Endowed scholarships give hundreds of worthy students access to a Wheaton College education that would otherwise be out of their reach.
Wheaton has attracted some of the most gifted Christian students in the country for over 150 years. But today, many promising applicants face a hard decision when their choice to attend Wheaton might burden their families with thousands of dollars of debt.
Since 2006, Wheaton has seen a steady increase in the need for scholarship aid as tuition costs continue to outpace inflation, family income, and federal tuition assistance. Without scholarship aid, only the most financially capable students would have access to all that Wheaton offers.
Wheaton College’s endowed scholarship program is one response to this growing need. Many of our alumni and friends agree that assisting these young people on their way to becoming whole and effective servants of Jesus Christ is one of the most rewarding investments they will ever make. During the 2011-12 school year alone, 65% of Wheaton undergraduates benefitted from the scholarship program, totaling nearly $5 million of aid.
You can provide the means for deserving students to enter Wheaton College, year after year, through an endowed scholarship fund. What better way to honor a loved one, friend, or favorite professor than by investing in the lives of young men and women preparing to be extraordinary workers for Christ and His Kingdom?
What is an endowed scholarship?
Endowed scholarships are funds established by individuals, families, or groups of donors (such as alumni reunion classes) to provide continual aid to Wheaton College students who have general financial need or who meet established criteria. Endowed scholarships may be named in someone’s honor or in another way that is meaningful to the donor and recipients.
Those who establish or contribute to an endowed scholarship may be kept informed of the scholarship fund’s status through an annual report. When a scholarship is fully funded, the donors typically receive information about student recipients, which helps to convey the real, immediate, and ongoing impact of the scholarship.
What does it mean to “endow” a scholarship?
When a donor establishes an endowed scholarship fund, the gift amount is retained in perpetuity and cannot be spent; the revenue from the endowed scholarship fund provides annual awards to students on a continual basis. Student awards equal a percentage of an endowed scholarship fund’s weighted average of past valuations. Any earning in excess of the student award is reinvested into the scholarship fund, allowing awards to keep pace with the rate of inflation. While each endowed scholarship is accounted separately, each scholarship fund’s balance is commingled with other Wheaton College endowment funds, increasing its potential for investment return while further strengthening its investment potential.
How are endowed scholarships awarded?
Any student who demonstrates financial need is eligible to receive unrestricted endowed scholarships. The Financial Aid office distributes these awards according to the award level of each fund and the student recipient’s need. Unrestricted endowed scholarships provide the greatest flexibility for helping students with financial need.
Distributions from restricted endowed scholarships are made according to the specified requirements of each fund. For example, an endowed scholarship might be restricted to children of full-time Christian workers, students with a specific major, or first-generation college students. The Financial Aid office consults with appropriate campus resources to seek qualified student recipients. If eligible recipients cannot be found, award income is either held over until the following academic year or reinvested back into a restricted endowed scholarship’s fund.
How can I set up an endowed scholarship?
Endowed scholarships may be established with an initial gift of $5,000 and a signed application. Once approved, a memorandum of agreement outlining the terms of the endowed scholarship will be sent to the establisher for their signature. Endowed scholarships are frequently funded by gifts of cash, but they may also be funded by transfers of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and other types of property. Gifts toward endowed scholarships may also be made by bequest. Please contact the Office of Development for additional information or assistance.