In the June 2-3 board meeting, the CBC Board of Trustees approved a “tuition-free” scholarship program for all members of the BMA of America churches. The BMA Promise is both a recruiting and retention incentive.
CBC President Terry Kimbrow admitted, “This is a huge leap of faith for us. However, over the years, the loyalty to the institution, founded by the Arkansas churches of what is now the Baptist Missionary Association, has waned.” Dr. D.N. Jackson, who was instrumental in the founding of CBC and was later elected to serve as the first president, said in the Dec. 5, 1951 issue of the Temple Trumpet (now the Baptist Trumpet), “We all know we need this college. We must provide an institution of higher learning for our young men and women. After all, it is upon their shoulders the responsibility of proclaiming the gospel will fall.”
Kimbrow commented, “That was over 70 years ago. I’m convinced we need this College more now than we did then.”
CBC is a four-year, private liberal arts college located in Conway that was founded in 1952 and, since its inception, has been committed to transforming lives through education that integrates Christian faith and academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment. CBC offers over 40 baccalaureate degree programs. These programs of study are offered in a traditional format, online and in an accelerated format through the PACE (Professional Adult Education Department) program. CBC also has 16 athletic teams that compete in the AMC conference of the NAIA and 6 fine arts performance groups.
According to Vice President for Enrollment Management Brooks Walthall, “The facts are quite sobering — only 9% of CBC students checked the BMAA box on their application when asked with what church they are affiliated. That may be misleading, because some of them may not even know they are members of a BMA church.”
Kimbrow said, “That is going to change.” The BMA Promise scholarship will benefit any student who is currently a member of a BMA church and has been for at least one year. The prospective student’s pastor will sign a simple statement, sent to him by the college, to confirm that the student has been a member for the required time. Students currently enrolled that meet the criteria will be eligible to apply for the BMA Promise.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees Jim Fink confirmed the action by the 20-member board. “We (the Board of Trustees) feel this will help reestablish the strong connection our churches have historically had with the mission and ministry of the college,” said Fink. “This is something all of our churches can get behind and promote.”
The BMA Promise will make up the gap between federal and state grants as well as scholarships and billed tuition. (The scholarship does not cover fees or room and board.) “To my knowledge, no other church-related college in Arkansas offers anything even close to this,” said Kimbrow.
“The mindset of some students and parents is that they cannot afford CBC,” noted Director of Financial Aid Tonya Hammontree. “As a result, they don’t give us the chance to package their financial aid.” The new scholarship will initially be limited to the first 50 students to complete the admissions process. The goal is to progressively grow the scholarship program, and to make it open to an unlimited number of BMA students. The BMA Promise applies only to students in the traditional program that have been a current member of the BMA church for at least one year.
To be eligible, students must complete the entire admissions process online (or contact the Department of Admissions at (501) 329-6873 or email email@example.com), submit the 2023-2024 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) and register for classes.
Learn more by visiting cbc.edu/BMAPromise. For additional questions, you can reach the admissions team at (501) 329-6873.