news-category: Admissions Gardner-Webb Church-Related Scholarship Helps Meredith Bridges Pursue Educational Goals By Office of University Communications On July 22, 2021 Church-Matching and Minister’s Dependent Grants Embody Commitment to Christian Churches, Organizations BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Meredith Jane Bridges, of Kings Mountain, N.C., worked diligently during her high school years to graduate with her diploma and associate’s degree at the same time. The daughter of a Baptist minister, Bridges’ hard work reduced the cost of her college tuition. Then in 2019, when Gardner-Webb University officials announced a substantial expansion of Church-Matching and Minister’s Dependent scholarship programs, Bridges realized that with this assistance she could complete her bachelor’s at GWU. The Minister’s Dependent grant has also allowed her to double-major in English and psychology. “This grant is another way that God has shown me that Gardner-Webb is the place that I am meant to be,” Bridges affirmed. “Gardner-Webb has been so generous and welcoming to me with their offer of this scholarship and others, and in this way, God really opened the path for me to be able to come to school here. I am so thankful, because Gardner-Webb is a home and family to me now. I am excited to begin studying psychology as well as English in the fall. I feel called to work with children, and I want to follow through on that, either as a counselor or a librarian.” Before arriving at Gardner-Webb, Meredith Bridges, left, received a visit from Mac and her admissions counselor. Since announcing the expansion of scholarships to Christian churches and organizations, more than 50 students have been awarded over $250,000 in aid. “These church-related scholarships embody our strong commitment to support students through partnerships with Christian churches and organizations—to use the old expression, we are putting our money where our mouth is,” noted Aaron Hinton, associate vice president for Advancement. “Through these scholarships, young men and women are empowered to ignite their faith and future at Gardner-Webb.” The Minister’s Dependent Scholarship of $5,500 is offered to any dependent student of a full-time minister of a Christian church or an ordained, full-time employee of a Christian church or church-related agency. The Minister’s Dependent Scholarship will also stack on top of other institutional aid up to the cost of tuition. In addition, Gardner-Webb offers matching scholarships to traditional undergraduate students who receive an existing endowed or budgeted scholarship from any Christian church or organization with a clearly stated Christian mission and identity. To those traditional undergraduate students submitting the application, Gardner-Webb will match a scholarship from a Christian church or organization—dollar for dollar—up to the cost of tuition. This matching scholarship will stack on top of other institutional aid. “We are so pleased that through these scholarship initiatives we have now been able to revive an important church-to-campus pipeline of new students to Gardner-Webb,” lauded GWU President Dr. William M. Downs. “Our goal moving forward is to continue to strengthen the recruitment of such students so that we may further solidify GWU’s reputation as North Carolina’s leader in Christian higher education.” Meredith Bridges poses after being inducted into the EnglishHonors Society, Sigma Tau Delta. Bridges is excited to return to campus for the fall semester. “Even in the midst of a pandemic last year, I was able to meet many people and form valuable friendships,” she shared. “I have been able to thrive in groups where everyone is an individual and not just part of the group, such as Sigma Tau Delta (the English Honors Society) the GWU Women’s Ministry, and the GWU Equestrian Team. Second, I love the English department where I have most of my studies. Thanks to the smaller size of the school, I have been able to form personal relationships with most of my professors and classmates, and I have loved learning in an environment where most everyone is passionate about what we are doing. Writing has always been my passion, and my English studies are developing my voice as a writer as well as teaching me in what ways I can use my gifts after college.” For more information on either scholarship click here or contact Aaron Hinton at (704) 406-4101 or [email protected]. Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.