This list will help you address the different items that need to be considered in setting up a scholarship fund at the Community Foundation of Dunn County.  Foundation staff will be happy to work with you to determine the best choices for you to fulfill your intent for awarding academic scholarships.

Scholarship Criteria and Guidelines

To be drafted by the Donor or Organization establishing the Award:

  1. Name of Scholarship Fund

The name can include your family or organization’s name, the name of someone you are memorializing, the name of the school you are supporting, etc.  The Foundation will also need to know the full names of those to be associated with the fund, including:

  • Fund Holder/Advisor
  • Report Recipient(s)
  • Fund Succession

 2. Scholarship Description

The scholarship description is a written explanation of the purpose of the scholarship – what it was established to do and why, typically one page or less.  The Community Foundation includes this description on marketing materials to share this scholarship opportunity.  A photo may be submitted as well.

 3. Gift Amount to Initiate Fund

Scholarship funds are typically established with a minimum gift of  $10,000. Funds may be established during a donor’s lifetime, or via bequest, gift income, etc.

  4. Annual Scholarship Award Amount

The size of the award will be determined by the funds available.  You may choose to set the annual award amount, say one-$1,000 scholarship, or two-$500 scholarships each year, or you may prefer to suggest that the award amount be determined annually, providing more flexibility relative to the number of recipients each year.

5. Duration of the Award

The Scholarship may be a one-time award to a recipient annually, or you may wish to allow the recipient to renew the award as they continue their schooling.  You may recommend a maximum number of years the student may apply for a renewal, but please note this will affect the ability of the fund to issue a new award each year, as funds are allocated to renewals.

Scholarship guidelines which have a provision for renewal generally require that the scholarship recipient complete an application annually, or submit a grade report and a letter of intent to continue their education, rather than permitting an automatic renewal of the scholarship.

6. Eligibility Criteria

This section includes the general criteria you wish to be used to determine whether or not a person is qualified to apply for a scholarship.  We encourage you to provide flexibility where possible.  Criteria that are too narrow make it difficult to award a scholarship each and every year.  Possible selection criteria to consider include but are not limited to: demonstrated financial need, minimum GPA, community service hours, extra-curricular activities, specific field of study, etc.

7. Selection Criteria

This includes any specific standards to be used to identify the most qualified applicants who will be recommended by the review committee to the Board of Directors to receive the scholarship award.  For example, a preference or special consideration that is not listed as an eligibility requirement.  For example, you may wish to require an essay, a letter of recommendation, or you may give preference to an applicant pursuing a specific field of study rather than as a limitation for eligibility.

8. Scholarship Fund Roles

The Community Foundation shares various communications about the scholarship each year, including information about who received the award, annual fund statements, thank you letters from recipients, etc.  You may list your contact preferences and give additional names to be associated with the fund if you choose.

 9. Selection Process

The School District accepts all scholarship applications each year through the Guidance Department.  The Advisory Committee shall be made up of faculty members of the high school and/or community members.  All scholarship fund holders are welcome to participate on the selection committee, but the donor or the donor’s designees (related parties) may not chair the committee or in any way control the selection process or constitute a majority of the selection committee members.  The Foundation’s Board of Directors approves all Scholarship Advisory Committee members and all scholarship grant awards.

10. Making the Award

The Community Foundation Board of Directors gives final approval for all award recommendations made by the Advisory Committee.  The Community Foundation prepares an official Award Letter and Certificate for each awardee.  Donors are invited and encouraged to present the award at the school award ceremony if they wish, or have a family member or friend do so on their behalf.  If not, a Foundation staff member is happy to present the award as well.

11. Payment Schedule

Following the award ceremony, the student recipient is required to complete one full semester of post-secondary education and send the Community Foundation their official transcript and proof of enrollment for the subsequent semester.  Their scholarship award is then issued directly to the school, with the student’s name and identification number.  The scholarship award is applied to the student’s school account, and may only be used to cover direct expenses for tuition, books, or equipment directly related to their academic studies.