As a scholarship donor, you choose the name of the scholarship as well as the criteria.

The Community Foundation staff is available to help you establish the criteria for your scholarship. Several examples of different criteria are listed here to help establish a scholarship that reflects your charitable intent.

Structuring Your Scholarship

Amount: You can decide how much their scholarship awards as well as how many students receive the award. Considerations for this process include: projected students’ degree timeframe, other financial aid, and desired lifetime of the scholarship fund.

Length: You may choose not only how much their typical scholarship award is, but also how long the scholarship will be awarded to its recipients. Here is our most common allocation of awards:

Scholarship Amount Per Student Scholarship Length
Less than $5,000 1 year
$5,001-$9,999 2 years
$10,000 and over 3 years

Disbursement: You may set restrictions on what kind of costs are covered by the scholarship awards. Traditionally, scholarships are used to pay for expenses added to the student’s higher education billing (including tuition, meal plans, on-campus housing costs, books…etc.).

Selecting Your Ideal Recipient

When you establish your scholarship, you decide the type of student you would like to award. Due to IRS regulations, the selection criteria must create a broad applicant pool but there are still plenty of ways you can customize your selection criteria.

Achievements, Activities, & Aspirations: What a student does in and out of the classroom as well as their future plans are common selection criteria. If this is important to you, consider these factors:

  1. Do you have a qualifying high school GPA? Some donors have even established a maximum GPA requirement to support students who may not qualify for other scholarships.
  2. Are there any specific extracurricular activities you’d like to see on a student’s profile? These could be specific involvements, such as being an athlete, a nonprofit volunteer, or a quiz bowl leader.
  3. Is there a specific college major or career interest you would like you scholarship to support? Examples can include: Journalism, Accounting, Biology; First Responder, etc.

Location: You may also have a preference to award scholarships based on where the student is from or where they will be completing their higher education. If this is important to you, we ask these questions:

  1. Do you want your recipient to come from a specific high school?
  2. Can your recipient to attend a college/university in-state, out-of-state, or both?
  3. Will you require your recipient to be a U.S. citizen?

Administering Your Scholarship

The Community Foundation’s Scholarship Policies and Procedures are designed to help us administer your scholarship as efficiently as possible. We will ensure your scholarship recipients maintain certain standards. These standards include:

  1. Signing a Scholarship Agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of their scholarship.
  2. Full-time status at an accredited college, university, or vocational school is required of all Community Foundation Scholarship Recipients.
  3. A minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA while attending school. If the student’s GPA drops below the 2.5 minimum, they will have up to two semesters to raise their cumulative GPA back to the minimum requirement.
  4. If required during the selection process, students must maintain their original declared major or school choice. Students are made aware they may lose their scholarship if they change schools or majors.
  5. Submission of an annual thank-you note to the fundholder of the scholarship.