Establishing a Scholarship
How Scholarships Work
Donors interested in promoting educational opportunities for students often establish scholarship funds, a special sort of donor advised fund. This may also be a preferred opportunity to honor a community organization or remember a family member with a memorial scholarship.
Scholarships may support any level of education and can be based on the school the student is attending, their chosen field of study, financial need, or the community the student is from.
The Community Foundation plays an oversight role with the grant making and administration of all scholarship funds and helps donors comply with all tax regulations. The Foundation can help establish and monitor selection criteria, publicize the scholarship and choose recipients.
The following is a set of generic guidelines considering the establishment of a scholarship fund with the Community Foundation
The donor(s) should decide how to define a scholarship fund using the following areas as guidelines for discussion:
Criteria for applicants:
The applicants for the scholarship must meet some or all of the following criteria:
- Show achievement in academics i.e a minimum GPA, athletic, community service, leadership or character, demonstrate financial need, etc.
- Be a graduating senior from a public or private high school or college level or graduate schools
- Have demonstrated superior work in a particular field of study
- Be accepted to a four-year university or college, community college or vocational school.
Purpose of the scholarship
- To give financial support toward the expense of the tuition, and/or room and board.
- To be awarded as a one-time "lump sum" award or a renewable award if certain criteria are met.
Process of managing the scholarship:
- Who will write the initial application? What kinds of questions will it ask? What type of references will be required? (teachers, guidance counselors, adults outside the school environment etc.)
- Who will distribute the applications?
- Who is responsible for the collection of the applications?
- What is the schedule and timing of the application process?
- Who/how many will serve on the Scholarship Advisory Committee?
- What will be the criteria for ranking and selecting?
The Role of the Elk County Community Foundation:
- Once your Scholarship Advisory Committee has selected a finalist, the recommendation is submitted to the Community Foundation for final approval.
- Next, the finalist(s) for your scholarship will verify a form sent by the Community Foundation that provides the necessary information for the ultimate issuance of the scholarship check. The check will be made payable to the educational institution restricted to the named students account. The Foundation's check will not be made payable to the individual student.
- The scholarship fund itself becomes active after the donor completes a fund agreement, and sends a check/stock (sold upon receipt) to be deposited in this fund. Additions can be made at any time and all contributions are tax-deductible.
The above items are extensive but by no means all encompassing. Add and subtract as it fits your scholarship's definition. call us at any time. We are advocates for, and supports of, scholarships for deserving students.