What is a scholarship "endowment"?
An endowment is money that has been given to the College Heights Foundation with the intent that the corpus will remain in-tact in perpetuity. These funds are invested and the interest generated by these investments is paid out in annual scholarship awards.
What are the spending and investment policies for an endowment?
The CHF engages professional investment advisors to manage funds in a way that will provide current support and ensure future support through a total return approach to investment management with a long-term investment horizon. The investment policy maintains a strategic balance of 65% equities/35% fixed. The spending policy means that a percentage of the earnings are awarded in scholarships annually and the remainder above spending and fees is placed back into the corpus of the fund so it will grow over time to protect against inflation and future tuition increases. The spending policy established by the College Heights Foundation Board of Directors is 4% of a three year trailing rolling average of the total fund balance.
What level of student is currently receiving scholarship awards from WKU?
The current merit based awards are being given to students with minimum of a 26 ACT and a 3.3 GPA and the amount fluctuates based on the academic record of the student. However, scholarship funds within the College Heights Foundation can provide a supplemental award to these merit based scholarships or provide funds for students who are not already receiving other University merit based aid.
Will I be able to place preferences (geographical, academic, discipline, etc.) when I endow a scholarship fund?
Yes, your specific guidelines will be noted as preferences. However, flexibility is also important because too many restrictions may lessen the chances of the scholarship being given every year.
Do I have the option to make my scholarship renewable or non-renewable?
A renewable scholarship is one that can be given to the same student every year as he/she progresses through WKU, provided minimum requirements continue to be met. Donors may choose whether to have their scholarship renewable or non-renewable. Non-renewable funds are given to a new student each year who meet the criteria established by the donor.
Do I receive information on the student who receives my scholarship and/or have the opportunity to meet that student?
WKU recognizes the importance of knowing something about the student(s) who receives your scholarship. Students are encouraged to write an initial "thank you" letter to the donor and, in addition, scholarship donors and the students who receive named scholarships are invited each year to the WKU Scholarship Celebration, which provides a wonderful opportunity for donor to get to know the student(s) who benefits from your support.
Can I change the criteria of my scholarship at a later date?
Yes, criteria can be modified. However, the timing of enacting changes in a renewable scholarship will be reviewed on an individual basis so as not to adversely affect a current recipient.
What happens if no student qualifies for the scholarship in a given year?
Should no one meet the requirements for your scholarship, alternate preferences can be considered or if no award is given, the fund will continue to grow until the next round of scholarship applications.
How much is required to create an account within the College Heights Foundation?
An endowed scholarship fund requires a minimum of $10,000, and non-endowed accounts require at least $1,000.
What is the difference between endowed and non-endowed accounts?
The investment objective for the endowed assets of the College Heights Foundation is to achieve growth that will preserve and increase the purchasing power of the assets. An endowment is designed to exist in perpetuity so scholarships will be provided to deserving students forever. A non-endowed account is designed to benefit students with the corpus of the gift, as opposed to just the interest generated, and will provide meaningful awards so long as the funds are available but the fund will eventually cease to exist when all the awards have been made.
How can my gift be funded?
Gifts may be in the form of cash, stock, real estate or other means in keeping with University and CHF guidelines.
May I pledge my gift over a period of years?
Yes. We will allow pledges to be structured up to five years.
If an endowed scholarship is funded over time, is there a way in which to begin partial awards prior to reaching the fully-funded amount?
Yes, as long as a minimum of $10,000 has already been given and only after funds have been in place at least one calendar year so that interest may be generated for some award pay-out. Awards from partially-funded endowments will be based on the actual amount in the fund.
If I am unable to commit to the minimum threshold of $10,000 to endow a scholarship, but still want to contribute, what becomes of my gift?
Gifts of all sizes are welcomed. All gifts which are not eligible for a named scholarship will be added to the General Scholarship Fund in the College Heights Foundation. This fund provides awards for deserving students.
Are gifts to the College Heights Foundation tax-deductible?
Yes. The CHF is a 501c3 organization and gifts may be considered tax deductible to the extent allowed by law and your own individual tax situation.
What is the difference between the College Heights Foundation and other institutionally related foundations at WKU?
The College Heights Foundation primarily exists to accept and administer scholarship gifts which provide encouragement and assistance to worthy and deserving students enrolled at Western Kentucky University. Please click here to review a list of the other WKU institutionally related foundations and their primary purpose.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us.
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