Steps to Establish a Scholarship
Within the boundaries of OSAC requirements, each scholarship at OSAC is unique and crafted specifically according to your goals and interests for students. OSAC currently administers over 400 privately funded scholarships, providing nearly $15 million to over 3,000 students. For larger endowments, we partner with the Oregon Community Foundation to ensure that your contribution is working at its maximum earning potential to increase the life of the scholarship.
A minimum award of $1,000 is required for OSAC to administer your donation.
Step 1. Select Type of Scholarship Program
OSAC administers several different types of programs on behalf of donors:
A. Pass-Through Scholarships
OSAC sends an invoice to cover current-year awards and administrative charges. Donors
confirm continued participation each year. Minimum award is $1,000.
B. OSAC Trust Fund
An irrevocable trust fund in the donor's name is established with the State of Oregon
Treasury. The scholarship award and administrative charge is drawn from the trust
and its interest earnings for the life of the scholarship. Minimum award is
C. Endowments: The Oregon Community Foundation Scholarships
OSAC administers more than 300 endowed pass-through scholarships in partnership
with The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF). Donors establishing scholarship programs
with endowments of $50,000 or more work with OCF, where foundation staff develops
donor fund agreements and set scholarship criteria. Ranked among the nation's top
community foundations, OCF has a long history of working with private individuals
and groups to support Oregon education.
D. Employer and Membership Scholarships
Employers, credit unions, electrical co-ops—any business, civic, or membership organization
that wishes to support scholarships for its employees, employee dependents, or members
of an organization may work with OSAC.
These employer programs may be eligible for the Oregon Tax Credit,
which is available for businesses with at least four full-time employees, but not
more than 250 full-time employees. A tax credit of 50% of the scholarship award
is available for each year of award disbursement and if the employer remits a contribution
to the fund during the calendar year for which tax certification is sought. Employer-sponsored
programs are subject to IRS regulations and verification of the applicant pool.
Step 2. Establish Criteria
Your scholarship fund is created by you to name as you wish. Often, the scholarship
can be named by the donor or your family. Whatever name you choose, the scholarship
can reach the student(s) that you feel are most critical to reach.
You will participate in determining your scholarship criteria using a checklist
of options available.
Criteria may include:
- Graduates of a particular high school, undergraduate or graduate students
- The type of college where the award may be used (public, private, nonprofit, for-profit)
- In-state or anywhere in the United States
- Whether or not financial need is considered
- Cumulative GPA
- College Major
- Community Service
No programs may discriminate among applicants on the basis of race, gender, religious
preference, or ethnic origin.
All OSAC scholarship recipients need a choice between a minimum of two institutions.
Only institutions located in a state and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education
as eligible to participate in federal Title IV student financial aid programs can
You can determine if a student must attend an Oregon eligible institution or a college outside of Oregon.
We can assist in researching eligible schools outside of Oregon.
Step 3. Create a Selection Committee and Review Applications
Your Selection Committee is hand-picked by you. The committee is typically comprised
of volunteers (educators, donors, individuals with expertise or knowledge in a certain
field) who bring their life experience, perspective and local knowledge to the selection
process. The committee members use the specific scholarship criteria to award the
scholarship, but they always need good judgment in assessing the character, motivation
and potential of all applicants.
Selection Committees must:
After using its extensive database to match applicants to the scholarship criteria,
screening all data and transcripts, OSAC will provide the Selection Committee with
ranked lists of qualified applicants for the scholarship.
To see the elements involved in reviewing applications, please refer to the
Step 4. Award Scholarships
The hard work is done. Now it's time to award the deserving student your committee
selected to receive your scholarship. OSAC will contact the selected student by
e-mail, ensure that the award is confirmed, and trigger notifications to the college
financial aid offices to mandate that funds are used for educational purposes. OSAC
will receive information from the student's school, monitor the student's progress
and work directly with the financial aid offices regarding payment. OSAC will administer
the program for the life of the scholarship and allow you to leave the paperwork,
oversight and details to us.
Step 5. Submit Payment or Contribution for Your Newly Created Scholarship
Once your scholarship program is established and the Scholarship Program Agreement
forms are signed and returned to OSAC, you will receive an invoice for a partial
payment of your scholarship award. OSAC will send you an invoice for the balance
owed prior to the fall term/semester disbursement of your award to the scholarship
recipient's college financial aid office.
With the exception of scholarship trust funds, you will be invoiced annually, thereafter,
for the total award amount and the scholar services charge, prior to the fall term
or semester. For trust funds, OSAC will withdraw the scholarship award and scholar
services charge from the trust fund account and disburse to the award recipient's
college financial aid office prior to the fall term/semester.