Basic tips for starting a scholarship

Tips are offered to help an individual or organization start a scholarship fund to assist youth in pursuing postsecondary education.

Have you thought about different ways to support youth after they graduate from high school? Would you like to assist students somehow with their postsecondary educational goals?

According to Michigan State University Extension, many students graduating from high school need some sort of financial assistance to pay for postsecondary education. Have you thought about starting a scholarship fund for students? With the rising costs of college, financial assistance is important for postsecondary education. Providing a scholarship of any size, small or large, would help a student. states some basic questions for starting a scholarship.  These questions are: 

  • Who? – Who is your target audience?
  • What? – What type of gift/scholarship will be offered to the student?
  • When? – When does the application process start and when is the deadline?

LifeTips gives helpful tips on steps for setting up a scholarship fund.  From those tips, there are some questions to consider:

  • What is the amount of money that will be made available for the scholarship?
  • What are the rules and regulations or state and federal laws needed to establish and operate the scholarship program? This includes Internal Revenue Service Regulations.
  • What will the scholarship value be?  Will the scholarship amount be the same each year or will the amount vary each year?
  • What are the qualifications or eligibility requirements to receive the scholarship?
  • Once the scholarship is awarded can the scholarship recipient(s) reapply?  Can the scholarship be renewed based on the criteria set for the scholarship?
  • Will the scholarship be set up as a one-time gift or an endowment fund?

Also according to LifeTips, two places a person or organization can check for starting a scholarship are a college or university and the local community foundation. Each option has guidelines and steps for setting up a scholarship.

Setting up a scholarship is a way to invest in our future. As a member in the community, community or youth organization, 4-H Leaders Council, or champion for higher education, make an investment to help start a scholarship to provide more opportunities for increased accessibility to higher education. With the basic tips available for starting scholarships, get partners and collaborate on efforts for visioning, strategic planning and fundraising to make the reality of starting a scholarship happen.

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