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How to Endow a Scholarship

There may be contribution minimum requirements to set up a scholarship in your area. Here's what you need to know.

Question: My family would like to establish an engineering scholarship in memory of my uncle. How do we set one up? - E.S., Green Bay, Wis.

Answer: You can set up a scholarship directly with a college or support local students through a community foundation (see www.cof.org/community-foundation-locator to find one in your area). You generally need to contribute at least $25,000 to $50,000 to set up an endowed scholarship, which will provide an award every year in the future. For example, you need to contribute at least $25,000 to endow a scholarship at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, which would pay out about $1,125 per year. Or you may be able to give a smaller amount and provide scholarships for a few years.

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If you’re setting up a scholarship at a college, ask the development department how much of the criteria you can specify (such as reserving awards for engineering students).

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