Church-work students at Missouri Synod colleges, universities and seminaries are receiving $26,871,471 in financial aid during the 2003-04 school year.
Although this is the first year for which the Synod’s Board for Higher Education has compiled financial-aid statistics for church-work students at the 12 schools, that total is at least $2 million more than for the year before, said Dr. William F. Meyer, the board’s executive director.
Meyer said that he estimated that church-work students at the Synod schools got between $22-24 million in aid for 2002-03.
“Based in part on student need and in part on the student’s chosen profession,” Meyer said, “our Concordia campuses are stepping up to help make a professional church-work education an affordable dream for men and women in the Synod.”
“Much of the financial aid is provided through generous gifts of Lutherans around the country who recognize the need to put the necessary training within reach of prospective students by helping reduce the cost of attending one of our Concordias,” Meyer said.
He attributed a “major portion” of the total for church-work students to the Synod’s “For the Sake of the Church” campaign that benefits any Synod-member students who attend an LCMS college or university.
That campaign has goals of doubling the number of Missouri Synod students at the 10 CUS colleges and universities and generating $400 million in tuition endowments for those students by 2010.
The 2003-04 figures show that $20,126,652 in financial aid is being distributed this year among the 2,468 church-work students enrolled at the Synod’s 10 Concordia University System colleges and universities. That amounts to an average $8,754 per student, and covered 57 percent of their tuition.
The Concordias at Mequon, Wis., River Forest, Ill., and Seward, Neb., have the highest amounts of church-work aid this school year — each with more than $4 million. They also are the schools with the most church-work students.
The 15 church-work students at Concordia, Selma, Ala., are receiving the least amount of aid of any school, $114,086. However, that amount covered 100 percent of their tuition. The next-highest percentage of tuition coverage for church-work students was 61 percent at Concordia, Portland, Ore., and the lowest percentage was 41 percent at Seward.
The two seminaries covered an average 73 percent of their students’ tuition — a total of $6,744,819 for 736 seminarians.
“Only through the partnership of our gracious and generous members and a continued strong commitment to the preparation of our future church-professional leaders on the part of the campuses is this kind of support possible,” Meyer said.
The totals for financial aid to all CUS and seminary students for 2003-04 will be available after the fiscal year ends June 30. For 2002-03, financial aid for all students from all sources totaled $60,703,453. Of that amount, more than $52.6 million went to college and university students and more than $8 million to seminarians.