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If you are an active member of your faith, you may qualify for religious scholarships. Many religious organizations offer awards to give back to their community. College scholarships may also help those in need to avoid student loans and achieve your higher education goals.
Religion is a grounding force for students of all ages. There are numerous awards for Catholic, Christian, Baptist, Lutheran, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish. So, it is really common to find scholarships that reward faith and spirituality as well as a charitable heart.
Like many other scholarships, you may qualify for religious scholarships on the basis of financial need or merit. Financial need is about not having enough money to pay for school. For these, you must fill out and file a FAFSA on time.
Merit is about academic achievement Merit is about academic achievement and other factors such as:
Your scholarship search could start close to home. Your place of worship for e.g., non profits, and businesses may offer religious awards. Bible schools are a great place to look for financial assistance too. Many give out academic scholarships when you apply for admissions.
There are various religious scholarships for all different types of faith, levels of study, and school year. You may also find awards from student organizations, local community, and university. Check out these faith based awards below.
About 51 million people in the U.S. identify as Catholic. That’s about a fifth of all adults. The religious org is so large, it has over 17,000 parishes.
First Catholic Ladies Slovac Association (FCLSA) Fraternal is a nonprofit fraternal benefit society in Ohio. They formed in 1892 to address the insurance needs or Slovak families. Each year, FCLA awards go to young members in good standing for 3 years. Applicants must also hold an eligible ins. policy in their own name. FCLA plans to give 140 winners up to $24,500 each. You may only win once in each of 5 categories. Early elementary school (grades 1-4); older elementary school (grades 5-8); high school student; college student; and as a graduate student.
Catholic United is a nonprofit fraternal benefit society. The states they serve are Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa. Catholic United Scholarship Program also helps high school graduates cover the cost of pursuing a degree, diploma or certification. Each year, there are scholarships for members of any age. As long as you’ve been a member for at least 2 years, you may qualify. Some partner schools also match the scholarship dollar for dollar. Amounts are: $500 for attending a Catholic college or $300 for attending a non Catholic college.
About 7 in 10 people in the U.S. identify as Christian. Many are “born again” or evangelical. But The Christian Church has many subdivisions such as Methodists, Lutherans and Presbyterians. Some, but not all awards are for those going for a Christian education.
Stanfield Scholarships Program offer a $10,000 award from the Unitarian Universalist Association. The required criteria include financial need, and an active relationship with Unitarian values.
College students majoring in art or law may apply. Art majors must be studying painting, drawing, photography or sculpture. The selected recipients must also show they plan to use their training for the betterment of human kind. While the award is good for one year, students may reapply.
About 4.2 million people in the U.S. identify as Jewish. That’s about 1.8% of adults in the U.S. The Jewish religion stresses family values and giving back to the community.
The Jewish Endowment Foundation offers Springfield Council of Jewish Women Scholarship. These awards are available to all qualified students regardless of race, religion and gender. You must reside in one of these locations: Springfield, East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, Wilbraham, Hampden, Agawam or West Springfield.
The committee chooses winners based on grades, financial need, and being active in your community. This year they plan to award up to $54,000 which you apply for online.
The Jewish Family and Children’s Services Scholarship could help the Jewish community reach their higher education goals. They also offer need based awards that pay a maximum of $6,000 per year.
To qualify, you need a 3.0 GPA. Both you and your family must be legal and full time residents of any five California counties: Sonoma, Marin, SF, San Mateo or Northern Santa Clara. For an undergraduate degree, amounts range from $500 to $2,500. They also offer a few awards for graduate programs. These awards range from $500 to $1,000 each.
About 1.1% of Protestants identify as Lutheran. Lutherans follow a 16th century reformer named Martin Luther. Overall, they believe God chooses the believer through an act of grace.
Every year, Valparaiso University offers two full tuition Lutheran Leadership Scholarships. They are for Lutheran students who are exceptional leaders. Eligible applicants who are part of their districts, synods or Lutheran high schools must be pursuing career as a lay leader.
To apply, you must first receive a nomination in your senior year of high school. You also have submit a complete admissions application and FAFSA.
The United Methodist Church accounts for 3.6% of U.S. adults. The faith places value on what they call “practical divinity”. Methodism is a denomination of Protestants. It is also organized into conferences and the highest level is General Conference.
Leonard M. Perryman Communications Scholarship is a $2,500 award from United Methodist Communications. It goes to one United Methodist ethnic minority student.
To qualify, you must be enrolling in junior or senior year to a journalism / communications program at an accredited college or university. You must plan to pursue a career in religious journalism. You also need to show your involvement in the United Methodist Church.
In high school, your senior year is a great time to look for religious scholarships. In fact, some faith based awards are only for high school students about to embark on a college journey. There are even awards for students who want to pursue careers as a preacher, rabbi, or minister.
A few popular places to check for religious scholarships are schools, church, missionary groups and nonprofits. You should also watch out for due dates because you might miss out on extra funds to help pay for your college.
The $500 St. Stanislaus Knights of Columbus Scholarship is open to high school seniors who live in Pleasant Valley, New York. You must be an active member of the St. Stanislaus Parish or Knights of Columbus to qualify.
Located in Missouri, Saint Louis University offers these awards. Saint Louis University Jesuit High School Award has a value of $100,000. The awards are open to high school seniors graduating from a Jesuit High School. You also receive the award upon admission to SLU automatically.
As a graduate student, you may qualify for religious scholarships. Many of these awards go to students preparing for a career in the ministry or pastoral counseling that entails a graduate degree.
Faith based graduate schools and seminary schools may also fund students pursuing a Master of Divinity or PhD. Of them, the Master of Divinity is the first professional degree of pastoral career. It covers course work in theology and is a program for aspiring pastors, priests, and ministers.
Two Native American Supplemental Grant of $1,000 each go to U.S. graduate students who are in their first year of study. Alaskan Natives or American Indians must be members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) with plans to work in the Church.
To qualify, you must be a current enrolled student in one of a few degree programs. You may either be part of MACE (Master of Arts, Christian Education) or Master of Divinity program.
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship offers up to 70 awards of $4,000 each year. While it’s non renewable, selected recipients also receive a $1,000 stipend to attend CBF’s General Assembly.
The awards are for U.S. students who are going for a ministry focused degree and are of the Baptist religion. Students must be pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree. If you are a PhD student, you must also be in the project or dissertation stage of the degree.
Many organizations offer religious scholarships to female members. Some religious organizations now allow women to be ordained. But, it is rare to find women in positions of religious leadership.
That said, doing missionary work may help you qualify for funding. If you plan to attend a women’s only college, it may offer more financial aid too.
Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Scholarship supports the education of female students and devotes to the care of elderly women in nine Southeastern states. More than 10,000 students receive awards each year.
Awards go to female, Christian women with financial need and live in one of these states. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee or Virginia.
These religious scholarships come from partner schools, so amounts may vary. Preferred applicants must have an interest in medical, nursing and allied health.
Wesleyan is a women’s college in Georgia. Margaret A. Pitts Endowed Scholarship for Methodist Students is given to first year college students. Eligible applicants need at least a GPA of 3.0 or above, SAT score of 1000 or higher or ACT score of 21 or above. You must also be an active member of the United Methodist Church.
Religious schools, bible colleges and seminary schools offer religious scholarships. Many are for new freshman and transfer students. In some cases, you may automatically receive an award when you apply for college admissions.
The University of of St Francis scholarships are up to $3,000. They renew for up to 3 years ($12,000) if you continue to qualify. Applicants must be U.S. graduates of Catholic high schools. To apply you must also send transcripts, a $30 fee, and ACT / SAT scores.
Columbia College of Missouri Disciples of Christ Pastoral Award is for foreign and U.S. freshmen or transfer students planning to attend Columbia College. The funds pay $1,000 annually and renew if you maintain a minimum of 2.5 GPA. To apply, you must also be a Disciples of Christ member and nominated by your minister.
University of Indianapolis United Methodist Grant is open to first time freshmen who plan to attend University of Indianapolis. Award amounts pay up to $500 each year and renew for up to 3 years. You must study as a full time student and also maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher. To apply, you must send in an application form as well as a recommendation from a United Methodist Church minister.
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