge reason why we are proud to call the U.P. home.

The Lake Effect Scholarship is a needs-based scholarship that allows eligible commuting and on-campus living students to enjoy the benefits of cost-sharing education.

Meaning, commuting students will have tuition reduced to $2,500 per year, earning their full Bachelor’s degree for $10,000. The $2,500 per year cost-share can also be covered by federal loans, meaning no out-of-pocket cost. Earn your degree now and pay later!

On-campus housing students are also eligible to receive the benefits of cost-sharing education. With tuition reduced to $2,500 per year, they will have additional housing costs, which can also be covered by federal loans. The Lake Effect Scholarship aligns with Finlandia’s mission of providing affordable higher education to all.

Students must meet all criteria annually to be eligible for the Lake Effect Scholarship. This scholarship is renewable, but students are not eligible to receive additional institutional or entrance scholarships. Additional rules may apply. Contact your Enrollment Officer or Financial Aid for details.

Not eligible for the Lake Effect Scholarship? Check out our other merit and need-based scholarship opportunities including the Rise Together Scholarship (Full Free Tuition), $7,500 Board of Trustees Scholarship, the $5,500 President’s Scholarship, or the Western Great Lakes Scholarship (up to $4,000).


The Finlandia application is free and only takes a few minutes to complete. With our fast-track application, you’ll know within three business days if you’ve been accepted. Start your application today to begin your Finlandia journey.

Apply Now

Eligibility Requirements

  • Michigan resident
  • Pell Eligible – link to FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid
  • Non-athlete
  • First year traditional student (non-transfer)
  • 2.25 cumulative high school GPA
  • Renewable by maintaining a minimum 2.25 GPA while at FinnU
  • Must be accepted as a new incoming Finlandia student – Apply Now!
  • Once you’ve applied, list Finlandia University on your FAFSA with school code 002322* to hear back within 2 business days!

Not Eligible? Check out our other merit and need-based scholarship opportunities.

Notice something missing? Thanks to FinnU’s test-optional admissions policy, SAT/ACT scores won’t affect your admissions decision or the ability to receive the Lake Effect Scholarship. 



Home to Finlandia University


Whether you’re a local or from outside the area, a commuter or living on-campus the Lake Effect Scholarship is meant for all Michigan residents. Finlandia welcomes you! We offer bachelor’s degree’s in Art & Design, Arts & Sciences, Business, or Health Sciences. Our faculty and staff will help students get to where they want to be academically. Learn more about the Finlandia majors available here.


Choosing a college and degree is stressful. We work with you to make the process as easy as possible, which is why we don’t set application deadlines. Applications are accepted at any time and acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis. To ensure everything can be done in time, we suggest getting started on your application process as soon as you can.


Year-round, we enjoy hiking, camping, picnicking, fishing, swimming, canoeing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, skating, ice hockey, and skiing.

The area features a rich immigrant and mining history and offers many outdoor recreational opportunities and cultural events. Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake, is never farther than a short drive. The lake has a large influence on the weather in the Keweenaw, especially in the winter! Known as “lake effect,” this influence means cooler summers and warmer winters than the Central U.P., and of course, a lot more snow.


Finlandia Hall

At Finlandia Hall, we provide a living environment that assists students in accomplishing their academic, vocational, and social goals. Rooms are double occupancy suite-style that have high speed internet and wireless connections.

Student lounges on each floor promote a social atmosphere and contain a flat screen television and kitchenette.

Laundry services, a larger student lounge, computer lab, campus security and Finn Hall Cafe all reside conveniently on the first floor.

All Finlandia University Students who are under the age of 21, regardless of academic classification, are required to live in the Finlandia Hall residence hall. Students can apply to be exempt from living on-campus. Students can be exempt if they meet one of the following criteria: students residing with a parent/legal guardian within a 30-mile radius of campus, students who have successfully completed and documented 48 or more credit hours post-high school graduation, students who are 21 years of age prior to the end of Fall semester, students who are married and/or have joint or full physical custody or overnight visitation rights of minor child/(ren), students who have prior or concurrent military service, and/or students who have medical conditions for which the University cannot accommodate.

Breakfast at the Cafe


Meal Plans

Meal plans are required if you’re living on campus and are perfect for commuters too!

Finlandia Hall Cafe, located on the first floor of Finn Hall, provides three meals a day, every day for an affordable price. Students have the option of eating in, dining out or pre-ordering a sack lunch. The menu changes daily with weekly favorites such as Taco Tuesday and Burger Friday. There are also cold cuts and a salad bar available.

If the home-cooking isn’t homey enough, FinnU’s head chef, Tim Nakkula, is always looking for new recipes and will gladly try to recreate favorite dishes from home.


FinnU prides itself on providing not only a holistic education, but also a holistic college and living experience. As such, we have numerous support systems in place for students who wish to utilize them.


One of the biggest barriers to attending FinnU may be a lack of reliable transportation. To address this need, FinnU will be offering a shuttle service for eastern U.P. and downstate Michigan students at the start and end of each semester and during key breaks.

Food & Basic Necessities


In addition to Finlandia’s affordable meal plan, FinnU also offers numerous food options for those facing food scarcity including

The Table – Finlandia’s student needs pantry features food, toiletries, hygiene products and laundry supplies at no charge. All students are welcome to utilize The Table, no questions asked, located in the Chapel of St. Matthew on campus.

All Means All Community Meal – Every first and third Monday of the month, students are invited to come learn how to cook and make the meal for the evening. Whether you cooked or not, all are invited to join in and EAT what students have prepared. This is an interfaith, ecumenical, all are welcome of any religion or no-particular-religion meal. The point is community. Gathering. And food, of course.

Western Upper Peninsula Food Bank – The Western Upper Peninsula Food Bank will work with students facing food scarcity to provide basic needs.



FinnU offers numerous opportunities for students to work while studying. From the federal work-study program to helping students identify relevant part-time jobs or volunteer opportunities, faculty and staff understand the demands placed on a working student and help support them with academics and career.

Beyond working through college, our faculty and staff are dedicated to helping students find not only a career, but a vocation or calling that suits their strengths and needs. Our new Center for Vocation & Career utilizes the Clifton Strengths Finder tool to identify an individual’s strengths and build a career plan accordingly.

Tutoring & Scholastic Support


Finlandia has a Tutoring Learning Center on campus that all students can utilize for free. It consists of professional tutors and peer tutors as well.

For first generation, low-income, or disabled students, TRIO Student Support Services delivers a program of academic and personal support designed in partnership with the student. Services support students in ts persisting from one academic year to the next and to graduate with a bachelor degree.

Finlandia also hosts TRIO Pre-College Programs Upward Bound and Talent Search. The TRIO Pre College Programs exists to empower potential first-generation students and/or students from low-income homes to be successful in high school and prepare for college.


 Paavo Nurmi Center strenght and conditioning center.

All students are given free access to Finlandia’s gym, the Paavo Nurmi Center. Featuring free fitness classes, basketball courts, a cardio studio, saunas, men’s and women’s locker rooms, and a state-of-the art weight room, the Paavo Nurmi Center is a great asset to help students stay healthy.

In the event a student does fall ill, there are two health clinics/hospitals located within a short distance of the university: Portage Health and Aspirus. In addition, FinnU has a partnership with META Student Teletherapy to provide mental health and counseling services to students.



Affording textbooks and supplies can be a challenge for some students, but fortunately FinnU has solutions.


There are two computer labs on campus – Finn Hall and Maki Library – that provide free access to desktop computers for students to utilize.


FinnU is proud to host the Textbook Justice Program created by Finlandia faculty and staff. The Textbook Justice Program is for students who are in acute financial need and are unable to purchase textbooks will be able to borrow the books available in the Textbook Justice Library and use it all semester long.

The Finlandia Alumni Board is also committed to providing textbooks to students and have created the Alumni Association Textbook Awards. In 2019, the Finlandia Alumni Board awarded $250 for textbooks to 39 FinnU students to be put toward books and supplies. In 2021, they awarded 49 FinnU students. Applications for the Textbook Award open each June and are funded by the Finlandia Alumni Board’s annual Giving Day fundraiser.



While not technically basic need, having fun is crucial to a good college experience. Finlandia offers students numerous free opportunities to get out, get involved, and have fun including free admission to athletic events, extracurricular clubs, broom ball, two art galleries and various events throughout the semester. Beyond campus, the Hancock/Houghton area features vast opportunities for exploration and free events. From Parade of Nations in the fall to Heikinpaiva in the winter, there’s always something happening, usually free of charge. Mere miles from the Lake Superior shoreline and home to an average of 300″ of snow per year, the Keweenaw Peninsula is a beautiful place to explore during any season.