Questions About Eligibility

Q: Do I have to be a member of The United Methodist Church to apply?
A: Beginning in 2023, UMHEF will accept applications from students who are members (for at least one year prior to applying) of The United Methodist Church as well as the African Methodist Episcopal Church, AME Zion Church, and Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

Q: My church recently disaffiliated from The United Methodist Church. Can I still apply?
A: If you have been awarded a UMHEF scholarship in the past and your church has disaffiliated from The United Methodist Church, please contact us to discuss.

Q: Do I have to attend a UM-related school to be eligible for a scholarship from UMHEF?
A: Strong preference is given to students enrolled or planning to enroll in a United Methodist-related institution of higher education. For a list of the 100+ UM-related colleges, universities, and seminaries, see our Schools. In rare cases, students attending non-UM-related schools may also be awarded. Note: Applicants of the UM Dollars for Scholars program must be attending a participating school.

Q: I will be enrolling in a doctoral program. Am I eligible for UMHEF scholarships?
A: No. At this time, doctoral students are not eligible for our awards.

Q: I am an international student. Am I eligible for UMHEF scholarships?
A: International students, for which a very limited amount of scholarship funds are available, may apply using an application created specifically for students outside of the US found here during the application period. Preference is given to international students attending UM-related schools within the US.

Questions About Applying

Q: When is the application deadline?
A: Most of our scholarship applications are due March 1. Learn about exceptions on our scholarships page. (Note: You must re-apply for a scholarship each year to be awarded for a new school year.)

Q: Am I guaranteed a scholarship if I apply?
A: While we aim to award as many students as possible, funds are limited. With the high number of applications we receive every year, not everyone is guaranteed an award. Additionally, certain criteria must be met for each scholarship to be considered for an award.

Q: Can I apply for more than one scholarship?
A: You are welcome to apply for any UMHEF scholarship for which you are eligible. However, please note that qualified students will only be awarded one scholarship. To read about basic eligibility, visit our scholarships page. Many scholarships within our General Named Endowed Scholarship program have additional requirements. Once you apply, you may be matched to a specific scholarship for which you qualify.

Q: Do I apply for all UMHEF scholarships through this website?
A: UMHEF offers online applications using SmarterSelect, a platform that allows you to create a profile with a secure log-in, manage applications, upload required documents, view status updates, etc. Those applying for the UM Dollars for Scholars program may also choose to apply online or using a printable form. Learn more about how to apply here.

Q: Do I still need to submit an application for UMHEF scholarships if I have already submitted one to GBHEM?
A: Yes. UMHEF is a separate non-profit foundation from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) of the United Methodist Church. To be considered for a UMHEF scholarship, you must submit an application and required materials directly to us. You can find our application information here.

Questions About UM Dollars for Scholars Program

Q: How do I know how much I can get from the UM Dollars for Scholars program?
A: Any student sponsored by their local church (initial gift of $1,000 sent directly to us) will have the gift doubled by UMHEF, while funds are available, for a total of $2,000. If your United Methodist-related school and/or UM conference foundation (for UM members) participate in the UM Dollars for Scholars program, each may contribute up to an additional $1,000 for a potential total of $4,000. Award amounts are not guaranteed. See UM Dollars For Scholars for more information.

Q: What happens if I end up going to a school that does not participate in the UM Dollars for Scholars program?
A: If the school you choose to attend is a United Methodist-related school but does not participate in the UM Dollars for Scholars program, then you may still be awarded $2,000 (the portion contributed by your church and matched by UMHEF). If you choose to attend a school that is not UM-related, then you will forfeit the scholarship and the $1,000 check from your church will be returned to the church. You may find a list of UM-related schools participating in the UM Dollars for Scholars program here:

Q: Do I really have to send $1,000 with my UM Dollars for Scholars application?
A: Yes, your application for the UM Dollars for Scholars program is not complete until we also receive $1,000 from your church on a church check (no personal checks will be accepted). For those submitting a paper application, you will be provided with a confirmation form to be sent in with the check. If you decide not to attend that school, the check will be returned to your church.

Other Questions

Q: How can I use my scholarship award money?
A: All scholarships are paid directly to your school and must be applied to tuition, room/board, or other school fees. Award money will not be given directly to students.

Q: When and how will I be notified if I have been selected for an award?
A: We love letting students know that they’ve been chosen for a UMHEF scholarship! Notifications are typically sent to recipients around the middle of May via SmarterSelect (the online platform you use to apply) or USPS mail. When applying, be sure to use an email address and mailing address you check regularly!

Q: When will I receive my scholarship award money?
A: Scholarship funds are sent directly to your school after we receive your Verification of Enrollment form, which is provided after you’ve been notified of your award. If we receive your VOE by the October 1 deadline, you can typically expect funds to reach your school by November 15.

Q: What if I ultimately choose to attend a school that is not UM-related?
A: For the majority of our scholarships, you need to attend one of our UM-related institutions. If you have been awarded a scholarship through UMHEF to a UM-related school and choose to not attend that school, your scholarship may be revoked.

Q: Can I get scholarships from both UMHEF and GBHEM?
A: Yes, you may receive a scholarship from both UMHEF and GBHEM (the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church). Please note that UMHEF is a private non-profit organization separate from GBHEM. You must apply for GBHEM awards separately.

Q: Can I get multiple scholarships from UMHEF?
A: While you may apply for both General Named Endowed and UM Dollars for Scholars awards, eligible students will only be awarded one per year. If you are eligible for multiple scholarships, we aim to award you with the highest amount for which you qualify. Exception: Applicants nominated for our Foundation Merit Scholarship by their theological school may receive that award as well as one of the abovementioned scholarships.

Still have questions? Contact us!