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An Educational Legacy

Many donors choose to create a scholarship for students as an enduring philanthropic legacy. As a donor, you’ll enjoy broad latitude to define the criteria of the scholarship itself. And, if you choose, you may remain involved in the recipient selection process.

The Community Foundation administers scholarship funds for donors, nonprofit organizations, civic clubs, service groups, and businesses. Most scholarship funds are started with a permanent endowment contribution that can be added to by the donor or by others at any time. The contributions are invested by the Foundation, and the earnings from the fund are utilized each year for the scholarships according to the criteria established by the donor. A scholarship can bear the name chosen by the donor or sponsoring organization, and the recipient is always informed of the source of the scholarship funds. Often scholarships are established as memorials for individuals whose interests are perpetuated by the fund.

Scholarship funds at the Foundation are ideal for donors who would like to have the administrative details of a scholarship program handled by professional staff. All permanent scholarship funds receive the benefit of the Foundation’s professionally managed investment program which will protect and enhance the scholarships’ value into the future. All scholarship funds must meet criteria established by the Internal Revenue Service and must have an objective process by which recipients are chosen.


Choosing Scholarship Criteria

The purpose of each scholarship fund at the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country is determined when it is created. There are two types of criteria that must be defined when establishing a scholarship fund: eligibility criteria and selection criteria. The first defines who may apply for the scholarship, while the second helps the scholarship committee determine who among the applicants should receive the scholarship.

While it is not beneficial to define eligibility in too restrictive a fashion (the pool of applicants may be too small), it is helpful to clarify eligibility enough to fulfill the donor’s intent and to avoid inappropriate applications being submitted. Establishing selection criteria is extremely important. When creating a scholarship fund, the donor must make a number of decisions in regard to the qualifications for recipients of their awards. Some of the possible considerations are listed below. There are many other options from which to choose.


Possible Selection Criteria:

Financial Need
Attend or attended a certain High School
Plan to attend a certain College or University

Underserved Populations
Length of Support
Academic Record
Moral Character
High School Activities
Community Service
Course of Study

The Foundation’s staff is available to meet with interested donors to help them think through the criteria for their scholarship and to help draft criteria.