Scholarship Discounts

How do I apply for a scholarship discount?

We have ample resources for scholarships and are pleased and honored to make them available to anyone wishing to take our courses. Our financial aid policy is as follows:

  1. Ideally, everyone should pay something toward our courses, however small. But this may be impossible in some cases because of personal circumstances or geographical location.
  2. No one should be excluded from our courses based on finances.
  3. We are able to accept credit cards, checks, and cash, and can accept up to four installment payments.
  4. We are independent of the Bahá’í Fund and must cover our expenses or close our doors.
  5. We ask people to consider their expenses carefully and let us know what they can fairly and reasonably afford, just as they might when considering what they owe Huququ’llah. Write us at wi@usbnc.org .

Why does the Wilmette Institute charge for its courses?

The Institute was mandated to be independent of the Baha’i funds when it was established in 1995, and to date we have covered all our expenses through tuition charges and fund raising. We have to pay staff, we provide many faculty an honorarium for their many hours of professional teaching efforts for our learners, and we have numerous software, communications, and publicity expenses, like any professional organization would. We have also found that when people pay something, however small, they take the course more seriously.

We are, however, developing courses for youth or members of the community of interest that will be free or have a small nominal charge only. To cover our costs and provide ample scholarship discounts to those who need them, the Institute does fund raising.

How much do online courses cost? 

It depends on the course. The “base rate” (for one learner) is usually $75 for a 7-week course. Senior citizens, pioneers, and students get a 20% discount. For groups, creating the group and registering the first person costs the “base rate” and each additional group member is registered at a 40% discount. Our registration system automatically gives a ten percent discount for a registration a month or more in advance. The base rate for shorter courses is as little as $30.

Note: a “senior citizen” is 65 or older; groups can have up to 20 members.

All group charges must go on ONE credit card; it is too complicated for the Institute to make charges to multiple cards, especially if there are partial refunds. The person charging for the group should divide up the costs and refunds.

May I pay in installments? 

Yes. If you are unable to pay full tuition at the time of registration, you may pay in up to four installments. We prefer that you make a down payment by credit card when you register and email the Institute how many installments you want to pay, how much, and on what dates. The Institute will schedule the remaining payments and confirm them with you. Often, people find that installments solve their payment problem without the need to ask for a scholarship discount.

May I contribute to the Scholarship Fund? 

Absolutely! See our latest scholarship appeal. Checks made out to “Wilmette Institute” may be mailed to us at Wilmette Institute, Baha’i National Center, 1233 Central St., Evanston, IL 60201. Please specify they are for the “scholarship fund.”