Students of Color Scholarship

EMS vision: We aspire to reflect Christ's light as a learning community where every student belongs, thrives, and lives God's call.

EMS is located in one of the most diverse cities in the state of Virginia. The Students of Color Scholarship helps us to increase the number of cultures and traditions in our school and to more closely reflect the make up of our city.

Recognizing that tuition can be a barrier for some families, we believe this scholarship will make an excellent education accessible to more families of diverse backgrounds.

For this school year, the scholarship is limited to students entering grades 6-12. Applicants should be students who are excited about learning and ready to explore music, the arts, athletics, and clubs.  Applicants will arrange to visit EMS to share more about their desire to join the school community.

To be considered, please: 

  1. Submit the online application. Eligible students will be new to EMS and will enter middle or high school in grades 6 through 12. Additional documents are also required for admission and include references and school transcripts.
  2. Complete the FACTS tuition assistance application to demonstrate financial need. Recipients of this scholarship may receive up to 70% off of the regular middle or high school tuition rate.*
  3. Once the application is completed, schedule an interview with Marsha Thomas, admissions counselor.
Deadline for applications is April 15. Multiple recipients of this scholarship will be named as long as funding is available. Recipients will be notified starting May 1.

*Tuition rate is calculated based on published tuition rate minus any reductions in tuition. Scholarship discount will be applied after any reductions in tuition are calculated. 

Funding the endowed fund

The EMS Students of Color Scholarship was established in 2020 as the school  sought more tangible ways to address racial inequities and barriers in the culture at large and at EMS in particular.

Thanks to seed money planted nearly 30 years ago, the endowed fund was quickly established. The original endowment was established in the early 1990s to enable Laotian immigrant students from a local Mennonite church to attend EMHS. The family that provided the seed money was happy, when approached in late 2020, to see the scope broadened to include support for students of color from any ethnic background.

Earnings from the endowment have been tapped as part of the school’s routine financial aid process over the years; broadening it as a scholarship will, the school hopes, invite more donor support, as well as make it more accessible to a broader group of applicants.

An unsolicited gift from Chuck Hostetter ’71 designated for students of color in summer 2020, prompted review of the original endowment, conversations with the founders, and revamp.

Hostetter was moved to send a gift to the school after running across a stack of letters in storage. The letters were sent to him by EMHS classmates while living with his family in Nigeria during his senior year.

“That support from peers meant so much,” he wrote. “I see now how my life trajectory took shape, influenced by other cultures. I’m grateful to support this fund in appreciation for what those EMHS friends meant to me, and to support the insights and gift to humanity people of color bring to school communities.”

Hostetter invites his classmates – who marked their 50-year class reunion in 2021 – to join him in supporting the scholarship.

Gifts of any size to the fund may be mailed to the school at 801 Parkwood Drive, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801, or by donating online (button above).


Designate the gift for the “Students of Color Scholarship.”

Endowment funds sustain students beyond this generation, as earnings increase over time. Read more about planned giving here.