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Q: Do I have to attend a UM-related school to be eligible for a scholarship from UMHEF?
A: Great 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. See here for one exception. 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: Am I guaranteed a scholarship if I apply?
A: No. 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 while you may apply for more than one scholarship a year, qualified students will only be awarded one scholarship. To read about overall eligibility, visit our scholarships page. The many scholarships housed under 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 still need to submit an application for UMHEF scholarships if I have already submitted one to GBHEM?
A: Yes. UMHEF is an entirely separate non-profit foundation and not connected to 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.
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) will have the gift doubled by UMHEF, while funds are available, bringing the total to $2,000. If your United Methodist-related school and UM conference foundation 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 the UM Dollars For Scholars page 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 must include a $1,000 check 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.
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! Depending on the number of applicants, which can sometimes increase processing time, we aim to notify recipients around the middle of May. You will receive notification either by email sent via SmarterSelect (the platform you use to apply) or letter sent via 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 award funds are sent directly to your school after we receive your Verification of Enrollment form, which will be provided to you 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: When is the application deadline?
A: It depends on the individual scholarship and school type, but applications for most of our scholarships usually have a deadline of March 1 each year. Learn more 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: How can I use my scholarship award money?
A: All scholarships are paid directly to the school and are for tuition, room, and board. Award money will not be given directly to students.
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 separate non-profit and not directly connected with GBHEM. You must apply for GBHEM awards separately.
Q: Do I apply for all UMHEF scholarships through this website?
A: UMHEF offers online applications using SmarterSelect. This user-friendly platform allows you to create a profile with a secure log-in, begin and return to in-progress applications, upload required documents, view status updates, etc. This is also where you will receive notification of awards, acknowledge acceptance of awards, and more. There is one exception, those applying for the UM Dollars for Scholars program may choose to apply online or using a printable form. Learn more about how to apply here.
Q: Can I get multiple scholarships from UMHEF?
A: No. We have two basic applications (General Named Endowed and UM Dollars for Scholars). While you can apply for them both, you can only be awarded one per year. We will do our best to find a scholarship for all eligible students that submit their complete applications before the deadline. If you are eligible for multiple scholarships, we will award you with the highest amount for which you qualify.