How to Start an FLBC Scholarship at Your Church
Many churches desire to support students who want to attend the Bible College or Seminary, but simply don’t know where to start. This guide can give you the tools to get a scholarship program started.
Recognize the Value
It’s important for your congregation to recognize that supporting Bible College students is a valuable investment of congregational resources. A scholarship program is a tangible way to show students and families that the congregation cares deeply about establishing young adults in God’s Word.
Understand the Need
The actual per student cost at FLBC is approximately $34,100 per year. Donors cover much of this cost up front, reducing each student's bill by $13,400. After receiving this grant, students are then billed $20,700 per year which includes tuition, room, board, and fees. The majority of students also work part-time jobs while at FLBC. Working 20 hours per week, students earn around $8,000 per school year. Though FLBC does not accept FAFSA funds (federal government student aid), students can apply for FLBC sponsored awards. The average merit and need-based aid package from FLBC is $1,500-$2,000 per student.
Determine the Investment
Using the above figures as a basis, your congregation and leadership will need to determine the amount of support you would like to grant to students. We recommend that churches think in terms of a tangible percentage of the cost. Below are some examples of churches who currently offer an FLBC Scholarship. (Church names are kept confidential):
Church A – Covers the full cost of tuition ($9,575) per student per year.
Church B – Grants each FLBC student from their congregation the down payment amount of $5,500 per year.
Church C – Splits a designated budget amount among any students they have attending on a given year.
That’s great, but how do we pay for it?
Determine the Source
Congregations will need to decide where the scholarship funds will originate. Options include the following:
Set budget amount — Determined amount per student. For budgeting purposes, the church would calculate the potential number of students for the following year and use that as their basis for determining the budget. (i.e. three students, $2,000 each = $6,000)
Special funds — Establish a fund in your church that people can contribute toward throughout the year. Promote the fund throughout the year.
Legacy gift — A large gift can serve as an endowment in an account set aside for FLBC scholarships. (i.e. A $60k endowment can generate $3k in scholarships; $300k can generate $15k in scholarships per year.)
Annual fundraisers — Dinners, golf tournaments, etc. can generate funds for scholarships if the money is not in the church budget.
The key is to start somewhere. Perhaps your church would find it hard to add scholarships into your budget for the coming year. Start with a small amount and set a goal to double it the following year, or start with a special fund drive for the first year, then budget an amount for the following year.
Create a Process
Decide how students will go about receiving the funds and how the church will handle distribution of the funds. Provide answers to the following questions:
- Will students need to fill out an application?
- When and how will the students and families be informed of availability of the scholarships?
- When and how will the funds be distributed?
- Who will be the point person for promoting the program and receiving applications?
Decide if you want to offer scholarships.
Appoint a team or committee to develop a plan or proposal.
Present the plan or proposal to the church leadership and congregation (if necessary) for approval.