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Foundation triples its matching scholarship program

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Thomas S. Yow

Oct. 6, 2005

By Linda Green* 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church’s popular matching scholarship program for college students is being expanded to a triple dollars concept next fall.

The denomination’s “Double Your Dollars for Scholars,” administered by the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation in Nashville, matches $1,000 for local churches raising $1,000 for a member of their congregation enrolled or planning to enroll in a United Methodist-related college, university or seminary.

Beginning with the 2006-07 academic year, the foundation, in cooperation with United Methodist colleges and universities, will expand the program to include a Triple Your Dollars for Scholars concept. The Double Your Dollars program will still exist.

Depending on which school a student plans to attend, the student may be eligible for an additional $1,000 match, bringing the total possible award to $3,000, according to the foundation’s board of trustees, which met Sept. 15-17 in St. Paul, Minn.

Additional information, guidelines and applications will be available online at the foundation’s Web site at beginning in November. Applications will only be accepted with postmark dates of either Feb. 15 or 16, and all recipients will be selected from eligible applications received with those two postmark dates.

The foundation wants to make it economically possible for any qualified United Methodist student to be educated at a United Methodist-related institution of higher education. It established the matching scholarship program in 1997 to award 100 scholarships. The number of first-come, first-served scholarships awarded increased as more funds became available.

“The Double Your Dollars for Scholars program was expanded into Triple Your Dollars as a way of trying to leverage the foundation’s resources to establish better connections between United Methodist churches and United Methodist-related colleges,” said Thomas S. Yow, president and chief executive officer of the foundation. “It was a way to make parents and students more aware of the United Methodist colleges within their annual conferences.”

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Ken Yamada

During the 2006-07 academic year, Double Your Dollars will provide 315 scholarships on a first-come, first-served basis for a total of $630,000. These include 25 matching scholarships specifically designated for Hispanic, Asian, and Native American students eligible for HANA funds, provided through the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

In addition to expanding the matching program, the foundation’s trustees approved a total of $1.47 million for scholarships for all 2006-07 academic year programs. During the 2004-05 year, the foundation provided 1,019 scholarships totaling $1.5 million.

In response to a scholarship fund established by the Board of Higher Education and Ministry in honor of retiring staff executive Ken Yamada, the foundation’s trustees voted to match funding of at least $25,000 to be placed in the endowment. Yamada retires Oct. 7 as an executive in the Division of Higher Education, and the Ken Yamada Scholarship Fund was created in recognition of his service to United Methodist higher education. The scholarship will be a joint effort by foundation and the Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

“The members of our board of trustees recognize Ken Yamada’s substantial contributions to United Methodist higher education, to the work of the GBHEM, and to the mission of our foundation, as well as Ken’s excellent model for servant leadership,” Yow said. “Therefore, our effort is one small way of saying, ?Thank you, good and faithful servant.’”

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The Rev. Jerome King Del Pino

The foundation’s $25,000 will match the $25,000 that the Board of Higher Education and Ministry has committed to raising, giving the fund an initial endowment of $50,000, said the Rev. Jerome King Del Pino, top executive at the agency.

“Across more than a quarter of a century of service, (Yamada) has made significant contributions to the work of our board and the schools, colleges, and universities related to the United Methodist Church,” he said, in a letter announcing the scholarship fund and seeking contributions.

Foundation trustees also voted to change the Foundation Scholars Program to the Foundation Merit Scholars Program, requiring a 3.0 grade point average and demonstrated financial need in addition to membership in the United Methodist Church. The board voted to limit recipients to one scholarship from the foundation per year.

For more information regarding foundation programs, visit the Web site at, call (800) 811-8110 or e-mail to

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