Matching Church Scholarship
Anderson University wants to help facilitate financial assistance from your church family and will match the gift of support that they commit to your Christian education. When your church community, of any denomination, contributes to your education financially, AU will double those efforts up to $1,500 per school year.
Anderson University will match gifts up to $750 per semester (for a total of $1500 per school year) for each undergraduate student (12 hours or more) participating from any denomination or independent congregation from any country. When a church partners with AU, this can add up to $1,500 per semester ($3,000 per year) towards the student’s Financial Aid Package.
- AU Encourages a Submission Deadline of April 1 – Annual Student Award Forms received by April 1 of the year preceding enrollment are assured a matching scholarship. AU will continue to accept forms after April 1, and any match is dependent upon remaining funds available. There is no cost to the church to enroll in the program.
- Establish a local Church Scholarship Committee to promote the scholarship program in your church. The committee will also determine which students will receive funds, and the amount they receive per semester. Early action by the Church Scholarship Committee may make the difference between receiving and NOT receiving an Anderson University Matching Church Scholarship.
- Since the IRS does not allow the use of the Matching Church Scholarship Program to channel funds from family members to AU students, all funds donated through this program must be from persons or sources that are “detached and of disinterested generosity” as defined by the IRS Regulations. Specifically, this means funds from a student’s parents, sisters, brothers, grandparents, uncles, and aunts cannot be used to fund awards.
Also, the IRS does not allow a charitable income tax deduction if a donor names a specific student to receive his/her contribution, nor can Anderson University provide matching funds to such targeted gifting.
- Complete the one time Church Enrollment Form, have it signed by the pastor or authorized church official, and submit to Matching Church Scholarship Program, Anderson University, 1100 East 5th Street, Anderson, IN 46012.
- We encourage the student and the church to work closely in completing this step. The Church Scholarship Committee or Pastor must complete, sign, and mail the Annual Student Award Form to Anderson University. This form is required each year for each student being supported by the church. Committees are encouraged to make equal awards to all participating students.
- A Scholarship Certificate from Anderson University will be sent to each Church Scholarship Committee. We encourage congregations to publicly present these certificates to inspire others to participate in helping to fund students’ educations through the Matching Church Scholarship Program.
- Increase the church’s scholarship account by encouraging donors who work for companies with corporate matching programs to donate directly to the church’s scholarship account at Anderson University. The donor cannot specify the student to which funds will be given but can choose the church account to which they give. This money may be used for awards for students from his/her church which are determined by the scholarship committee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any full-time undergraduate student not enrolled through the Department of Adult Studies. Because adult and continuing education students benefit from an alternate fee structure, they are not eligible for the Matching Church Scholarship Program.
Which churches may enroll?
Any organized church from any country may enroll. The church only needs to enroll in the program one time and there is no fee.
Will AU match any scholarship from a church?
There are a few guidelines:
- They must direct their funds to full-time undergraduate students not enrolled in the Department of Adult Studies.
- The scholarship recipients must maintain satisfactory academic progress.
- Churches must submit an Annual Student Award Form to Anderson University for the academic year in which the scholarships are to be used. This form is required each year for each student being supported by the church.
- Please refer to the Guidelines for the Matching Church Scholarship Program.
Are students eligible for a matching church scholarship every year?
Yes, as long as the church meets the existing guidelines each year, and as long as the students maintain satisfactory academic progress. The church must complete the Annual Student Award Form each year for each recipient being supported by the church.
Is there a limit on the scholarship amount given by a church to a student?
No. A church may give any amount to a full-time undergraduate student. However, the university will match a maximum of $750 per semester or $1,500 per student per year. This rule applies even though a student may receive funds from more than one source.
Who determines how much to award and to which student?
The local church committee recommends the recipient and the amount of the award. Committees are encouraged to submit an Annual Student Award Form to the Matching Church Scholarship Office by April 1 each year. Churches are encouraged to equally divide available funds among their eligible students enrolled at Anderson University.
Why have a local committee?
Local committee action assures the program is administered within the framework of applicable regulations for charitable deductions. If procedural questions arise, local scholarship committees should seek counsel and approval from the office of the Matching Church Scholarship Program.
What if the student doesn’t qualify for financial aid under existing federal and state guidelines?
It does not matter. No federal or state financial aid form must be submitted to determine eligibility for a matching church scholarship.
If my company matches gifts to AU, will my gift and the company gift help provide a student scholarship?
Yes, in most cases. Individual donors may make contributions directly to Anderson University and designate them for the Matching Church Scholarship Program. Many accounts grow rapidly as donors use the company match for this unique student scholarship program. Anderson University must make final determinations of awards from direct contributions but will seek the recommendation of local committees.
Can a donor designate a gift for a particular student?
No. The donor contributes to the church’s scholarship account, and the local committee decides the amount of the award and the student recipient. Most committees equally divide their available funds among eligible students. Compliance with Internal Revenue regulations for charitable donations is the responsibility of the church and the individual donor.
May a parent or student give to this fund?
No. Available funds in this program must be from persons or sources that are “detached and of disinterested generosity” as defined by the IRS Regulations. This program is designed to provide the student with a scholarship which has not originated from the student or his or her family members. Therefore, funds from the student’s parents, sisters, brothers, grandparents, uncles, and aunts should not be used for awards while the student is a matching scholarship recipient. Any family’s restricted matching scholarship monies given to the church while the student is participating in the Matching Church Scholarship Program should be reserved for use when the student in question is no longer a participant. Questions about family contributions should be addressed to the office of the Matching Church Scholarship Program.
Should we wait until we have enrolled students at Anderson University before participating in the program?
No. Begin now to prepare for students who will be attending Anderson University in a year or two. Churches that enroll early will have more time to encourage individual donors and companies to participate in the program.
Questions concerning the program’s church account balance, student awards, and general information?
Contact Jennifer Steiner
You may also write to Matching Church Scholarship Program, Anderson University, 1100 East 5th Street, Anderson, IN 46012.