College Scholarships for Catholic Students

Scholarships are an important part of a financial aid package. Some colleges offer these, but you can also seek scholarships from many businesses and organizations with ties to the Church that want to help members get through college. Learn about several options for Catholic students.

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College is expensive. Through scholarships, students are able to reduce the out-of-pocket costs for school. There are several scholarships available to Catholic students, and in this article we'll look at some of these, including their award amounts and requirements.

Scholarship Comparison

When comparing scholarships, you want to consider the amount given, the requirements for eligibility, and whether or not you can reapply the following year. Below, we'll look at a list of scholarships and key details about each one.

Scholarship Name Amount Deadline Total Awarded Can I Renew?
Fourth Degree Pro Deo and Pro Patria/John W. McDevitt Scholarships $1,500 March 1 Varies; 450 in 2017-18 Yes, up to four years
Catholic Financial Life College Scholarship $500 or $1,000 March 31 $50,000 (2009-10) No
Italian Catholic Federation Scholarship $400-$1,000 March 15 approx. 200 Yes, up to four years
Cardinal Newman Society Essay Contest $5,000 February 18 1 No
Mary and Orlin Trapp Science Scholarship $1,000 March 1 2 No

Sources: Individual scholarship websites

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Overview of Catholic Scholarships

All of the following scholarships are available for Catholic Church members. While some are available in certain regions, others have opened their arms for other denominations. Look at the following scholarships for a better idea of the organizations that offer financial assistance.

Fourth Degree Pro Deo and Pro Patria/John W. McDevitt Scholarships

The Knights of Columbus is a fraternal order of the Catholic Church. This group works to improve the community and church, while spreading the Catholic faith through charity. The Knights of Columbus award the Fourth Degree Pro Deo and Pro Patria Scholarships. For the 2017-2018 school year, the Knights of Columbus awarded over $711,000 to students who attended the Catholic University of America and other Catholic colleges and universities. In order to apply, applicants or their parents must be a member in good standing with the Knights. These scholarships are awarded based on academic performance.

Catholic Financial Life College Scholarship

If you, your parents, or your grandparents are members of Catholic Financial Life, you can apply for a 1-time scholarship. You must be 23 years old or less, and have completed at least ten hours of community service with a non-profit organization. Financial members must be enrolled for at least a year, prior to the application. Depending on the college you select, your award amount may change. If you are full-time attending a 4-year school, you'll receive $1,000. If you are attending a community college, you'll receive $500.

Italian Catholic Federation Scholarship

This scholarship has some particular qualifications. Those with a family member involved in the Italian Catholic Federation are eligible. Others who do not have a connection to the federation but are Roman Catholic, of Italian descent, and living in Arizona, California, Illinois, or Nevada can also apply. All applicants must have maintained a GPA of 3.2 throughout high school. This scholarship is $400 for the first year of college, and can be applied for another three years. The award amounts continuously increase, $500 for year two, $600 for year three, and $1,000 for year four. Applicants will be evaluated based on financial need, academic standing, and extracurricular activities.

Cardinal Newman Society Essay Contest

The Cardinal Newman Society creates the Newman Guide to help students research and find Catholic colleges and universities. This group also awards a $5,000 scholarship for any Catholic student who uses the Newman Guide and signs up with the society's 'Recruit Me' program. Applicants need to complete a 500-700 word essay on a topic chosen by the society. Topics are often related to why someone would benefit from a Catholic education. Applicants must be 20 years or younger and a high school graduate at the time of submitting. Should an applicant be selected, they must choose one of the colleges that the Newman Guide recommends, or else a new winner could be selected.

Mary and Orlin Trapp Science Scholarship

This scholarship is for those who are studying one of the sciences and are of a Christian faith, either Catholic or Protestant. Applicants must attend one of the Iowa United Methodist Colleges or Iowa State University. Scholarships are awarded for moral character, leadership skills, honesty, community involvement, and academic standing. Along with the application, one must provide three letters of recommendation - from a pastor, community leader, and school advisor - and personal statements regarding community and church involvement.

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