A free online program has been launched that will help Christian students more easily find different types of scholarships and grants offered by the participating Christian colleges.
The new Christian College Scholarship Resource, announced Thursday, allows students to perform a free search for scholarships and grants that are of interest and also allows students to quickly and easily request information from the school(s) that they would like to learn more about.
"Over the past decade, we have seen that one of the primary reasons why more students do not attend Christian colleges has been because of cost/financial aid issues," explained Thom Seagren, founder of The Christian Connector, Inc., in the Colorado-based company's recent announcement.
"One of the goals of this new program is to help students and their families become more familiar with the tremendous number of scholarships and grants available from the Christian colleges themselves," he added.
Since 1990, enrollment has increased more than 120 percent – from 135,000 to 300,000 – at the 102 U.S. evangelical schools affiliated to the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Over the same period, enrollments at all public and private colleges increased by 25 percent and 82 percent, respectively, according to data compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics.
The growth marks a turnaround from the 1960s and '70s, when religious colleges struggled to attract enough students. About 120 religious colleges closed between 1960 and 1979, according to data collected by historian Ray Brown at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo.
Observers of the trend cite multiple reasons, including relative value in an era in which tuitions have outpaced inflation. Religious denominations help contain tuition increases through subsidies often ranging from $1 million to $3 million a year, CCCU president Bob Andringa told Religion News Service back in 2005.
Now, with the newly launched Christian College Scholarship Resource, prospective Christian college students will get an added boost through a convenient and free way to learn about Christian college scholarships.
"Perhaps a student wants to know about Christian colleges that have academic, art and baseball scholarships – no problem," promoters of The Christian Connector's new program explained. "Maybe a student is interested in learning which schools offer music, leadership and out of state scholarships and grants...you get the idea."
According to The Christian Connector, the participating Christian colleges provided over $100 million in scholarships and grants to students last year alone.
Furthermore, for the past three years, The Christian Connector has been offering an annual scholarship drawing as an incentive to prospective students – initially set at $1,000 and now up to $2,500.
Over the past eleven years, approximately 300,000 students have reportedly taken advantage of the company's free services, which include Christian college and scholarship information, financial aid and admissions tips, articles regarding Christian colleges, seminary and Christian graduate school information, as well as mission opportunities.
"What we really represent ... is a bridge between a student who's seeking Christian college information and the Christian college [itself]," Seagren explained in a past interview with AgapePress
Currently, prospective college students can get connected to over 100 Christian colleges through The Christian Connector.
On the Web:
The Christian Connector website at christianconnector.com.