When someone holds a special place in your heart, makes a big impact in your life, or changes the community for good, it’s fitting to honor their contributions. This is especially true for those who seek to memorialize individuals through a scholarship. Education is the gift that lasts a lifetime, and a memorial scholarship provides a meaningful way for a family, foundation, or company to honor that special person while carrying his or her legacy forward to future generations of students.
1. Determine the type of scholarship fund you would like to establish. Endowed scholarship fund: Designed to be permanent and perpetual, the principal of the fund is invested for long-term growth and generally produces investment income. An annual award is made to a student(s) from the income earned. The principal remains untouched, so the endowment can last into perpetuity. A minimum of $20,000 donated within five years is needed to establish an endowed scholarship fund. The fund will not be used for scholarship awards until the minimum fund amount is met.
Annual scholarship fund: Established with an outright gift, an annual scholarship is not a permanent fund and is awarded only as long as you or others choose to contribute to the fund. The donor may choose the size of the scholarship awarded. The suggested scholarship amount is a minimum of $1,000.
Step 2: Establish Scholarship Criteria
As a scholarship donor, you choose the name of the scholarship as well as the criteria. We are here to help. Endowed scholarships from the Foundation are awarded to deserving students based upon areas of interest, academic achievement, area of residence, and/or financial need. However, the less specific you are with your criteria, the easier it is to give the scholarship to any deserving student. Guidelines for the use of the scholarship will be agreed upon by you and the Foundation in a mutually executed Fund Agreement and kept on file in the Foundation office.
Step 3: Administration of Scholarship Funds
Walker College Foundation’s scholarship committee carefully reviews the scholarship applications submitted by students and selects the most deserving recipient(s) based on the donor-established criteria. Unless otherwise specified by the scholarship criteria, Walker College Foundation scholarships are provided to students attending the Walker College Campus of Bevill State. They are one-year scholarships that are renewable for a second year provided the recipient maintains a 2.75 cumulative annual GPA.
If you would prefer your scholarship be awarded to a student attending a four-year university, you may specify your fund as a transfer scholarship fund. These scholarship awards are presented to top WCF scholars who graduate from Bevill State-Walker College Campus and are transferring to a four-year university to complete their studies.
Major contributors of a scholarship fund are notified annually when the scholarship recipient(s) has been selected. Recipients often write a thank-you note to the donor, and in some cases, the recipient and donor are able to meet.
An outright gift in the form of cash or appreciated securities will allow you to receive immediate tax benefits in the year you make the gift to the Walker College Foundation. In the case of appreciated securities, you may also avoid capital gains taxes.
You can also provide for your scholarship in your estate plans. Estate gifts or planned gifts are an easy way to establish a scholarship without affecting your current income or assets.