College costs a lot, and funding college takes work. Should you bother sorting through all the grants, scholarships, and other sources of aid out there? Is filling out all those aid applications worth the time and effort? Yes. Christian scholarships can shrink college costs substantially, and it’s certainly worth the effort.
You might think scholarships are just about money and grinding out applications. The truth is that when you search for scholarships, you’re searching for people. People who want to invest in someone like you. People who want you to thrive. As a Christian, they’ll often be people who share your faith and want to help you discern and follow God’s calling.
You’re not alone.
Scholarships are for you
Maybe you think that if you weren’t your class valedictorian, you shouldn’t waste time thinking about scholarships. It’s true that many scholarships are based on academic performance. The better your grades, the more scholarships you’ll be eligible for.
But scholarships exist for several different purposes and kinds of Christian students. The key is to find the ones created for a student like you.
If you weren’t valedictorian, don’t worry. Most likely, there are scholarships out there for someone with your needs, interests, career aspirations, or ethnic background. Applying for scholarships is about finding the right match.
Kevin Ladd, Vice President of Scholarships.com says, “the number of scholarships for which you qualify is likely to be in the hundreds.”
5 kinds of scholarships
These kinds of scholarships are not based on either academic merit alone.
- Vocational: Some organizations offer money to students pursuing a particular vocation. Of course, that may be pastoral ministry or missions work. But if you’re interested in business, law, journalism, academia, or other careers and fields of study, you’re likely to find scholarships targeted to those areas as well.
If you already sense a calling to a particular vocation, research and apply to scholarships targeting that field.
- Church or denominational: Churches and denominations often provide scholarships to their members. Parachurch ministries or individuals in a particular denomination also create scholarships.
A scholarship from your church or a ministry you’re involved in can help you financially. It can also remind you of the spiritual support of your community of faith.
- Need-based: Since nearly everyone recognizes that college costs can be an enormous obstacle, many scholarships have been established to help students solely based on need.
- Minority: If you’re a minority student, you may be eligible for two kinds of scholarships. Some are open to students from any minority group. Others are for students from a particular ethnic background.
- Activity or Hobby: Whether you’re a sculptor, an Eagle Scout, or involved in community service, there’s likely a scholarship for people with your unique interests and talents. As a U.S. News and World Report article notes, even your excellence as a duck caller can help you pay for college.
Of course, you may be eligible for scholarships in most or all of these categories. So, take the time and effort to research and apply for every scholarship you’re eligible for. You can potentially receive several different sources of funding and shrink your college costs and future debt significantly.
Finding the right fit: 3 resources for searching
These websites list thousands of scholarships. More importantly, they each allow you to search for scholarships that are a good fit for you. This way, you can target the scholarships that are worth your time and effort.
Many people and institutions value college education and want to keep it within reach of students like you. You’re not alone. Contact North Central University’s Financial Aid Office for more help finding scholarships that are right for you.
Need help planning your finances?
Download our helpful Cost Worksheet to see what paying for college can be like for you.