In the United States, there were 197 Catholic colleges and universities as of 2014, and over 2 million students are enrolled in them. One of the greatest things about Christian higher education institutions in the US is that although 65% of the students enrolled are Catholic, others represent a variety of faiths and minorities. Because of such impressive popularity of faith-based schools, many students are interested in exploring specific scholarships for Christian students. In the article below, we have gathered everything you need to know about applying for a scholarship, attending a university, and becoming a part of the Christian community on campus.
List of Scholarships
As we all know, college education in the United States can become a financial burden on many people interested in pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree. While many schools offer financial aid and reasonable student loans, there are also many Catholic scholarships awarded to hundreds of students in the United States every year.. When applying to either one of these awards, you must keep in mind that you will have to prove the high level of your academic performance, participation in the life of the community, and strong leadership and interpersonal skills.
- Catholic Financial Life Scholarship
Catholic Financial Life is an organization that aims at strengthening the community’s faith through helping others. Because of this, all scholarship applicants are required to submit a report of their volunteering service and be members of the CFL community for at least a year prior to the application. College students are eligible for scholarships of $500 and $1000. The application deadline is March 31.
- Catholic Order of Foresters Fraternal Scholarship
Catholic Order of Foresters focuses on helping its members achieve financial security, so there’s no surprise the fraternal benefit society also offers college scholarships. Members over the age of 17 are eligible for a $5,000 scholarship if they intend to attend a Catholic higher education institution. The amount is broken down into four payments of $1,250 the beneficiaries are to receive each year. This year, the application deadline is October 31.
- Catholic United Financial Scholarship
Catholic United Financial offers its members a $300 scholarship for those interested in attending a secular higher education institution and a $500 for those attending a Catholic institution. In order to be eligible, you must be a member of the CUF and submit your application between March 1 and April 30.
- Catholic University of America Scholarships
The Catholic University of America is a private Christian university located in Washington, D.C. It offers its students a variety of scholarships, the majority of which are based on the applicants’ academic performance in high school and personalities. The amounts vary between $10,000 and $25,000, and the application must be submitted before February 15.
- College of St. Benedict Trustee’s, President’s & Dean’s Scholarships
These scholarships can amount up to $24,500 and can be renewed throughout the four years of your college education. You will have to prove your high academic performance, leadership skills, and active participation in the life of your community. Once you apply to the College of St. Benedict, you will be automatically considered for these scholarships, and the recommended application deadline is March 15.
- Del Papa-Grimaldi Endowment Fund Scholarship
If you reside in the Archdiocese of Detroit and are a high-school senior or a college freshman, consider yourself lucky as you have a chance to apply for this $2,500 scholarship. You must submit your application by May 31, and it should include a recommendation letter and a personal statement.
- DeSales University Catholic School Grants
DeSales University provides its students with a variety of grants and scholarships, from $3,000 for Catholic high school graduates to $23,000 transfer student scholarships. Be sure to check the institution’s website for more information on every opportunity available. Application deadline and requirements depend on each specific scholarship.
- Georgetown University Undergraduate & 1789 Scholarships
Georgetown University is one of the most prestigious institutions in the US, and it provides its students with a variety of scholarships. You must provide a proof of your high academic performance and financial need along with your college application, and you will be eligible for a $1,000-$60,000 scholarship. The deadline application is February 1 for incoming freshmen and transfer students.
- Gonzaga Merit Scholarships
Based on your degree, GPA, SAT scores, and other factors, you will be able to receive between $7,000 and $20,000 in scholarships. Opportunities are also available for transfer students. You must submit an application by February 1.
- Holy Cross Institutional Scholarships
If you need financial aid to complete a degree, the Holy Cross Institutional Scholarships may provide you with an amount between $500 and $50,000. Scholarship application deadline is December 15, and your GPA must be at least 2.8 to be considered.
- Italian Catholic Federation College Scholarships
The ICF provides scholarships to students with high academic achievements (GPA of at least 3.2), financial needs, and leadership skills to assist them in receiving a college degree. You will get a chance to receive up to $1,000 if you submit your application by March 15.
- John Carroll University Undergraduate Merit & Signature Scholarships
Depending on the type of scholarship you are eligible for, you will get a chance to receive between $5,000 and $25,000 in the John Carroll Jesuit Catholic college in Ohio if you submit your application by December 1.
- Knights of Columbus Bishop Charles P. Greco Graduate Fellowships
If you are interested in becoming a teacher for people with intellectual impairment, you may be able to receive a $2,000 scholarship for your master’s degree studies. Applications become available after March 1, and the submission deadline is April 5.
- Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Pro Deo/Pro Patria Scholarships
This $1,500 scholarship is renewable throughout the four years of college education and is awarded to incoming freshmen in Catholic colleges in the United States. Applications become available after March 1, and the submission deadline is April 5.
- Ruth K. Jacobs Memorial Scholarship
The scholarship provides a one-time payment of $1,500 to Catholic students majoring in music. You will have to provide proof of your academic performance and references from your professors and ministers. You also must register with a $200 deposit by February 1 and submit your application by March 1.
Applying to & Attending a Catholic University
When attending a Christian university, you must keep in mind that each school is unique and will provide you with different opportunities for academic advancements and personal development. The most obvious pro to studying in a faith-based institution is that you will become a member of the community of like-minded people and benefit from studying in smaller classes. Although about one-third of students in Catholic schools are from different faiths, it may be hard to meet individuals with different backgrounds and get familiar with other perspectives on life.
Newman University (Wichita, Kansas)
The Newman University in Wichita, Kansas was founded back in 1933, and since then, it has gained the reputation of being one of the best and most prominent faith-based schools in the United States. It offers courses in nursing, nursing, and teaching, among other majors, and is currently attended by over 3,000 students.
Merrimack College (North Andover, Massachusetts)
The initial goal of this school was to educate the WWII veterans back in the late 1940s. Nowadays, the Merrimack College has almost 40 buildings on its campus, educates over 4,000 students, and is active in athletics, including men’s and women’s hockey.
Iona College (New Rochelle, New York)
Iona College in New Rochelle, New York is one of the most diverse faith-based colleges in the United States as it enrolls students from 47 countries of origin. The school offers a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate programs, study abroad programs, and a plethora of academic and professional opportunities.
Barry University (Miami, Florida)
Barry University in Miami is one of the largest Catholic schools in the Southeast as it enrolls over 7,000 students at the moment. The academic opportunities are undoubtedly impressive with over 100 programs, a law school in Orlando, and a branch campus in Tallahassee.
Franciscan University of Steubenville (Steubenville, Ohio)
University was founded in 1946. It is located 40 miles west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on a hill overlooking Steubenville. The 2,158 students are 99 percent Catholic, hailing from 50 states and 11 countries. Franciscan University provides an abundance of opportunities for both academic and spiritual growth, and the role of the friars is at the core of both. Sixteen Franciscan friars serve students through spiritual direction, teaching, chaplaincy, or providing Sacramental needs.
Georgetown University (Washington, DC)
Georgetown University is one of the most well-known and prestigious higher education institutions in the United States overall, not only among the Catholic schools. Since its establishment back in 1789, the university has gained the reputation of a well-respected research institution.
Catholic Community on Campus
Although there are many Catholic colleges and universities around the United States, we understand that not everyone interested will be able to attend. However, just like there are non-Catholic students in Catholic institutions, there is a good chance that your non-Catholic school will have a community of Christian students, which you can become a part of. Be sure to ask your counselor whether or not there is such a community on your campus.
- Newman Centers
Newman Centers allow Catholic students to be a part of the religious community in secular institutions. They provide pastoral services and offer housing either on campus or close to it. Once you become a part of the community, you will be able to attend mass, social gatherings, or a variety of events.
- Catholic Student Centers
Catholic Student Centers are active in a variety of non-religious institutions across the United States. They aim at providing the feeling of “home away from home” and connecting Catholic students with their peers with the purpose of strengthening their faith.
- Student Parish Centers
Student Parish Centers offer a variety of opportunities to Catholic students, which include both participating in the life of the community on campus as well as volunteering on a greater scale. Besides providing a sense of unity, participating in the life of the community can also be beneficial if you decide to apply for a Catholic scholarship.
Resources for Catholic Students
Although it is an advantage if your secular college has a Christian community on campus, the beauty of the 21st century is that you can always connect with like-minded people online. Below, you will find some of the most useful resources available for Catholic college students.
- Catholic Resources
This website is the database of everything a Catholic student might need to expand their knowledge and strengthen their faith.
- Catholic Relief Services
The primary purpose of CRS is to provide Catholics with downloadable prayers to help them live their lives in faith.
- The Fellowship of Catholic University Students
The FOCUS organizes a variety of faith-based events in multiple communities across the United States. It also allows you to explore resources available in your college or university.
- The National Catholic College Admission Association
If you are interested in applying or transferring to a Catholic college, this website will help you explore your options.
- The National Catholic Educational Association
The NCEA provides high school and college students with resources and news in regard to Catholic education.
- Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
The Association provides Catholic students with an opportunity to connect and communicate with other members of the community online and find like-minded individuals in the area.
- The Catholic Directory
The Catholic Directory allows students to find churches and parishes of their faith close to campus.
It is not a secret that the community students become part of in high school and college will greatly influence their values and beliefs. Because of this, it is important to maintain the Catholic communities on campuses and provide students with valuable resources to strengthen their faith. Luckily, a variety of faith-based education institutions in the United States and the number of opportunities for Christian students is impressive. Hopefully, this guide could help you find useful information regarding various scholarships and resources.