Student Recommended for Multiple Scholarship Awards

I am currently reviewing committee selections, and we have one applicant who is being recommended for five scholarships! She is clearly a stellar candidate, but I am concerned that she will have scholarships exceeding her total cost of education. We do not have a scholarship policy addressing this, and I was wondering if any fellow community foundations have anything in place to address this? Do you limit the number (or dollar amount) of awards a single student may receive in a given year? I am going to consult with our scholarship steering committee and would like to share with them how other community foundations handle these cases. Please share any policies or guidelines you have in place.

Laurie Abildso

Vice President

Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia, Inc.

KaraAdamsTammyKerch

Comments

  • Really interesting scenario, @LaurieAbildso. Looking forward to hearing how others would or have handled this!

    LaurieAbildso
  • We do not limit the number of scholarships a student receives. If they are stellar, they deserve the awards. We have not run into the awards being more than their tuition, although we do allow their scholarships to be used for books, housing, etc. in addition to the tuition.

    We did have a student who is a senior in college that had an overage due to the pandemic and schooling virtually. She is going onto Medical School this fall so her college returned the remaining money to us and we are sending it to the medical school this fall.

    LaurieAbildsoKaraAdamsSusanMiller
  • Thanks, @JodiBeers. Our committee met last night and decided to allow all of the awards since, together, they do not exceed her COA. It's a challenge not knowing what other institutional or external scholarships will be awarded, but the committee decided this student's application was worthy of the awards. We are going to revisit this in our post-scholarship season debrief meeting because we also see the value in spreading scholarships out among eligible recipients.

    Laurie Abildso

    Vice President

    Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia, Inc.

    KaraAdams
  • I would love to see more conversation on this topic. One of my children was always in the top 10 of her class. Those top students were competing for the same set of scholarships. The valedictorian of the class was awarded almost all of them. Is that the goal or should there be a way to reward the other students that are also very deserving?

    On a similar topic, there are community endowments in Mississippi that provide scholarships to children in those communities. The schools apply these scholarships first. Other scholarships exceed tuition are refunded. Most of these students are attending community colleges and live off campus. If the scholarships can be used for housing and other expenses not billed through the school, how do you handle the award?

    LaurieAbildsoKaraAdamsLacyChapman
  • This is such a good topic and one I am grappling with for the first time. The vast majority of our scholarships are based on "financial need" and may be award to students from a group of students from say, a number of high schools. We have asked the counselors from this school district to join us as part of the reviewers and part of the deliberation committee. All other things being equal, we find that these wonderful counselors seem to organically make sure that everyone gets something.

    With our recent change of software, it has opened some of our scholars to more than one scholarship remembering that these are need based scholarships.

    How has anyone else dealt with this issue?

    LaurieAbildsoKaraAdams
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