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International Scholarships

Hi from New Orleans! We are considering offering scholarships to dependent children of employees in non-us offices which include Australia, Ireland, Great Britain, France, and Canada. Does anyone have experience with this? Some of my specific questions are:

  1. We normally make the check payable to the university and the student jointly. What does the payment look like? Is it a wire transfer?
  2. One of our requirements is that the award go to dependent children. We use the IRS 1040 page 1 to determine dependency. What is equivalent in other countries to prove dependency?
  3. Will the Foundation get the deduction for the scholarship grant paid internationally or will it just be an expense?
  4. Do you have different due dates based on different semester breaks or year end breaks? I don't even know if each country's university calendar runs on semesters or not.
  5. One of our requirements is full-time enrollment status or at least 12 hours in most cases. Any suggestions on what that would look like internationally?

Many thanks,

Lisa B. Williams

Goldring Family Foundation

GMWscholarships.com

(Cross-posted by Community Manager)

Comments

  • I am the Scholarship Officer a Community Foundation and we have two scholarship funds for the same organization, one is for employees and the other is for dependents of the employees. We award anywhere from 30 - 50 scholarships totaling $60,000 - $100,000 to international students as this organization has locations worldwide. The country that the majority of our international recipients reside in is Mexico, but we also have recipients in India, China, Canada, Poland, Singapore, and the Netherlands.

    1. We only make the checks payable to the university, but include the student's name and student Id on the check. This is done differently depending on each country. For Mexico, we send one check to a Community Foundation in California who works with a Community Foundation in Mexico that actually hand delivers the checks to the recipient's universities or the university's designated bank. This is a way much more in depth process than any other countries we make scholarships or grants to partially due to corruption, but we also are not able to verify that those schools are accredited. This is good for a couple of reasons as it eliminates some of the risk off of us paying scholarships to non accredited schools and it decreases the amount of things lost in translation. Mexico also has a lot more requirements such as submitting their birth certificate and other forms of identification for scholarships. For Canada and Poland, this will depend on the school, but we usually do a wire transfer because those schools do not accept US checks so when our bank does the wire transfer, they handle all the conversions. For India and China, we mail the check using DHL to ensure that it arrives there safely. Now these scholarships are done differently than many of our other scholarships as we don't charge a flat admin fee, but instead track all of our fees including our admin time, wire transfer fees, granting fees from the CF in Mexico, and mailing costs so we directly charge the organization these expenses at the end of the scholarship cycle in September. My suggestion would be to contact some schools in those countries that your recipients may potential be attending to see what each of their policies are as I am assuming they will all be different. And if they must be done via wire transfer, require your recipients to give you their school's bank information so you do not have to track that down.
    2. Right now, we just work with the organization to verify that the dependents are in fact dependents of employees, but we don't require any type of form as it would be hard to require this from international applicants. We rely on organization to market these scholarships to their employees and we require applicants to complete a true and accurate statement at the end of the application basically stating that the information provided by them is correct.
    3. This one I am not sure exactly how this works.
    4. We do not have different deadlines as it could get extremely messy, but from my experience every country runs their semesters a little different, but it is similar. We pay all our scholarships in late July, but we do adjust accordingly depending on when an international student's semester starts. To help sort this out, we ask our recipients on our Scholarship Recipient Form (which is set up as Follow Up in SLM), the start dates for their fall, spring and summer semesters so we can have a better sense of the timing. But I will say that Poland for example refers to their semesters as winter (which starts in September) and summer (which starts in April I believe).
    5. This is also going to look different for every country as many don't look like the typical 4 year US program. Instead some are only 2 or 3 years and it really depends on the program at the school.


    My suggestions would be:

    1. First evaluate the impact of those scholarship to international students. For the majority many of our international students, a $2,000 scholarship can cover an entire year's tuition costs or at least have a big impact as compared to a state school in america.
    2. Then look at how many scholarships you think you will be awarding as it is going to be more work for you so it might not make sense to do that if you there isn't many scholarships as the expenses can start to add up.
    3. If possible, I would suggest starting out with Canada as they are a lot more similar to US than the other countries as you it as your trial run.
    4. If you don't think it would be worth it to only start with Canada, I would start with countries that speak English because the language barrier can be a huge hindrance not only for your organization, but for the students. You will have to factor in any expenses associated with translation if needed, but more importantly you need to set clear expectations on how you are accepting applications. We specifically state that all applications must be completed in English.
    KaraAdamsLynsieLaughlin
  • Wow! Thank you so much for this information. This is incredibly helpful!

    KaraAdams
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