What Kind of Scholarships are Available at a Christian College?

Students today who come from certain denominations and have certain religious beliefs may decide to attend a Christian university or college that offers scholarships to help them pay for their expenses. Christian schools often offer the same type of aid as a secular school would, though it depends on the accreditation that the school holds. Those with regional accreditation can offer financial aid packages that provide students with federal and state aid in addition to scholarships. Prospective students should look at some of the scholarships that they can use at these schools.

Church Matching Scholarships

Many of these colleges offer programs that will match the amount of money a student receives from his or her church up to a specific amount. Most schools will cap this amount to around $500 to $1,000, though some may offer larger scholarships. The idea is that churches will raise and donate funds to the education of their parishioners. Students get a small amount of money that they can use for textbooks or tuition costs. The school will then give those students an equal amount that they can put towards any of their other costs.

Athletic Scholarships

Christian colleges participate in nearly as many sports as secular schools do. While traditional colleges go after the best high school athletes in the nation, religious institutions usually target students attending religious and private schools. They have recruiters and scouts who will go across the country and find students who are strong learners and good athletes. Those students may receive scholarships to play for those schools. Some schools also allow students to apply for athletic scholarships on their own. Those students can have their coaches and families film them and create highlight reels that show their top athletic moments, which they submit to colleges.

Performance Scholarships

Students with an interest in the performing arts and other types of art can look for Christian colleges that offer performance scholarships. These scholarships often require that students schedule an audition with the college. They will go to an auditorium or rehearsal space at a specific time and actually perform in front of a panel of department heads. The panel will watch the auditions and decide which students will receive scholarships for the coming year. Students applying for other types of art scholarships usually need to submit portfolios that show some of their past work.

Merit vs. Need Aid

Christian colleges also offer both merit and need scholarships. According to the Princeton Review, need aid comes from the federal government and goes to students who demonstrate a large amount of need. These colleges may have some scholarships for students who show that they have more of a need than other incoming students. Merit scholarships go to students who have the highest grades and/or test scores. Some go to students who score in the top percentile on the PSAT during their sophomore years, but there are other scholarships and financial aid options available for those who have a high grade point average in high school and a high ACT or SAT score too.

Related Resource: 50 Best Christian Colleges and Universities

Students who need financial aid should look for scholarships that will reduce the number of student loans they need to take out later. Christian colleges offer scholarships for performing arts majors, athletes, those who get money from their churches and students who need more help.