AcademicsGraduate AcademicsDivinityFrederick P. Lenz Foundation Merit Scholarship

Frederick P. Lenz Foundation Merit Scholarship

The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism seeks to inspire the emergence of an enlightened American society that reflects the universal Buddhist values of wisdom, compassion, mindfulness, and meditation.

The purpose of the Lenz Foundation Merit Scholarship is to attract the best and brightest students to Naropa University, and to support the studies of those who will go on to make significant contributions to American Buddhism.

  • $10,000–$15,000 for each academic year in which the student is enrolled while meeting the academic requirements of the program

  • Unless otherwise specified, one new student will receive the award each year.

Application deadline: March 1 by 11:59pm 

The Lenz Foundation Merit Scholarship will be awarded to one new student each year.

In order to apply, you must meet the below criteria:

  • Apply to either the Master of Divinity or Yoga Studies graduate program
  • Able to demonstrate outstanding academic record and promise
  • U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
  • Demonstrate potential for making a meaningful contribution to the development of America Buddhism
  1. Completed admissions application to the Master of Divinity or Yoga Studies master’s program

  2. Lenz Cover Letter: Outline why you are qualified for the award, and how you hope to make a contribution to Buddhism in America (1–2 pages)

  3. Lenz Essay: Describe an aspect of Frederick Lenz’s work. View the Lenz Foundation Merit Scholarship essay topic (6–8 pages)

  4. Academic Paper: an academic paper you have written in an undergraduate or graduate course, one that represents the quality of your academic writing and critical thinking skills (8–15 pages)

  5. Two letters of recommendation and a resume are required. (The resume and recommendations submitted to Admissions will be used for the Lenz application unless the applicant chooses to submit new versions.)

  6. This scholarship is not need-based, however, students will need to have a completed 2023–2024 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file to be considered.

  7. Interview: Before a final selection is made, candidate(s) may be required to complete a phone interview with the members of the Lenz Foundation and the scholarship selection committee as part of the selection process.

To continue receiving the scholarship after the first year of study, the student must:

  • Maintain status as a full-time student

  • Maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA

  • Continue to demonstrate both academic and personal excellence in fulfillment of departmental and vocational expectations

  • Submit a cover letter and essay describing the student’s current thinking about career goals and personal evolution as a result of scholastic work and contemplative practice

  • A new FAFSA must be completed for each academic year

  • Prior to the recipient commencing their final academic year at Naropa, and prior to any funding of that recipient’s Lenz Scholarship for that final academic year, the recipient will write a scholarly paper analyzing and commenting upon some aspect of Dr. Lenz’s work, and shall submit the same to the Financial Aid Office.

  • Faculty within the Wisdom Traditions Department shall review the paper, and, if worthy, certify it for academic excellence and then submit this to the Foundation *The Foundation may publish the paper in whole or part, in any form or media, at the discretion of the Foundation.

  • If this condition is not met, the recipient shall not receive a Lenz Scholarship for their final year.

Lenz Scholars that successfully complete their matriculation and graduate as a Lenz Scholar may have the opportunity to:

  1. Participate in Lenz Foundation grantee training programs as may be available from time to time; and

  2. Apply for grants on a favored consideration basis to the Lenz Foundation for and on behalf of any 501(c)(3) public charity organization by which they are employed or with which they are affiliated, and which may be otherwise qualified to receive grants under the Lenz Foundation’s grant making guidelines.

Jeffrey Neering head shot


with your counselor

Jeffrey Neering

Graduate Admissions Counselor


The Lenz Foundation Merit Scholarship hopes to attract the best and brightest students to Naropa University, and to support the studies of those who will go on to make significant contributions to American Buddhism.

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