Concordia Wisconsin announces new ‘scholarship guarantee’

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Rev. Dr. Patrick T. Ferry, president of Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor, announces the new “Luther Promise” scholarship initiative Oct. 13 at the Lutheran Education Association convocation in Grand Rapids, Mich. (Nathan B. Harrmann)

Concordia University Wisconsin announced on Oct. 13 the startup of “the Luther Promise,” the university’s new “institutionally funded scholarship guarantee that provides qualified undergraduate students between $16,000-$20,000 annually.”

A news release cites the university’s “mission to provide access to the ‘highest-value Lutheran Christian higher education possible.’ ”

“Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor have a bold vision to be the Church’s school, equipping the faithful to make an impact for Christ in ways they never imagined,” explained Concordia President Rev. Dr. Patrick T. Ferry, who announced the new scholarship initiative Oct. 13 at the Lutheran Education Association’s national convocation in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“Coming at the commemoration of the 500th year of the Lutheran Reformation, this initiative marks a significant commitment to invest even more resources in our students, ensuring that lifelong Lutheran education is available more students than ever before.”

Currently, the university’s students receive on average $13,000 of institutional aid, according to university financial-management sources.

To qualify for the Luther Promise, students must meet one of four criteria:

  • be a member of a Lutheran congregation (any Lutheran denomination);
  • be a dependent of a Concordia University System alumnus (any institution in the 10-school system);
  • be a dependent of a rostered LCMS church worker; or
  • be a graduate of a Lutheran (any denomination) high school.

“A significant step toward achieving the goal of a faith-based higher education for more students is removing the financial barriers,” said Robert Nowak, the university’s director of Financial Aid. “Qualified students are eligible for a range of scholarships — between $16,000-$20,000, depending on high-school cumulative GPA and ACT composite score.”

The news release explains that “at the lower end, this means that a student with a 2.7 cumulative GPA and 19 ACT score is eligible for $16,000. At the upper end, a student with a 3.5 cumulative GPA and 30 ACT score is eligible for $20,000 annually. Undergraduate transfer students who meet the qualifying criteria are also eligible.”

For more information, visit cuw.edu/luther-promise or cuaa.edu/luther-promise.

Similar program at Seward

Concordia University, Nebraska (CUNE), at Seward, offers a similar financial-aid program — the “Lutheran Heritage Guarantee.”

According to a Nov. 17 CUNE news release, its “students have received more than $20 million since that program was established in 2014.”

“At Concordia University, Nebraska, we are committed to providing an excellent Lutheran, Christ-centered education that families can afford,” said CUNE President Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich. “We’re committed to our mission of equipping students to learn, serve and lead in the Church and world and we want to ensure [that] families have an opportunity to receive a Lutheran higher education.”

Friedrich added that the university “began the guarantee because we saw a need for families that wanted to make a Concordia education possible but were concerned about the cost. Our guarantee opens the door for these families to explore Concordia and made that dream a reality.”

“All students who meet the following criteria,” the news release continues, “are guaranteed a minimum of $17,000 a year in institutional scholarships and grants:

  •  First-time college students with a high-school GPA of 3.0 or higher; or transfer student with a cumulative college GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  •  Qualifies from one of the following groups: member of a Lutheran congregation; dependent of a [CUNE] alumnus; dependent of a full-time professional, rostered Lutheran church worker; graduate of a Lutheran high school.”

CUNE’s Lutheran Heritage Guarantee “began in 2014 with a $14,000 guarantee,” according to the news release. “As the demand has grown, Concordia has maintained a $1,000 guarantee increase each academic year. The guarantee is awarded to students each year they are enrolled at Concordia. To date, 685 students have received financial aid through the [guarantee], totaling just over $20.3 million in aid. In 2016, the average aid per student provided through the Lutheran Heritage Guarantee [has] exceeded $17,000.”

For more information about Concordia University, Nebraska’s Lutheran Heritage Guarantee, visit cune.edu/lhg.

Posted November 4, 2016 / Updated November 17, 2016

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