Scholarship Withdrawals

We have a scholarship program for dependents of employees. We increased the amount of per semester scholarship to $3,000. Several schools do not cost this much leaving the student a balance on their fee bill. I have had a request from a student for permission to withdraw the remainder to purchase supplies/computer etc. There seems to be several options of how to answer this question assuming we can legally distribute the remainder for supplies and equipment. How do y'all handle this?

Do you allow the balance to roll-over to the next semester?

Just say "No" to withdrawals?

Limit the withdrawal amount to a set dollar amount?

Require a letter asking for specifics?

Always allow withdrawals?

Lisa B. Williams

[email protected]




  • Tough situation. Can I ask a point of clarification? Can you explain "permission to withdraw" a little more? What are they withdrawing from? An account at your foundation or an account with their school?

  • We write the check to the student and the school jointly. Theoretically the schools will not release the remainder or overage unless we send a letter approving it. Thanks for asking.

    [email protected]


  • Got it! Okay, ultimately, our strategy is to encourage any "overage" to be used for future tuition/fees/etc. If that's not an option, or if that will compound the problem, then releasing the funds directly to the student is acceptable. (We make a point to let the students know that this money will have tax liabilities.)

    Our foundation plays a much more "hands off" approach. We issue the checks to the schools directly, and have as few strings attached to those funds as possible. As such, there are situations where the schools will automatically issue any overage back to the students without alerting us, and that's okay with us.

    Our guiding philosophy is that scholarships will help students during college, and that it's not really about the college they choose or the costs at that particular college. So if some of the funds are used for gas, or rent, or food, or cell phone bill, then that is fine by us.

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