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How does United Methodist Student Day help students?

Graduation image by Elly, Pixabay; graphic by Laurens Glass, United Methodist Communications.
Graduation image by Elly, Pixabay; graphic by Laurens Glass, United Methodist Communications.

The special offering collected each year in United Methodist congregations on United Methodist Student Day  (the last Sunday in November) reflects Methodism’s long-held dedication to education, going back to John Wesley’s own founding of schools for the children of Methodist preachers in the 18th century.

All donations received from the generous giving of United Methodists to the United Methodist Student Day Offering are deposited in the United Methodist Student Loan Fund. The United Methodist Student Loan Fund was begun by American Methodist Sunday school leaders in 1872 as the Children’s Fund to provide for the further education of children. Today this fund is administered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, which offers over 70 different scholarships. Some are general scholarships, available to United Methodist students regardless of where they live or what institution they attend. Others a have more specific focus, such as supporting students from a particular annual conference or region, or supporting people of various ethnicities.

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Each year, approximately 2600 scholarships are awarded by the United Methodist Student Loan Fund to United Methodist applicants worldwide. This includes roughly 500 scholarships given to seminary students in addition to support they may have received through the Ministerial Education Fund.

Students and prospective students may apply for these scholarships using a single application form available through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Applicants may indicate which of the various scholarships available they are most interested in seeking. They will then be screened for all possible scholarships for which they may be eligible.
These are not “full ride” scholarships. General Scholarships, for which any student with a minimum of one year of professing membership in a local United Methodist congregation and a 2.5 GPA may apply, start at $500 for undergraduates and may reach as much as $2000 for those enrolled in graduate schools. Other scholarships have more specific requirements, such as the Francis Asbury Scholarship exclusive to members of the Baltimore-Washington Conference.  Because many students may qualify for more than one scholarship, the total of scholarships an individual student may receive through this program can be substantial.  

The window for applying for scholarships in the United States is open December 15-March 24. Application windows for other scholarship vary by scholarship.

You may learn more about the variety of scholarships supported by your Student Sunday giving by clicking on the appropriate link(s): for students from anywhere enrolled in the United States or for non-US citizens enrolled outside the United States.

And if you wish to give directly instead of or in addition to through your local church, you may also fund the United Methodist Student Day offering online. Donate here.

This content was produced by Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications.

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