According to statistics gathered by the National Scholarship Providers Association, approximately $100 million in scholarship money is left sitting on the sidelines each year, unused. Even though the number of scholarships awarded in the United States has increased overall by more than 45% over the last decade, not enough students are applying. These are sobering statistics, considering that the burden of tuition and student loan debt is weighing heavily on America’s young adults.
This presents a challenge for you and other donors who are interested in supporting education as a charitable giving priority. On one hand, you want to help students get the education they need to thrive in their careers. On the other hand, no one wants to fund a scholarship that goes unused.
The Community Foundation can help. Our team will work with you to establish a tailored charitable giving plan that meets your desire to support education while helping to ensure that the money does not go unused.
First, we’ll help you think broadly about education. Limiting a scholarship fund to four-year institutions could result in a lot of missed opportunities. A college or university is not the only option for post-secondary learning and career readiness. Community colleges, trade schools, vocational programs, and out-of-the-box learning experiences may be a better fit for some students.
Next, our team will help you craft the criteria for the scholarship so that it is not too narrow. In other words, casting a wide net can be important to ensure a strong pool of applicants. Limiting scholarship recipients to one area of study, or very specific high school credentials may mean that there simply will not be enough applicants to fully utilize the scholarship dollars.
Finally, The Community Foundation team is happy to help you with the strategy for getting the word out. Many times, would-be applicants simply are not aware of all the options for scholarships. If scholarship funds don’t adequately promote the opportunities, it may be hard to capture students’ attention as they wade through the vast amount of information available about paying for college.
The team at The Community Foundation is honored to serve as a resource and sounding board as you build your charitable plans and pursue your philanthropic objectives for making a difference in the community. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice. Please consult your tax or legal advisor to learn how this information might apply to your own situation.
Want to learn more? Call The Community Foundation at 540-432-3863 or email Ann Siciliano at [email protected]!