BLOOMINGTON, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Minnesota Masonic Charities (MMC) announced today that it will provide 95 scholarship awards in 2015 to a wide variety of students that the organization believes represent the enduring values of Minnesota Masonry.
“We qualify applicants based on their strength of character, not just numbers,” said Eric J. Neetenbeek, president and CEO of MMC.
Those values – Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth – function as guiding principles for the Masonic Fraternity and the charity it supports. At a time when class ranks, grade point averages and test scores tend to dictate the fate of college applicants, the idea of prioritizing character is a novel one.
Said Neetenbeek, “The question we asked ourselves is, ‘What sets a Masonic Scholar apart?’ We realized that there would be candidates who might not rank or score the highest academically, but who have extraordinary leadership qualities or a generosity of spirit. Those are things we want to reward.”
High school seniors, college undergraduates, Masonic Fraternity Members and those interested in vocational associate’s degrees can apply for one of six MMC scholarships types: Signature, Legacy, Heritage, Undergraduate, Vocational and Fraternal. Applicant GPA qualifications start at a reasonable 2.5 and focus on quality-based attributes such as student involvement, letters of recommendation and answers to essay questions.
“It makes the selection process more involved,” said Neetenbeek, who stated that MMC receives many hundreds of applications each year. “But we prefer to take the most considered approach and dig deeper. These scholars will represent the high standards of Minnesota Masonry. We want to get it right.”
Minnesota Masonic Charities begins accepting applications for its 2015 scholarship season on November 1, 2014 with a deadline of February 15, 2015. In 2014, MMC provided 57 awards and renewed 54 totaling to more than $300,000 with a goal to offer $1,000,000 in awards by 2018. All scholarships are made available on an equal opportunity basis, with no discrimination for age, gender, religion or national origin.
For more information, visit MnMasonicCharities.org.
About Minnesota Masonic Charities
Minnesota Masonic Charities (MMC) is the nonprofit charitable organization of Minnesota Masonry. The organization promotes greater levels of Masonic charity by uniting and combining contributions to charitable causes, as well as directly aiding Masons, their families and society through its grants and services. MMC's total charitable grants average nearly $5.6 million a year as part of yearly services totaling nearly $70 million. These services include support for cancer research and treatment, scholarships for Minnesota students, housing and healthcare for seniors, and community support of youth, family and school programs throughout the state.