Universal City United Methodist Church Endowed Scholarship Fund Policy

The Fund/Fund Management
The UCUMC Endowed Scholarship Fund (the “Fund”) is a permanent scholarship fund.  Investment returns will be used to provide an annual scholarship or scholarships.  The principal will not be used.  It is the intent of the UCUMC Scholarship Ministry Team to begin making awards once the Fund has a principal of $25,000.  

The monies in the Fund are to be invested and monitored by the Finance Ministry Team of UCUMC.  Award sizes and the number of awards each year will vary based on the number of qualifying applicants, amount of earnings available, and other factors.  The number of awards to be made and size of awards will be decided by the Scholarship Ministry Team.  The minimum size award is $500; if earnings fall below $500 in a given year, no award will be given the following year.

The UCUMC Scholarship Endowment Fund may be terminated by vote of the Finance Ministry Team and the Church Council body of UCUMC.  If this occurs, the Fund’s remaining assets will be distributed by the Scholarship Ministry Team as scholarships in accordance with the eligibility and selection requirements until all of the assets have been used.

Eligibility for Scholarship
The award is designed to assist degree, certification, license, diploma, or certificate seeking students attending a post-high school program at a school in order to prepare for a career.  Schools may be proprietary in nature, community colleges, or colleges or universities (graduate or undergraduate levels).  The program the student is enrolled in must be at least one academic year in length and have appropriate accreditation.

Congregation members and non-congregation members who live in the mission outreach area of the neighborhood around the church may apply.  We are seeking well-rounded applicants with a desire to further their education.  A congregation member is defined as a frequent worship attendee for at least one year previous to the scholarship application deadline.  The church neighborhood for local mission outreach is bounded by Kitty Hawk Road, the Bexar County line, FM 78, and Universal City Blvd.  Any questions about eligibility to apply for the scholarship will be resolved by the Scholarship Ministry Team.

There is no age limit or type of degree/major required.  

The student must be accepted by and intending to enroll in (or already enrolled in) their designated school.  Scholarship recipient must submit enrollment and tuition payment verification to the Scholarship Ministry Team no later than the beginning of the fall term one year after the scholarship is awarded in order to receive the funds. 

A student may apply for the scholarship more than once.  It is recommended (but not required) that 1st time applicants receive priority in the granting of scholarship awards when there are more qualified applicants than awards available; however, the decision about priorities for awards will be made by the Scholarship Ministry Team.

Members of the Scholarship Ministry Team are not eligible for scholarships or to apply for scholarships during the time of their service on the Scholarship Ministry Team.  If an immediate family member of a Scholarship Team member applies for a scholarship, the Ministry Team member will excuse him/herself from decision making on that year’s awards.

The application deadline is the first Friday in April of each year.

Selection Process
All students will complete a scholarship application and provide their most recent high school or college official transcript.  One letter of recommendation from a teacher, employer, pastor, or director of a community involvement activity is required.  The application is to include an approximately 250 word essay about how the award will help the student in pursuit of a dream or career goal and any personal circumstances the student feels the ministry team should be aware of.

The Scholarship Ministry Team will decide how many awards are to be made for the upcoming year and the size of those awards, and will select the most worthy candidate(s), based on the application materials.  The Scholarship Ministry Team will use a system of objective and subjective evaluation to assess and prioritize the applications.  They may choose to interview candidates or their references in order to gather more information.

For consistency of assessment, the objective evaluation will consist of the following items, with assigned points:

  1. Grades – on a 4.0 grading scale, maximum of 4.0 cumulative grade point average.
  2. A rating for the student’s essay (each Ministry Team member will individually read the essay and assign it from 1-4 points; then the scores will be averaged).
  3. Church, school, work and/or community involvement, (each Ministry Team member will individually assign involvement from 1-4 points; then the scores will be averaged).
  4. Recommendation letter - (each Ministry Team member will individually assign the letter from 1-4 points; then the scores will be averaged).

After individual ministry team members make their evaluations, the averages will be calculated for Items 2-4 above, and the points (total possible: 16) for each applicant will be tallied.  Students who have 12 points or more (75%) are eligible for an award.
If there are too many eligible applicants for the awards available, the Ministry Team will use their subjective judgment which may include interviews with the students or their references.  If there are no applicants who garner at least 75% of the possible points, the Scholarship Ministry Team may still decide, based on their other assessments, to grant an award.

The final decisions for scholarship awards rests with the Scholarship Ministry Team guided by this document, knowledge of the applicant, assessment of their application package, number of applications, and available funds.

Making the Award(s)
The award payment is contingent on completion of a high school degree or GED, verification of enrollment in the intended school, and a paid receipt for tuition and fees.  The Ministry Team will make special arrangements through the school if the student cannot pay his or her tuition without first receiving the award.

The award will be paid to the student (like a rebate).

The award will be presented in a UCUMC worship service prior to September 1 each year.  A permanent plaque designating each year’s recipient(s) of the award will be displayed at the church.  

Additional sponsored scholarships may be established with criteria and guidelines for the Scholarship Ministry Team to follow specified by the sponsors.

Changes to any of the parameters of this document will be made by the Scholarship Ministry Team and must be approved by the Church Council of UCUMC (currently known as the Witness~Outreach~Nurture Ministry Team).

The Scholarship Ministry Team consists of 4 to 9 members with a chair chosen by the church Nominations and Lay Leadership Development Ministry Team.

It is expected that this document laying out the initial parameters of the UCUMC Scholarship Endowment Fund will be a working, evolving document requiring some changes (with appropriate approvals) as we begin to experience the application process, application review, and selection of applicants.

Scholarship Ministry Team:

Alison Buck, Chair (Contact info: 422-4568/lioop@flash.net)

Karen Foncannon, Donna Limrick, Brenda Meneses, Sue Miller,                                                          Debbie Preston, Cheri Riddle, Carol Smoot