Scholarship Application



The Mary Smathers Ward Scholarship is a permanent and perpetual scholarship made possible through an endowment to First United Methodist Church, Vero Beach, Florida.  As outlined by Mary Smathers Ward, “scholarships are to be distributed to needy children intending to attend an institution of higher education.”  (April 27, 1994)

The Scholarship Committee of First United Methodist Church (FUMC) has created stipulations and a process for application.  (July 28, 2014)


  • The Mary Smathers Ward Scholarship is an annual scholarship.
  • Application can be made on a yearly basis while enrolled as a full-time student in an institution of higher learning.
  • The amount of each award will be determined by the amount of available funds created by interest earned on the principle of the endowment.
  • The Committee will determine the amount of awards based on the declared needs documented by each student.
  • Based on the number of applicants, the level of awards will be determined by a base line amount which will be established by the committee.
  • The Committee has the discretion to give special attention to the needs of seminary students, as well as to applicants who exhibit exceptional financial need.
  • The Committee maintains the discretion to cap the award amounts in the event of a low number of submitted applications.
  • Applicants must be enrolled as a full-time student in an institution of higher learning.  An institution of higher learning is defined as a college; university; post high school vocational program; or graduate program.
  • Applicants must be a member of First United Methodist Church.  (The Committee maintains discretion to give special consideration to non-members based on their current active involvement at First United Methodist Church, Vero Beach, Florida.)
  • Advertisement of application availability, deadline dates, etc., will be made through the bulletin; Circuit Rider; and, on the FUMC web site.
  • Scholarships will be awarded no later than September 1 of each academic year.
  • In the event of a low number of applicants, the Committee may choose to extend the deadline date and re-advertise application availability.


  • An application form must be completed and filed at the FUMC Office by the stated deadline.
  • An application form is required for each year of higher education enrollment.
  • Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  • Applications submitted after the published deadline date will not be accepted.
  • Scholarship awards may be used for tuition, books, college fees and room and board.
  • Scholarship awards will be paid directly to the institution of higher learning. 
  • The Committee maintains discretion to reimburse individuals who have pre-paid tuition upon submission of a paid receipt from the institution of higher learning. 
  • A letter of reference (from a teacher or FUMC church staff member) must accompany the application of first-time applicants.
  • Applications for the Freshman Year must include a copy of a letter of acceptance from the Institution of Higher Learning.
  • A statement of Faith/Church Membership must be included as part of the application.
  • Notification of awards will be made by a personal phone call and/or by a mailed letter.
  • If, for some reason, a recipient leaves school prior to the end of the second semester (or last quarter) of the academic year, a prorated amount, of the award,  should be returned to the Scholarship Fund of First United Methodist Church.