PLEASE NOTE: Please read our eligibility page for details on which kinds of religious life are eligible to participate in our grant program.
The application period opens on September 15 and closes on November 30.
ALSO PLEASE NOTE: Grant awards will be announced on or about March 15. If you are planning to enter religious life before then, please read carefully our discussion below of Prudence and Faith so that you will have a full understanding of the first certification you make by signing the application.
To apply for a grant:
- Download the application package PDF. The application package includes general information, instructions on how to fill out the forms, and the forms themselves.
- Read the instructions, print the forms, fill out the forms, and mail them (just the forms, not the instructions) and your accompanying documentation (see below) to us at the address indicated. Your application must be postmarked no later than November 30 for it to be considered during the next application review process.
- Submit application by U. S. Mail only. Do not use FedEx or UPS.
- Do not use Certified Mail, Return Receipt, Restricted Delivery, or Signature Confirmation to send your application.These methods require our signature and that may delay our receipt of your application package. If you use one of these methods, there is a chance that your application will be sent back to you unopened!! You may use delivery confirmation, as long as no signature is required.
- If you wish to confirm that your application was delivered or simply wish to let us know that it is on its way (recommended if you mail your application less than a week before the postmark cutoff date) , send us an email: email@example.com. See the FAQ for more information.
If you have any trouble downloading or printing the forms, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application package by mail.
If you know someone who would like to apply, but who has no internet access, send us their mailing address and we’ll send along an application package by mail.
You may also write or call us at 877.556.6338 to request an application package.
Please note the following:
- We cannot process your application without a letter of acceptance from your religious institute. A copy of the letter should be included with your application package. Having your vocation director send it to us directly may delay the processing of your application.
- We cannot process your application without complete information about your loans. All the boxes in the section that describes your loans must be filled. If you don’t know the values to put in some of the boxes, contact your lender(s) to find out. “Don’t know” and “Not available” are not acceptable answers.
- Please send us your application sometime during the open period which is from September 15th to November 30th. Don’t send us an application before September 15th as the loan information in it will be too stale. Applications must be postmarked on or before November 30th to be reviewed for our annual awards. Awards are announced on or about March 15th of the following year (in other words, three and a half months after the deadline). Your application must be postmarked no later than November 30. However, you should send in your applicationas soon as you can after the beginning of the open period on September 15.
Prudence and Faith
There is a tension between the virtues of Prudence and Faith. This tension is of particular interest to you if you apply for a grant from the Fund for Vocations and then enter your order before you know the outcome of your grant application.
The following facts are of interest:
- We currently turn down over half of all applicants to the Fund for Vocations.
- We forbid reapplication if you are no longer making a good faith effort at loan repayment.
- You will probably be unable to make that effort if you have, in fact already entered formation.
For almost everyone, entering religious life means no longer having an income. This is proper. The goal of aspirancy, postulancy, and the novitiate is to test your vocation and be formed in religion, not to make money. It is also very difficult to do fundraising while in formation and it may even be detrimental to proper formation.
With regard to your student loans, the practical result of entering religious life is that you will not be able to make payments and so your balance will rise from accruing interest. In this case you will not be able to reapply to the Fund for Vocations. This is one of the meanings of first certification statement on the application form just above your signature: If I do not receive a grant, I will be eligible to re-apply only if I have made a good-faith effort to reduce my debts.
Faith says that God has called you to life in religion. Faith has confirmed this call in more than one way and you are eager follow the will of God. We rejoice with you and thank you for your generosity in responding. Faith also makes it clear that God will find a way to get you into religious life in spite of your student loans.
Prudence counsels patience and a calm assessment of how best to achieve the life to which you are called.
We cannot judge where the intersection of Faith and Prudence lies for you personally. That you must work out in prayer with the assistance of your vocation director.