Quaker Scholarships: The Society of Friends Scholarship Programs

Quakers are members of the Religious Societies of Friends, a Christian group with many aspects differentiating it from most Christian denominations. Quakers are a tight-knit community, since there are only about 100,000 Quakers in the United States. Quakers are known for a belief in the priesthood or sanctity of all members of the church, a commitment to non-violence, and a history of working to improve their local communities.

Though the number of active Quakers worldwide is small, this community is active in assisting young people in pursuing college education, though the Societies of Friends have high standards for things like scholarships and college aid packages. Quakers with strong resumes, good academics, and a commitment to the Quaker way of life have more than a few scholarship offers made specifically to Quakers to help them pay for their college education.

Are Scholarships for Quakers Difficult to Find?

Scholarships for Quakers

Scholarships for Quakers

Scholarships for Quakers are easy to find thanks to the support from the Quaker community for their young people’s desire to get higher education. Quakers are also eligible for other scholarships, ones designed for non-Quakers, general academic or athletic scholarships, and college funding offers for people from all walks of life. Though there aren’t a large number of Quakers in the USA, there’s plenty of support for Quakers interested in earning a college education.

The first step to finding a scholarship offer for a Quaker is to contact your local Friends meeting to find out about scholarship opportunities for Quakers. You can also contact national Friends organizations or other Quaker groups and ask about special college funding deals for Quaker students.

Of course, maintaining good grades, volunteering to better your community, participating in extra-curricular activities, and earning good standardized test scores are also important for Quakers who want to earn scholarships. Thankfully, the qualities of a good Quaker fall in line with the sort of things scholarship committees are looking to reward: volunteerism, commitment to academic and personal pursuits, and a strong desire to make your community better. Living life as an active Quaker should give you an advantage when it comes to writing scholarship application essays designed to make you form a case for why you should earn the scholarship.

Scholarship Offers for Quaker Students

These four scholarships are representations of the kinds of college funding offers available to Quaker students. There are tons of scholarships and college funding offers for Quaker students and for students who exhibit Quaker values; look at these offers to get an understanding of the variety of scholarships Quaker students can apply for.

The Pearl Crow Memorial Scholarship

The Pearl Crow Memorial Scholarships are awarded each year to Quaker students majoring in sociology or social work at an accredited four-year college or university in the US or Canada. All incoming Quaker freshmen with a minimum 3.25 GPA or returning students with a GPA of 3.0 or better are eligible for an award of $1,000 per academic semester. The committee states that graduates of Christian high schools are given preference, though past winners have included students who graduated from secular schools. This award is renewable depending on academic performance and re-application. Incoming Quaker freshmen or returning Quaker students should contact their admissions office about this award and any others available to Quaker students. Contact your college’s Department of Sociology/Social Work for more information on the application process.

Society of Friends’ John Sarrin Scholarship

The Society of Friends offers many different scholarships to honor the work of great Quakers of the past. The John Sarrin Scholarship is for Quakers who are members of the Society of Friends who sign a special pledge to remain drug and alcohol free and agree to never join the armed forces of any country or commit violence against another person except in the case of self-defense. This award is given to a Quaker student entering a four-year college or vocational school who displays strong Quaker values, such as “good moral character,” according to the website. Applicants are eligible to reapply for this award as long as they remain in good standing with the Society of Friends.

Hanson Quaker Leadership Scholarship

The Hanson Quaker Leadership Scholarship offered by George Fox University, a Christian university with a strong affinity for Quaker values ,is an annually-renewable scholarship for science majors who have a GPA of 3.5. The award amount varies up to $3,500 annually. Candidates are not required to be Quakers, though a demonstration of Quaker values is rewarded by the scholarship committee. Winners are selected by the members of the science department at George Fox University. Applicants are judged by their SAT scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation from any science teacher at the high school level or higher.

Earlham College Quaker Fellows Scholarship

Many Quaker scholarships are offered by institutions of higher learning with a large Quaker influence. One examples is the Earlham College Quaker Fellows Scholarship. The purpose of this award is provide students of Earlham College with a large financial award as well as the ability to “practice skills that will serve them at Earlham and beyond.” Recipients of this award must participate in one of the following activities: serving on the College Meeting for Worship Cabinet, taking a course in Quakerism or Leadership Development, meeting with a Spiritual Nurturer, participating in or convening Earlham Young Friends, attending Quaker-related events, training in and leading clearness committees, designing a weekend conference, living in Quaker house, teaching Quaker values during New Student Orientation, or serving as a teaching assistant at Earlham College. This work requires a commitment of about six hours per week and is renewable for all Quaker students for the duration of their time at Earlham College. Recipients earn $2,000 per academic year and will automatically win Earlham’s $3,000 Quaker Wilkinson Award, for a total of $5,000 in financial assistance annually.

Quaker students looking for scholarship have a lot of choices. Many scholarships are designed for Quakers specifically, though others are sponsored by Quaker groups to reward students of all stripes that show Quaker values. If you spend a little time researching, you should have no trouble finding scholarships aimed at Quaker students.

by Will Roby

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