(PNS)—”Need-based aid is one of the many ways that the Presbyterian Mission Agency responds to its Matthew 25 priorities to end structural racism and poverty.” This statement appears at the end of the full-page announcement in Presbyterians Today about scholarships for full-time undergraduate and seminary students belonging to Presbyterian churches.
Applications for 2023-2024 scholarships through the Presbyterian Mission Agency are now open. The applications are available in English, Spanish, and Korean through the Kaleidoscope platform linked through the Financial Aid for Service page of the Presbyterian Mission Agency website. The Kaleidoscope platform allows students to complete the application at their own pace over the span of weeks or months until the final deadline of May 15, 2023. As a host for other grants and scholarships, it also allows students to apply simultaneously for several scholarships through multiple foundations — a further benefit for students seeking to finance their education.
The Presbyterian Scholarship for Undergraduates and the Presbyterian Study Grant are need-based aid programs. Students with the least resources and greatest need are prioritized for an award. “We are called to end structural racism and poverty, and to strengthen worshiping communities,” says Laura Bryan, Coordinator of Financial Aid for Service. “These priorities are expressed through our commitment to need-based aid, and supplemental awards for people of color. The programmatic emphasis on leadership development and discernment of vocation challenges participants to not only gain valuable knowledge for the world, but also to engage with discovering who God created them to be.”
Presbyterian Scholarship for Undergraduates serves full-time students attending college in the United States who are seeking a first bachelor’s degree. The program offers up to $4,000 per student. In 2022, 147 students were awarded $665,000.
Presbyterian Study Grant serves full-time seminary students seeking a Master of Divinity or Master of Arts in Christian Education at any Association of Theological Schools institution in the United States, including online programs. MDiv students must be under care of presbytery. The program provided $431,000 in aid for 67 students and can support up to 100 students with $6,000 awards.
Supplemental awards for People of Color and Native American Education Grants, which do not require a separate applications, are made possible by basic mission support. Eighty students received $2,000 in supplemental aid last year. The percentage of people of color participating in aid programs has steadily increased from 40% in 2018 to 59% by 2022.
This year, Financial Aid for Service would like to be able to give out even more scholarships. They are getting the word out through advertisements in print, e-newsletters and social media. Since qualified candidates must be members of a PC(USA) church, it is important that mid councils and churches share the news about the applications and its deadlines.
Presbyterian Scholarship for Undergraduates and Presbyterian Study Grant are supported by endowments, basic mission support, and extra commitment opportunities. Monetary gifts to E052103 support college students while gifts to E052102 support seminary students. Complete applications are read for selection by a reading committee. Scholarship readers volunteer through the Presbyterian Mission Agency website at www.pcusa.org/selection.
Applications in English, Korean and Spanish are now open and must be completed before May 15, 2023.
by Beth Waltemath, Presbyterian News Service