Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer and beginning of the Back to School Rush. For young women pursuing educational degrees in seminary or other graduate programs, they’ll probably find that they might be in the minority on campus. What they might also find is that many organizations are out there to help support the process of education and leadership development. I recently ask Jennifer Lewis to share some options to pursue for christian women in particular. This is short list hopefully gives you a taste of the overall support available for Christian women today in education.
Educational Scholarships for Christian Women
It doesn’t take long for the average student pursuing a college degree to realize some sort of financial aid will probably be needed to help pay the ever increasing costs. Loans are readily available, but they have to be paid back eventually. Scholarships are better because they do not need to be paid back, but because of that they are highly competitive. One area that should be investigated, especially by female students, is religious affiliation.
Scholarships for female Christian students
Christianity is a religion that contains a diverse array of branches. This presents multiple opportunities for students in need of help paying for college. Here are some opportunities to look into further:
*Faith and Education Scholarship Fund – The organization’s TESM Scholarship is a $10,000 award given to students who are active members of the Church of Christ and already accepted to a four-year liberal arts university.
*United Church of Christ Undergraduate Scholarship – Available only to members of the United Church of Christ but students are able to study any undergraduate course they choose. Applicants must be entering at least their sophomore year at a four-year accredited college and have at least a C average. The required grade average rises to a B for those entering their junior or senior year. Awards range from $500 to $1,000.
*Antioch Women’s Scholarship – These awards are available only to women over the age of 26 that are of Eastern Orthodox faith. It is targeted especially to women who demonstrate financial need. Students may be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree, but it is also open to those entering trade programs.
*Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship – This scholarship is awarded to around 200 female students a year and is available to those attending undergraduate classes at a variety of schools, mostly located in the South. The renewable rewards range from $500 to $2,500, but applicants must re-apply every year.
*Local church organizations – Make sure to check with any local church groups to see if they have scholarship opportunities. Often, these will not show up on an Internet search, but local organizations may have a scholarship fund to help students in need. They will have their own criteria for awards, which could include requiring students to attend traditionally Christian universities.
*Check the school – Many religious groups will supply funds to colleges to offer as scholarships to students with an affiliation to that denomination. Ask the financial aid office if there is anything that applies.
When it comes to hunting for scholarships, female students should not over estimate their religious affiliation. Nearly 80 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christian, and the religion’s diversity lends itself to a wide variety of opportunities. Many of the scholarships available to Christian women do not require students to attend Christian universities or to study religious courses.
Jennifer Lewis is a writer for a site that has information on financial aid for female students, including seminary scholarships for women. She believes it is worth finding out what scholarships are available, as they can offer an alternative to student loans and help avoid getting into debt.