|| PATRICK HENRY COLLEGE
Students grateful for the helping hand
Many organizations have contributed to Patrick Henry College's success since our founding in the fall of 2000. Two state homeschool groups in particular have played a significant and ongoing role by providing much-needed scholarship support.
Over the last five years, the Texas Home School Coalition (THSC) and the Maryland ssociation of Christian Home Educators (MACHE) have donated annually to the Patrick Henry College Scholarship Fund. All of these scholarship contributions have been awarded to students from the organizations' respective states.
"This is all about homeschoolers helping homeschoolers," said George Clay, executive director of the Patrick Henry College Foundation and board member of THSC.
|Journalism major Whitney Putman received a scholarship from her state homeschool organization to attend Patrick Henry College.|
Approximately 91% of Patrick Henry students receive financial aid. Because the college refuses to accept any form of government funding and is committed to operating without debt, 100% of the funding for financial aid must come from private sources. Thus, PHC's partnership with homeschool groups such as THSC and MACHE is vital to the continuation of the scholarship program.
How and why state homeschool organizations give
For the board members of the Maryland and Texas homeschool organizations, investing in Patrick Henry College is a logical extension of their mission.
"This is an outworking of the philosophy we hold as homeschoolers of raising a generation who will impact the culture for good," said Tim Lambert, president of the Texas Home School Coalition. "Patrick Henry is engaged in that [mission], so it made sense to support the college and help Texas homeschool graduates who have the worldview and heart to take part in that work."
Each year THSC chooses up to three Texas homeschoolers who have been accepted by Patrick Henry and have applied for financial aid. Applicants are required to submit four essays and their PHC application to the THSC board of directors. A special committee then selects the scholarship recipients.
MACHE's board tithes from their annual budget to various national ministries and Christian organizations, including Patrick Henry. They donate a single gift to the Patrick Henry Scholarship Fund each academic year, which the college uses to underwrite a portion of the financial aid given to Maryland students.
"Our primary motivation to give to Patrick Henry was how encouraged we were to see another educational alternative for homeschool and Christian students in Maryland," said Dave Smith, deputy director of MACHE. "Over the years we've seen that sacrificial giving outside our own ministry contributes to an outward focus and others-orientation."
At nationwide homeschool venues, the board of MACHE has urged other state organizations to consider whether God would have them give outside their association as part of their annual budget.
The difference one scholarship can make
For many Patrick Henry students, these scholarships are a welcome boost in meeting college expenses. For some, the money is a deciding factor in whether they can attend.
Whitney Putman, a sophomore journalism major at PHC, received the top THSC award her freshman year. THSC informed Whitney of her $3,000 scholarship just days after she told Patrick Henry she would be financially unable to attend the College. At that time, Whitney's dad, Michael, had determined they were about $3,000 short of meeting tuition.
"It was an amazing confirmation the way things worked out. I knew I was supposed to be here," said Whitney.
"Without that scholarship, Whitney would have had to go the traditional route for college that year and may never have gone to Patrick Henry, which fits her perfectly," said Whitney's father, Michael Putman.
Whitney, like the majority of Patrick Henry students, comes from a single-income family. With the higher cost of attending a private college, scholarships such as those provided by MACHE and THSC make it possible for more students to attend Patrick Henry.
The administration and students at Patrick Henry College are grateful for the generosity of THSC and MACHE. As the ranks of homeschoolers continue to grow, the stage is set for other state organizations to follow the example of the Maryland and Texas organizations, giving deserving students the opportunity to study at Patrick Henry College.
For more information about Patrick Henry College, visit http://www.phc.edu.