How do I apply for a scholarship?

You can apply for a scholarship by filling out the application form. As part of the application form, you will need to attach a budget for your requested funds. A template for a budget can be found here. Also, letters of support from a teacher and/or retreat center make applications more competitive. These documents can be attached on the final step of the application form.

How can I donate to the scholarship fund?

Donations, which are tax deductible, can be made here.

What is the Open Dharma Foundation and why does it exist?

The Open Dharma Foundation (ODF) is a 501c3 that exists to provide scholarships to silent meditation retreats. It’s inspired by people who think meditation retreats are beneficial if not downright transformative. The reason ODF wants to give scholarships to silent meditation retreats is so that more people have access to experiencing retreat, especially those who, without financial support, would not be able to attend a retreat.

What types of retreats are funded? Do retreats have to be in a certain lineage or tradition?

ODF exists to fund silent meditation retreats, meaning a retreat that will be spent in noble silence and dedicated to meditative practice. Retreats in any lineage or tradition can be applied for.

Who is eligible for a scholarship?

Anyone in financial need hoping to attend a silent meditation retreat may apply. Some things that make applicants more competitive are demonstrated financial need, a willingness to contribute some personal finances (if available), a history of dedicated and consistent meditation practice, support from sources outside of ODF such as the retreat center or teacher support, and thoughtful, compelling answers to the open questions on the end of the application.

Is there a deadline to apply for scholarships?

Scholarship applications under $300 are received on a rolling basis and have no deadline to apply. All applications for scholarships over $300 are reviewed on a quarterly basis.

Quarterly Deadlines:

  • January 15
  • April 15
  • August 15
  • October 15

Can scholarships cover more than retreat registration?

Absolutely. If travel, food, or lodging costs would inhibit your ability to attend a retreat, you may include those costs as part of your scholarship application. Make sure to define those costs clearly in the budget you submit. (See sample budget.)

How does ODF decide who receives scholarships?

Each application is scored by a rubric, and the highest scoring applicants are recommended as scholarship recipients to the board. For each deadline, previous scholarship winners are invited to grade the applications, which adds diversity to the grading process for any of the subjective aspects of the rubric. We think that it’s a good idea that people who have needed the scholarship fund in the past are the largest part of the decision making process for future scholarship recipients.