Scholarships for Catholics have been charitably created to financially support church congregants who are attending secular or faith-based colleges.
Headed by Pope Francis, Catholicism is the largest and oldest Christian denomination with 2,851 dioceses worldwide. The Pew Research Center reports that 20.8 percent of Americans identify as Roman Catholic, which is second only to evangelical Protestant. Generous giving is just as much a Catholic Church tradition as the prayers, sacraments, feast days, and Eucharist. Therefore, it’s unsurprising that many Catholic churches and foundations are helping Jesus’ faithful followers with affording rising college tuition. Here are five great Roman Catholic scholarships where students earn aid for education.
1. John W. McDevitt (Fourth Degree) Scholarships
Founded in 1882, the Knights of Columbus upholds Father Michael J. McGivney’s vision by promoting Catholic education via the $1,500 John W. McDevitt (Fourth Degree) Scholarships each year. It’s reserved for the spouses, widows, children, and grandchildren of members who’ve served valiantly. Qualified applicants will be graduating high school seniors who are starting their freshman year at accredited U.S. Catholic colleges with good standing. From October 1st until the March 1st deadline, interested Catholics can request a mailed application.
2. Del Papa-Grimaldi College Scholarship
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit presents the Del Papa-Grimaldi College Scholarship for $3,500 annually for two full-time undergrads who actively participate in Catholic parishes. Being a Michigander from Metro Detroit’s Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Monroe, and Wayne counties is prerequisite. Suitable applicants must also demonstrate economic need, study full-time at accredited U.S. or Canada colleges, hold a minimum 2.0 GPA, and engage in community service. Applications and goals essays must arrive by May 31st to count.
3. Ralph M. Knight Chemistry and Engineering Scholarship
Located in Phoenix, the Catholic Community Foundation (CCF) delivers the Ralph M. Knight Chemistry and Engineering Scholarship for $5,000 to lower tuition for STEM majors. It’s ideal for Catholics who are enrolling at accredited U.S. colleges for bachelor’s degrees in chemistry or chemical, manufacturing, mechanical, solar, structural, and materials engineering. Although there’s no GPA requirement, prospective freshmen must be Arizonans graduating from Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Phoenix and submit online applications by May 1st.
4. Evelyn and Kathryn Hau Scholarship
Chaired by Archbishop Paul Coakley, the Catholic Foundation of Oklahoma has developed several scholarships for Catholics since 1965, including the Evelyn and Kathryn Hau Scholarship. This four-year program provides “Sooner State” residents with $6,000 at public/private colleges and $12,000 at Catholic colleges total. Eligibility criteria stipulates that applicants take 12+ credits per semester, be active congregants of Archdiocese of Oklahoma City parishes, have unmet financial need, exhibit scholastic ability, and send two recommendations by April 3rd.
5. National CCAA Scholarship Program
The National Catholic College Admission Association begins its CCAA Scholarship Program every Spring to randomly draw winners of $1,000 awards from each of its eight geographic regions from the Mid-Atlantic to Far West. Graduating high school seniors must be admitted to one of 141 CCAA members, such as Cardinal Stritch University, Belmont Abbey College, Saint Joseph’s University, Avila University, and the University of San Diego. Until March 1st, students who are enrolling full-time this Fall can submit their application online.
According to Ecclesiastes 7:12, “the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.” Attending college is an exceptional way to broaden your understanding, skills, and discipline for advancing your God-given talents. Forbes reports that college can cost up to $334,000 over four years at private institutions though. Record-high tuition must be met with expansive financial aid packages to keep your vocational calling within reach. In addition to the above scholarships for Catholics, also check out the Catholic Financial Life Scholarship, Italian Catholic Federation Scholarship, PRCUA Education Fund Scholarship, and Augustus Tolton Pastoral Ministry Program.