Scholarship for Mennonite high school graduatesby Everett J. Thomas
GOSHEN, Ind.—Bethel College, North Newton, Kan., announced on Dec. 8, 2009, that it will guarantee $40,000 in institutional scholarships over four years for any graduate of a Mennonite high school.
Qualifying students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and an ACT score of 19 or SAT score of 890 to qualify for the Mennonite Heritage Scholarship.
"This scholarship is a way to serve individuals," said Bethel's interim president John Sheriff on Dec. 10, 2009, "to build the church—since graduates of Mennonite colleges are among those most loyal to the church-—and to strengthen the college in its mission. We make this major scholarship available to all [Mennonite high school students] … not just those with very high grade point averages and ACT scores."
Bethel has not normally attracted many Mennonite high school students, whereas a school such as Goshen (Ind.) College has 20 percent of its student body from Mennonite high schools.
"We're trying to attract students who have not normally come here because there are no Mennonite high schools nearby," said Todd Moore, vice president for admissions, on Dec. 10.
Although Bethel has had some students from Mennonite high schools, most Mennonite high schools are in the East and distant from Bethel.
"We've had some great students from Mennonite high schools and hope to get more," Moore said.
None of the other Mennonite Church USA four-year colleges and universities has a similar scholarship; none is currently planning to create one.
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