By Fred Koenig
We are in the midst of that lovely quiet season on the church calendar between Christmas and Easter. Although the weather may suggest that hibernation would be a good use of this time, students – and their parents – must be thinking farther ahead.
The United Methodist Church has a long tradition of support for education, and there are many UM-sponsored scholarships for students who need help with the costs of education beyond high school.
Here in Missouri, a good starting place for information and applications is the Missouri United Methodist Foundation. “We administer a number of scholarships aimed at undergraduate students who are members of local UM churches,” states Foundation Executive Director David Atkins. “We also participate in the UM matching scholarship program called Dollars for Scholars for qualified students attending Central Methodist University and Saint Paul School of Theology.”
“In the last ten years, Foundation scholarship funds have provided over $397,000 to 394 undergraduate student church members,” says Atkins, “and more Missouri students have received Dollars for Scholars awards in the last three years than any other state. Add to that the $658,000 provided to seminary students, and you can see what an impact these funds are having.”
Most of the Foundation undergraduate scholarship funds were created in honor and memory of outstanding United Methodists, including Clint & Marge Hawkins, The Honorable Leah B. McCartney, Mary Alice Reinhardt, and Merrydelle May. The deadline for applications for these funds is April 1st. Information and the combined application are available from the Foundation office, www.mumf.org or 800-332-8238.
The Dollars for Scholars program is administered by the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation (UMHEF) and it has an application deadline of March 1. Several other scholarships are available through UMHEF, and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) administers scholarships and student loans.
Thinking of starting a new scholarship endowment for your church? Contact the Foundation for information and assistance.