SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FROM BWC
The Baltimore-Washington Conference and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) have joined together to make it easier for high school and college-aged students to apply for scholarships. Allyson Collinsworth, Executive Director of Loans and Scholarships at GBHEM, announced the partnership last December.
Under the agreement, which is a pilot project for the General Agency, students will be able to go online and fill out informational forms but once. Previously, each scholarship application required a new informational form.
The cooperation also means that since information is shared, officials at GBHEM can run applicants through their data base, looking for possible matches for money that otherwise might have been overlooked.
“We get around 5,000 applications for scholarships per year,” said Collinsworth, whose office is based out of Nashville, Tenn. The application submission “season” began Jan. 6, and runs through March 5.
“This will definitely help the student,” said Collinsworth. “They’ll get more bang for their buck because when they fill out the form, they’ll really be applying in several places all at once.”
Cheryl Cook, associate director of Young Adult Ministries at the Baltimore-Washington Conference, said that she was excited for this opportunity to help more students attend college.
Scholarships are open, Cook said, for United Methodist students to attend college whether the schools are United Methodist-related or not. Currently, GBHEM and the Conference administer more than 60 scholarship programs, with awards ranging from $500 to $1,000 for undergraduate study, and double that for graduate work.
“We offer a variety of different scholarships to reflect the diversity of our conference,” said Cook. “There is a scholarship specifically for children of pastors, a scholarship for Baltimore City residents that are pursuing seminary, and various scholarships for students who are active in their churches and serve in leadership roles.”
The BWC scholarships are:
- BWC Scholarship Merit Fund: For students going to an approved United Methodist College.
- Sophia Dietsch Education Scholarship: For students of Baltimore City only who are going into United Methodist ministry/seminary student/or in the candidacy process. Award is $400 per year up to $2,000 total (no more than 5 years).
- Francis Asbury Scholarship: Only available for the child of a pastor.
- Board of Trustees/Merit Scholarship: Open to all students, based on need, GPA, finances. May be awarded to undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral students; who are full active members of the UMC for at least one year; have a minimum GPA of 2.5+, and are attending an accredited institution within the U.S.
- United Methodist Women (UMW) Scholarship: Provides financial assistance for undergraduate students who are members of churches within the Baltimore-Washington Conference. The awards are made according to financial need, academic achievement and active church membership. The scholarship amounts range from $400 to $1,000 per year. This scholarship is not available to the child of a pastor.
- United Methodist Men (UMM) Scholarship: The United Methodist Men Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance for undergraduate students who are members of churches within the Baltimore-Washington Conference. The awards are made according to financial need, academic achievement and active church membership. The scholarship amounts range from $400 to $500 per year. Not available to the child of a pastor.
“For most applicants, they need to have been a United Methodist for at least 12 months,” said Collinsworth. “Scholarships are available from undergraduate to doctorate-level programs.”
Book Cook and Collinsworth stressed that interested students need to apply for these scholarships every year, and that now is the time to do it.
“The criteria are different in all of the scholarship programs,” said Cook. “And sometimes, it changes year to year. Students need to be intentional about applying each and every year.”
To apply, visit www.GBHEM.org/scholarshipapplication. More information is available at http://www.bwcumc.org/finance/college-scholarships.