Most people intend to start a scholarship fund of their love for humanity and the milk of human kindness.
It is not out of place that such people or institutions have always met with a few daunting challenges, including how to start a scholarship fund and who should benefit from the Scholarship.
Some who may have the funds and know who will benefit are still faced with a seeming problem of how to go about issuing the Scholarship.
This is a common scenario the world over, and this article will briefly highlight the easiest ways of funding, more so, the procedures for such scholarships.
Many brilliant students abound who may need a little push from persons of innate benevolence, and this is the main aim of a scholarship scheme.
There are several steps to starting a scholarship fund which I will carefully explain in this article. The step by step processes include:
1) Identify the categories of people to be awarded
2) Determine the duration of the Scholarship
3) Sourcing for funding
4) Define the rules
4) Call for application
5) Selection of winners
6) Awarding of Scholarship
STEPS TO START A SCHOLARSHIP FUND
IDENTIFY THE CATEGORY OF PEOPLE TO BE AWARDED
The scholarship is not awarded haphazardly. It must be based on merit. You cannot just award a scholarship to anyone. Here, you carefully state who should be given the Scholarship.
A student with the highest CGPA or best result, so to speak, should be top on your list. They are popularly called “Straight A Students.” Also, a student from a disadvantaged home or a physical disability can make your list of awardees.
Also, most scholarships are awarded to persons in a particular field of study or specialization for their peculiarity. For instance, Engineering, Physical sciences, and Medical students are beneficiaries of most scholarships.
DURATION OF SCHOLARSHIP AND INSTITUTION OF CHOICE
The period for a scholarship Programme is very paramount. How long is the learner going to spend in school? Some Scholarship programs take as much as four years duration, while most Scholarship programs are done annually. This is a question to consider while planning a scholarship scheme.
Institutions available for the programs you’re funding Scholarships in should also be considered. The Institutions to be considered must be up to standard, well-known, and registered educational institutions. This is so that you do not waste your money to sponsor a scholarship in an unlicensed school.
SOURCING FOR FUNDING
This is the most critical aspect of a Scholarship fund. Even if you are financially buoyant, it so imperative that you make funding open to outsiders who may want to contribute financially to the scholarship scheme.
Funds can also be raised from various social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram through crowdfunding. It is an easy and effective way of sourcing funds.
Another way is through town hall meetings for community scholarships. Religious bodies can also help out. Socio-cultural and political groups are not left out. These are excellent sources of funding for Scholarships.
Private individuals can also contribute immensely to your funding.
DEFINE THE RULES
Rules for eligibility of the Scholarship should be carefully defined and outlined for applicants.
This includes stating the requirements, eligible individuals, special considerations, and deadline for application. These rules will guide the applicants on who is qualified and how to apply for the Scholarship.
A well set out rule ensures that the individuals applying are the most qualified for the scholarship fund.
CALL FOR APPLICATION
Call for application can be done online using social media, ads on websites, or traditionally using post offices and billboards.
The Mode of application should also be specified to guide applicants on how to apply, where to apply, how to submit, and where to submit. It is important to indicate the application deadline to ensure that people are well informed of the expiration date.
Most people who own a scholarship fund fail to understand that advertisement of your Scholarship is very important. A scholarship fund will be useless if it is not advertised to the proper beneficiaries. People have to know what Scholarships exist to be able to apply.
SELECT THE WINNERS
The selection process should be done using a set of criteria that is fair to all. The selection panel should include learned persons that can make good decisions.
Winners can also be selected from an interview or a scholarship examination. Most scholarship funds use an exam as a mode of selection. The cutoff mark is announced, and the Scholarship is awarded to whoever scores above this cutoff mark.
When more candidates score above the cutoff mark than expected, the scholarship board can resort to setting up an interview to determine who the best candidates are among them.
However, you should decide the best selection process depending on the conditions of your Scholarship.
AWARDING OF SCHOLARSHIPS
After the winners have been selected, the next step is awarding of Scholarships. Scholarships can be disbursed to the winners directly or disbursed to the school.
Since scholarships are usually meant for educational purposes, the scholarship fund is recommended to be paid directly to the school.
However, some scholarships include tuition expenses and the cost of accommodation, and other living expenses. In this situation, the school can disburse the tuition fee to the school and then disburse the rest of the funds to the beneficiary.
WHY DO PEOPLE ESTABLISH A SCHOLARSHIP FUND?
After the long read, you might be wondering why people go through all these to establish a scholarship fund. Your answers are right here.
TO SERVE AS AN HONORARIUM OR MEMORIAL
Most scholarship awards are established by close relatives of a deceased person to serve as a memory. Most times, this is done if the person had a significant impact on society.
Scholarships are also established as an honor for outstanding performance. The university or a faculty can give it.
TO ASSIST STUDENTS THAT ARE LESS PRIVILEGED
When I say less privileged, I mean students that do not have a chance to learn. Scholarship funds have played an essential role in encouraging students from poor backgrounds to further their education.
Most times, these students turn out to be bright and make a significant impact in their profession. Through these scholarship programs, poor students gain superior education and develop their talents, competing internationally and excelling in life.
AS A CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Some scholarships funded and owned by companies and organizations are done as a corporate social responsibility to the community in which they are located.
These scholarships have selected criteria that might include being a citizen of that geographical location. The company sets aside a certain amount of money yearly to sponsor the education of individuals in the host community.
BENEFITS OF STARTING A SCHOLARSHIP FUND
When you fund a scholarship, you’re not just wasting your money. There are immense benefits to it. They include:
(i) Affiliation with multinationals: This is one juicy importance of funding a scholarship. You will get to affiliate with multinationals and become popular with such brands.
(ii) Human capacity development: It is undeniable that you increase human capacity when you invest in people. Scholarship develops individuals that become important figures in society.
(iii) Popularity: Most sponsors do not do so for popularity, but it is always almost impossible not to become known by many people when you fund a Scholarship scheme.
(iv) Credibility: As a sponsor of a scholarship, you are most likely to have credibility in society. If you can help out with the course of others, it is believed that you’re credible.
(v) Boost of self-esteem: As funny as it sounds, the fact remains that most individuals who started funding a scholarship scheme became self-confident in the process.
This arises from the fact that if you offer help to someone who is understandably helpless, you can be sure to have a surge in self-confidence. That feeling of accomplishment boosts courage, and courage builds self-confidence.