More than 100 BYU undergraduates received Alumni Association Replenishment Grants and Chapter Replenishment Grants in 2003 to help them finance their educations. At least that many students will also be assisted this year, and those interested must apply online before April 15.
The grants—offered by the Alumni Association and 33 alumni chapters across the country—are given to students whose educational expenses are not met through other financial-aid programs.
Inspired by the Church’s Perpetual Emigration Fund, the grants were created more than a decade ago. In the 1850s many European converts to the Church of Jesus Christ lacked the financial means to gather to Utah. The Perpetual Emigration Fund enabled tens of thousands of members to do so. In turn, they were asked to repay the funds so others could follow.
Students selected to receive replenishment grants follow the same principle: they not only receive financial aid for themselves, but they also assist those who follow. Just as the Perpetual Emigration Fund met a need and blessed lives, the replenishment grants help students reach their goals, for which assistance they express gratitude.
Suzanne Nicole Smith, ’07, a physics and astronomy major from El Paso, Texas, says she considers the grant an honor and a blessing. In a thank-you letter, she writes, “As the youngest of eight children and the daughter of a widow, I feel the responsibility to not be a burden upon my mother financially. . . . I am determined to get my own education.”
“The help you have given me has relieved great stress in my family,” says Alayna K. McVea, ’07, of Mesa, Ariz. Financial needs of another family member made McVea wonder if she should consider a different educational option, but her desire was to attend a university, specifically BYU. “The support you have given me was the step I needed to be able to find peace in my decision.”
Jillian J. Foster, ’05, of Boise, Idaho, faced similar financial needs. “Just prior to my attendance at BYU, my family faced severe financial hardship,” she says. “Funds once set up to pay for my schooling had now gone to helping the family meet everyday needs. Despite the financial ruin my family has recently faced, I have found a way to succeed. That way is through the Alumni Replenishment Grant. I still have educational dreams, but is it only through this grant that I have been able to fulfill them.”
The chapter grants are funded by donations from alumni and friends of the university in particular areas of the country. In each case, an endowment to support the grants has been established, often after years of effort by dedicated individuals. In like manner the Alumni Association has built a general endowment with funding from various sources.
Although there are no legal obligations, each year the Alumni Association is contacted by students who are ready to repay their grants. “Some students pay in increments, others all at once,” says Roy A. Brinkerhoff, ’84, assistant manager of alumni activities. “One student’s business returned the grant threefold.”
Info: Grants are available through the Alumni Association and from chapters that offer the aid to students from their geographical areas. Grants are awarded in half- or full-tuition amounts. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and demonstrate financial need. Need will be established from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (fafsa.ed.gov) and information provided on the application. Recipients are eligible to reapply each year.
Applying for a Replenishment Grant
1. Go to the BYU Scholarship Office Web page: ar.byu.edu/dept_scholarships/scholar.html.
2. Click on “Application” in the options at the left. Then click on the link that matches your BYU NetID status. (Those without a NetID will create one and then be able to return to the scholarships page to start over.)
3. Select “Fall/Winter Scholarship Application,” and choose the comprehensive application. Provide the information requested on the following pages.
4. One of the last pages in the application lists scholarship opportunities. Choose “Alumni Replenishment Grants,” then select the chapter in which you live and answer the questions. If your chapter is not listed, select “University” and provide the required information.
5. The program will return you to the list of scholarship opportunities. You may add another scholarship or proceed to the final page, where you complete the process by clicking on the submit button.