LDS Post Mission Grants

While the ELM Foundation was created to help families become self-reliant, an increasing percentage of the Foundation’s budget is being devoted to young men and women who have served as LDS missionaries. After devoting two years of their lives to serving the Lord, developing exceptional skills, and maturing in significant ways, many of our returned missionaries come home unable to achieve educational goals they have set while serving on their missions. The ELM Foundation post mission education grants are designed to provide "gap funding" for returned missionaries who desire to complete their education following their mission.Grants may be used to fund gaps once all other scholarships, grants, and aid are applied.


Who: While serving as a counselor in the Alabama Birmingham Mission presidency, one of our founders discovered the need for education gap funding for returned missionaries.  Since 2015, grants have been made to recently returned missionaries who served in the Alabama Birmingham Mission and who needed financial assistance in paying for college or certification costs. With the help of generous donors, we now hope to offer post mission grants to missionaries serving in other missions.

What: Post mission education grants may be used to meet any funding gaps for degree programs at two year and four year colleges as well as for trade certification and are not limited to tuition assistance. The goal of these grants is to help individuals become economically independent on graduation so consideration is given to the selection of a major with high employability. Gap funding can be used for tuition, books, fees, or other expenses associated with universities, community colleges, certifications, or technical schools.  COMPLETION OF THE FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA) IS MANDATORY and FAFSA information must be included with the grant application. 


How: Grants are awarded three times a year after review by the Grants Committee and following Board approval and are funded by donations made in keeping with the Foundation’s acceptance policy. Due to The ELM Foundation's unique funding structure, 100% of all donations to the post mission grant program go to grant recipients.  Referral can be made by a member of the mission presidency before the missionary returns home. Grants are awarded based on a competitive application process. Need, including family and personal circumstances, are prime considerations in selection. The ELM Foundation Grants Committee reviews grant applications three times a year in February, June, and October and makes selections for Fall, Winter/Spring and Summer semesters. Click to download a copy of the application. 

Case Management: Case management is intensive up front as basic development plans are created but becomes less demanding once the missionary begins college. There is limited long distance ongoing case management as needed. The missionary must report accountability to the agreed upon plan at the end of each semester. Failure to comply with the agreed upon plan may result in suspension of the grant. 


The demand for scholarships for returned missionaries has increased much more quickly than for any other grant referrals received by The ELM Foundation. In 2015, the Foundation funded over $36,000 in grants for fifteen returned missionaries. In 2016, we received 61 referrals and funded $175,000 in missionary grants.  To date, over 60% of our education grants are made to returned missionaries and we will fund more than $225,000 in missionary grants by the end of 2017.

ELM Education Grants Deadlines

The ELM Foundation Grants Committee meets three times a year to consider education grants including post mission education grants. Final approval of all grants is made by the Board of Directors at regualrly scheduled Board meetings. 

  • Applications for Summer 2018 semester due January 1, 2018

  • Applications for Fall 2018 semester due May 1, 2018 

  • Applications for the Winter/Spring 2019 semester due September 1, 2018 


ELM Education Grants Criteria

Grants will be awarded based on applicant need and potential. The ELM Grants Committee and Board will consider the following in awarding post mission education grants: 

  1. Eligible for a full Pell grant 

  2. Anticipated student loans for four years will not be more than anticipated first year starting salary

  3. Family has extenuating circumstances

  4. Potential employability based on chosen career path

  5. Applicant will not be able to attend school without an ELM grant

  6. Applicant’s expenses are reasonable and include a willingness to accept lower cost alternative program options such as attending a state school or community college 


Carlos--His family left Central America following death threats from local drug gangs. He is attending BYU and majoring in Chemical Engineering.   He receives a small scholarship and will contribute $2,500 of personal employment funds toward school expenses. He has a funding gap of approximately $14,278.00 per year.  He is not eligible for FAFSA due to his immigration status. He has completed two internships with large corporations and hopes to work in the petroleum industry. 


David--Attending the College of Southern Idaho majoring in Elementary Education.  He was inspired to major in education by his single mother who is a teacher and helped support him on his mission. He is eligible for a full Pell grant as well as tuition assistance via The National Guard. He receives a grant for books and supplies as well as living expenses such as food and transportation, is employed part time and will continue to serve in the National Guard.

Stephanie-- Attends BYU Idaho and will graduate in December 2019 with a degree in Communications. Her father passed away unexpectedly and her mother is struggling financially and contributing very little toward her expenses. She supports herself with an Etsy shop to sell her digital artwork. Her grandmother contributes $300 per month to her expenses.

Samuel—Attends BYU majoring in Information Systems and Technology. He works 18 hours per week and is not eligible for any FAFSA funding due to his immigration status. His family is unable to assist due to severe economic hardship in Ghana.  He recently had severe dental infections in two teeth that required root canals. The ELM Foundation negotiated with a dentist in Orem and we were able to help fund dental care as well tuition assistance

Janie—Lives in Uganda.  She is studying Garment Making and is attending the Young Women Christian Association of Uganda.  Her father is deceased and her mother is unemployed and cannot contribute to her education or living expenses. Janie is currently employed but cannot meet all her educational expenses.

Our Grants Go to Many Schools!

The ELM Foundation     7501 Memorial Parkway SW Suite 115, Huntsville AL 35802      256-217-7141

ELM is a 501 (c) (3) organization and contributions are deductible under section 170 of the IRS code.