UMHEF 2023 Scholarships Guide

Virtual Scholarship Webinars

Applications open January 1 for the next round of United Methodist Higher Education Foundation scholarships, which will help fund the 2023-2024 academic year.

We have published a comprehensive resource with complete details about the awards that will be available to students planning to attend a United Methodist-related college, university, or seminary. While these details are also available here on our website, the following UMHEF Scholarships Guide serves as a reference you can keep with you as you prepare to apply. Includes information about eligibility, scholarship descriptions, how to apply, deadlines, and more.

Still have questions? Contact us.

College Care Package Ideas + More!

Wondering what to include in care packages for your college student? We asked some of our UMHEF scholarship recipients what they’d most like to get. Here’s a list of some of those items, plus a few ideas to put some extra care into those care packages.

College Care Package Ideas

Most Requested Items

It may come as no surprise that the most requested item students would love to get in a care package is money!

  • Grocery store gift cards
  • Coffee shop gift cards
  • Restaurant gift cards
  • Coins or cash for the laundry room
  • Cash for spending on whatever they need

Also not surprising, is the second most popular item: food!

  • Favorite candy and snacks
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Homemade cookies or treats
  • Items from their hometown bakery

Practically Perfect Items

Including some practical necessities in care packages can offer students support during those long hours of writing papers and studying for tests.

  • Pens, pencils, or highlighters
  • Colorful sticky notes
  • Note cards
  • Portable reading light
  • Travel coffee mug
  • Stress ball

Items to Encourage and Inspire

Don’t underestimate the power of an encouraging word or self-care moment to keep students going!

  • Handwritten card or note
  • Mementos or photos from home
  • Printed Scripture Cards
  • Coloring book and crayons or markers
  • Lotion, lip balm, or body scrub

More Resources to Support College Students

When in doubt about what your college or seminary student would be most excited to get in a package, just ask! You’ll never go wrong asking for ideas straight from the source.

If you’re looking for other ideas for how to care for the students in your life, check out our Pinterest board of care package ideas (and other resources) we’ve collected over the years.

Striving for More Instead of Settling for Less

Madison, Paine College Student & UMHEF Scholar

As she begins her junior year at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia, Madison is striving for more through UMHEF. She is one of nearly 1,000 students around the world impacted by United Methodist Higher Education Foundation (UMHEF) scholarships this year.

A recipient of the UMHEF Martha Forrest Scholarship for the 2022-2023 academic year, Madison is able to focus on her studies without struggling to cover the costs.

“This scholarship plays a role in successfully paying for my education and ensures I can reach my goals without having a doubt in my mind about paying for it.”

Madison, Paine College Student & UMHEF Scholar

With the support, Madison can focus on her studies and reach for her dreams. “I plan to work my way into pediatrics after I receive my undergraduate degree,” she says. “I love children, as well as helping people, so why not go into pediatrics and be the best at it?!”

A serious, driven student, Madison explains, “I always strive for more instead of settling for less.” Among her achievements, Madison was selected to represent Paine College as a White House Initiative Scholar in 2021. She adds, “This made a lot of people proud—including myself!” The staff of UMHEF is also proud—as I hope you are—to be a part of her journey.

Your contributions help thousands of young United Methodists like Madison, attending one of over 100 UM-related institutions of higher education, strive for more instead of settling for less.

Please consider a gift of $25, $50, $100, $500, or any amount to support our students. When you give to the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation, you empower our young people and set them up for success.

Scholarship Application Update

The following story was previously published in regards to our application season which is now closed.


The United Methodist Higher Education Foundation has extended its scholarship application deadline for the 2022-2023 academic year to March 15 after receiving several requests for more time to complete requirements during this challenging time.

Students who are members of The United Methodist Church and planning to attend a United Methodist-related school, college, university, or seminary full-time are eligible to apply. UMHEF awards more than $2 million in financial aid annually.

Learn about UMHEF scholarship programs, FAQs, and how to apply. As part of its extensive library of scholarships, select awards are available for ethnically diverse students, including those who plan to attend UM-related HBCUs. In rare cases, students attending schools not UM-related may also qualify for awards and are invited to apply for the General Named Endowed program.

Please note that UMHEF is a private non-profit organization and is not affiliated with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church.

3 Ways to Support Students During Quarantine & Beyond

Donations to UMHEF are always a welcomed way to support United Methodist students! Today, we’d like to share a few additional ways you can support college students during these strange times of quarantine.

Support Students by Reaching Out

Even in these days of social distancing, we still have access to text, call, and email those we care for. Reach out to a student you know with a message of encouragement and support. For students missing graduation ceremonies or other milestones, acknowledging these disappointments can go a long way in showing support. Get creative! Send videos or set-up group chats to congratulate completed degrees, dissertations, or other accomplishments.

How will you reach out to a student today?

Support Students by Being a Study Buddy

Are you quarantined with a college student engaged in online distance learning? While technology has allowed students to stay connected to professors and classmates, studying has become an increasingly solitary activity. Offer to help review a subject, quiz test questions, or read through a draft of a paper. Have a special skill set or area of expertise? Post an offer on social media to help students needing help in that area.

How can you become a study buddy for a quarantined student today?

Finally, Pray!

“I remember you in my prayers night and day.” – 2 Timothy 1:3

No matter where we find ourselves during this time of quarantine and social distancing, we can pray! Whether the students in your life are under your roof or far away, remember them in your prayers. Pray specifically for their concerns, fears, and needs. Ask how you can pray, then follow up to see how things are going.

Who is a student you can remember in your prayers today?


During such uncertain times, the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation continues to keep United Methodist students at the core of our mission. Students are facing new financial challenges and many are unsure what their academic future holds. As always, your generous support through gifts makes a lasting differences for these students. But, we hope you’ll find these additional tips helpful in finding other ways to support the young people you know and love.