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United Methodist Student Day provides funds for Dakotas United Methodists

"I was prompted to attend Dakota Wesleyan University (DWU) because I felt like I was at home after my first tour. I have a long list of family members that have attended DWU and I have grown up listening to my parents’ stories about their experiences at DWU. I am currently a sophomore at DWU majoring in Special Education with a minor in Music. By receiving this scholarship it helped me to continue my education by paying some of my tuition for this current year. I believe by donating to this scholarship it gives United Methodist students an opportunity to continue their education.  Thanks!"-Erik Wehlander, Esmond UMC, South Dakota

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) distributed over $20,000 of scholarship funding to 12 students throughout the Dakotas Conference who are attending a higher education institution during the 2015-16 academic year.  Recipients are students seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees, including four seminary students.  Award amounts range from $500-4,000.

On Nov. 29, congregations will receive a special offering, which ensures a brighter future for United Methodist students.  Funding for United Methodist scholarships comes from Special Sunday offerings (United Methodist Student Day, World Communion Sunday, and Native American Ministries Sunday), wills and annuities, and other special donations and gifts.

Ninety percent of collections from Special Sunday offerings go to the GBHEM’s scholarship programs, while 10 percent is for student loans. Each United Methodist-related college gets money from the offering for scholarships, and each participating annual conference gets 10 percent of Student Day receipts to award to their own merit scholars. In 2015, the Dakotas Conference and Dakota Wesleyan University awarded just over $8,500 in scholarship funding based on the allocations through the Dakotas Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation. (see related story)

Here is a list of Dakotas Conference 2016 recipients:

Thomas Carlson, Groton UMC, Dakota Wesleyan University

Jordan Heim, Madison UMC, Morningside College

Jessica Higgins, Brandon Celebration UMC, Morningside College

Rachael Kriz, Geddes UMC, Dakota Wesleyan University

Autumn Krueger, Harrisburg UMC, Emory University—Candler School of Theology

Jordan Louks, Spearfish UMC, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Ben McKirdy-Wilsey, Highmore / Harold / Blunt UMC, Iliff School of Theology

Alyssa Roy, Mitchell Fusion UMC, Dakota Wesleyan University

Mark Schlasner, Grand Forks Wesley UMC, Luther Seminary

Aubyn Swigart, Piedmont Grace UMC, Rocky Mountain College

Alison Uecker, Sioux Falls First UMC, Nebraska Wesleyan University

Erik Wehlander, Esmond UMC, Dakota Wesleyan University.

GBHEM reports that the Office of Loans and Scholarships will be awarding over 2,300 students a total of $5 million in financial assistance for 2016. United Methodist Student Day, World Communion Sunday, and Native American Sunday help fund a portion of our scholarships. The remaining funds for these awards come from gifts, annuities and endowments GBHEM has invested and administered for decades.

Students who are members of The United Methodist Church may apply for a Fall 2017 GBHEM scholarship online between January 3, 2017 – March 1, 2017 at Student loans are also available at interest rates as low as 3.75% (lower than federal educational loan rates) with a credit worthy cosigner.