The International Buddhist Education Foundation (IBEF) established the IBEF Scholarship to encourage outstanding students who need financial aid to study Buddhism and complete their education.
- AMOUNT OF SCHOLARSHIP: For Every Spring and Fall semester.
- $4,500 each semester for Ph.D degree students;
- $3,500 each semester for MA or M. Div degree students;
- Not available for non-degree seeking students.
- NUMBER OF SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED:
Approximately 50 IBEF Scholarships are awarded each semester. This number may change depending on circumstances.
- The following students are eligible to apply:
- New or current students in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of the West, at either the undergraduate or the graduate level, who have been recommended and sponsored by the head of a Fo Guang Shan or Fo Guang Shan affiliated organization around the world;
- New or current students in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of the West, at either the undergraduate or the graduate level, who are not currently receiving any other form of a full scholarship;
- Applicants must fulfill the following requirements:
- Have a Term GPA and Cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above.
- Be a full-time student: Undergraduate applicants must enroll in a minimum of 12 units per semester; Graduate applicants must enroll in a minimum of 9 units per semester. Exceptions to this rule are only possible under the following circumstances:
- BA, MA and M.Div. students
BA, MA and M.Div. students who are in the final semester of their degree studies, and do not need to be enrolled full-time to fulfill graduation requirements, may petition to be considered for the IBEF. This petition must be in writing and can only be made once for that final semester. Subsequent petitions will not be considered.
- Ph.D. Students
Ph.D. students who are not enrolled full-time may petition in writing to be considered for IBEF under the following circumstances:
- The student is in the final semester of their required course work and does not need to be enrolled full-time to complete the course requirements.
- The student has completed all course requirements and is preparing for their Candidacy Examination. (Important: The student must register for a minimum of 3 credit hours per semester to be eligible).
- Student has successfully completed their Candidacy Examination and is registering for REL 710.
AN IBEF PETITION FORM MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE FINANCIAL AID OFFICE OR THE UWEST WEBSITE'S FORM CENTER
The following students are not eligible for the scholarship:
- A student enrolled in the undergraduate program who has already received the IBEF Scholarship and IBEF Fellowship eight times;
- A student enrolled in the MA program who has already received the IBEF Scholarship and IBEF Fellowship four times;
- A student enrolled in the MDiv program who has already received the IBEF scholarship and IBEF Fellowship six times;
- A student enrolled in the Ph.D program who has already received the IBEF Scholarship and IBEF Fellowship eight times.
- A student who is only registered in a course/courses that extend beyond the most recent semester’s grade deadline. In this case, the student will not have a term GPA for the most recent semester, making the student ineligible for the IBEF Scholarship.
- Student with an (I) “Incomplete” and/or (RD) “Report Delay” on the official transcript may not receive the IBEF scholarship. Exceptions to this rule may only be granted in extenuating circumstances (e.g. “I” was given due to illness). Students requesting an exception must explain their extenuating circumstance in writing, with supporting evidence, to IBEF. Exceptions will be granted on a case by case basis.
- APPLICATION DEADLINE:
- November 15, and May 1 of every year.
- New students can submit the application for scholarship when applying for admissions.
Since the IBEF is administratively separate from UWest, it is not possible to transfer documents in the UWest’s files to students’ IBEF scholarship packages. Consequently, it is imperative that applicants submit all the required documents in their application, since the UWest can not transfer documents from its files to those of the IBEF.
- Current students can submit the application for scholarship to IBEF Liaison Officer located in Room AD209 in the Administration Building before the deadline.
- REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:
- New Students, First- time IBEF Applicants and newly admitted students to the MA, MDiv and Ph.D program:
- Completed IBEF Scholarship application form;
- Official Transcript (in English) of the highest education;
- Two letters of recommendation. If the applicant is recommended or sponsored by a center or organization under the FGS system, one of the two recommendation letters must be provided by the head of the Dharma center or the affiliated organization.
- IBEF Essay (for new, first-time applicants) -
- Statement of Purpose (Why did you decide to study Religion?)
- The reason why you are applying for the Scholarship.
- After you graduate, what do you hope to contribute to Buddhism?
- Previous IBEF award recipients:
- The completed IBEF Scholarship application form;
- A recommendation form filled out by Academic Advisor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies.
(The completed recommendation form must be in a sealed envelope with the flap signed by the Chair)
- IBEF Essay (for previous IBEF recipients) -
In order to assess what the students at UWest have learned, including how they have incorporated the ideas of Master Hsing Yun, the founder of the university, the IBEF Board encourages students to share their thoughts and understandings on Humanistic Buddhism in a 2 to 3-page essay. The recommended book will be announced at the beginning of each semester; the essay should include, but is not limited to, the following questions.
- In your view, how can Buddhist teachings benefit society and people’s lives in the modern era? You are welcome to bring in specific examples drawn from your personal experiences or observations.
- Do you think that Buddhist practice is simply for personal spiritual achievement or benefits society in general?
- How have the ideas of Humanistic Buddhism presented in the book had an impact on your own understanding of Buddhism and Buddhist practice?
- How will you apply your understanding of Humanistic Buddhism to your daily life?
In preparation for your essay, you may pick up a complimentary recommended book at the lobby front desk in the Administration building.
UWest GPA is one of the important requirements. However, YOU DO NOT NEED TO FILL OUT THE TRANSCRIPT REQUEST FORM. The IBEF Liaison Officer will request the transcripts for you. The official transcripts will be sent directly to the IBEF committee by the Registrar’s Office, once grades are available.
- Do not fax or e-mail the above documents. Please mail or deliver in person to the address provided below. All application materials must be submitted together in one large sealed envelope. Any materials missing can not be submitted separately.
By mail: Atten: IBEF Scholarship/Fellowship
University of the West
1409 N. Walnut Grove Ave.
Rosemead, CA 91770
Drop off in person:
Room 209, Administration Building
- ALL APPLICATION MATERIALS, INCLUDING THE RECOMMENDATION FORM FROM DEPARTMENT CHAIR, MUST BE SUBMITTED TOGETHER IN ONE LARGE SEALED ENVELOPE. ANY MATERIALS MISSING CAN NOT BE SUBMITTED SEPARATELY.
- INCOMPLETE APPLICATION PACKETS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.
- STUDENTS ARE RESPONSIBLE TO ENSURE THAT ALL DOCUMENTS ARE SUBMITTED ON TIME.
- EVALUATION PROCESS:
The IBEF Scholarship Committee will review, evaluate, and select the recipients based on the submitted documents and their Term GPA and Cumulative GPA.
- GRANTING OF SCHOLARSHIP:
- The IBEF Liaison Officer will inform the scholarship recipients individually.
- The scholarship awarded will be wired directly into the recipient’s registration account at the University of the West to cover their tuition, registration fees and related expenses. If these expenses do not exhaust the financial value of the scholarship the awardees may request a check containing the remaining difference near the end of the semester. However, awardees can only make this request by completing the IBEF Petition Form and submitting it to the Accounting Office beginning two weeks before the end of class instruction. (Students may use the IBEF Petition Form to request the remaining difference sooner. These earlier petitions must include supporting documentation. Such petitions will be considered on a case by case basis).
Students enrolled in double majors/degree programs may only use their IBEF Scholarship to finance majors/degree programs relevant to Religious Studies and/or Buddhism (e.g. the IBEF scholarship can not be used to finance a second major in Business Administration).
The IBEF Scholarship is awarded for the same amount of semesters whether the student is in a single or double major degree program (e.g. a student doing one MA and a student doing two MAs simultaneously may both only receive the IBEF Scholarship four times).
All petitions relating the IBEF scholarships must be made on the IBEF Petition Form.
IBEF reserves the right to make changes to these policies and procedures at any time.