As soon as school started, so did Eric Meier’s golf season. With several tournaments during the fall and spring semesters, Meier and his Illinois State men’s golf teammates left on many a Saturday and didn’t return until Tuesday.

Missing those two days of classes to compete made the math major’s coursework that much more difficult. The intense schedule did not, however, keep the Presidential Scholar from graduating on time in May 2012.

If it wasn’t for his academic scholarship, combined with the athletic scholarship that rewarded his success on the state champion University High School team, he would have been trying to squeeze in a part-time job or applying for loans.

“Because I was able to get a scholarship, I treated golf as my job,” he said. “It means a lot to the guys on the team to have these scholarships because it gives us more time to practice, which helps the team get better.”

Although his dream job would be to become a professional golfer, Eric is now studying biomathematics as a graduate student at ISU. He’ll have lots of other options with the degree that intertwines biology and math, and may go into research or a health-related field.