Freshman Cole Campbell’s ties to Ball State run deep.

His mom and dad are both Cardinals. So is his paternal grandfather as are many of his aunts and uncles.

But family tradition wasn’t the sole reason the Winchester, Indiana, teenager chose Ball State.

As a finance major, Cole earned admission into the Miller Business Honors Program, a four-year, cohort-based opportunity for self-motivated high achievers. In addition, the University offered him three scholarships, including the Alumni Association’s Legacy Scholarship.

Undergraduate children and grandchildren of Ball State alumni are eligible for the Legacy award, which is a one-time scholarship. Cole was among 80 recipients this academic year, each receiving $2,500.

Since it began in 1983, the Legacy Scholarship has helped almost 1,500 legacy students and has awarded nearly $2.8 million. It’s funded by the Ball State specialty license plate. Motorists pay an extra $25 for the plate, with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles sending that money back to the University along with the names of purchasers. Indiana residents can also receive a tax credit for the gift by checking the box on the registration form to release personal information.

The scholarships were a windfall for Cole, whose dream is to become a financial planner. Having them means that he doesn’t have to work part-time to help pay for tuition and can instead devote more focus to academics.

“The extra $25 you spend on that license plate can have a huge effect on a college student’s experience,” he said.

For more information about the Alumni Association’s License Plate and Legacy Scholarship programs, go to the Benefits and Services section at