How It Works: Schedule & Structure

The Fund for Vocations’ annual grantmaking cycle was designed to maximize the support we can give to men and women pursuing religious vocations by minimizing the administrative costs of running the program. This means, among other decisions, that we do not accept applications on an ad hoc or rolling basis. We have gotten our process down to a science and we cannot make exceptions to it.

We open the grant application period every year in September, close it on the last day of November, and then award the grants the following March. You are eligible to apply for a given year’s grant awards if your expected entry date lies between that year’s award date and 18 months after that year’s award date. For example, you can apply for the March 2021 awards if you are scheduled to enter any time between March 15, 2021 and September 15, 2022.

If your application is denied, you may reapply in any following year as long as you are still making a good faith effort to pay your loans and you have not entered. If you enter your order, you will not be permitted reapply.

To reapply, please submit a letter indicating you are reapplying and informing us of your payment progress since you last applied. Reapplications must include newly completed application forms. If there has been a significant change in your vocation story, you may include an addendum to it.

We only make grants in cases where our funding is the difference between entering and not entering. We do not issue partial grants with the idea that the recipient will remain in the secular world to continue fundraising. Rather, the Fund for Vocations provides grants for “last mile” debt relief.

September 1

Application period opens.
Your application should be postmarked not sooner than September 1, and the information it contains should be current as of that same date.

November 30

Application period closes.
All applications must be postmarked not later than November 30. Sooner is better—so long as it's not too soon (that is, not before September 1).

March 15

Grants are announced.
The review board's decisions are announced on or around this date.

18 months later

(September 15 of the following year after grant announcement)
Last eligible entry Into religious life
Grant recipients have 18 months to join their communities after receiving notice of the award. (For example, if the grant was awarded on March 15, 2021, then September 15, 2022 would be the deadline for entering formation; if March 15, 2022, then September 15, 2023, and so forth.) Thinking about entering your community after your application has been submitted, but before grant decisions are announced? Please read—carefully—the discussion "Prudence and Faith."

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