Supporting Students through Scholarships at Utah State University

Scholarships offer an unparalleled opportunity to chart a more certain course for deserving students.  For many, scholarships make the critical difference in completing their degrees.  Simply stated, scholarships change lives and help students realize their potential through education.

There are two types of scholarships a donor can support at Utah State University – expendable and endowed.  The university will work with you to determine the best option for you to help students realize their dreams of a college education.


An expendable scholarship is one where the donor makes a gift and the entire amount of the gift is used to fund the award to a student or students.  The gift can be spent in the year in which it was made, or the donor may specify that a portion of the gift be spent in each year over a period of years specified by the donor. 

Expendable scholarship funds may be named by the donor.  However, most of these gifts tend to go to general scholarship funds.  If an expendable scholarship is named, the donor and the receiving unit execute a memo of understanding to outline the terms of the agreement. 


An endowed scholarship is one where a donor makes a gift that is invested in the university’s endowment pool.  Each year, a portion of the earnings is used to fund the award to a student or students.  The current spending rule for endowment funds is that 4% of the value of the endowment is spent on the award annually.  Endowed scholarships are named by the donor.  They can be named for the donor, or for a different individual or individuals specified by the donor. 

Each endowed scholarship has a gift agreement that is signed by the donor and the university that lays out the terms of the gift.  The minimum gift required to establish an endowment is $25,000.  An endowment of that size that has been invested for a complete year will generate an annual award of about $1,000 depending on market fluctuations

In both cases, donors can specify the type of student they would like to receive the award.  Donors can stipulate the following:

  • The college, department or program in which the students are enrolled
  • Academic standing (freshman, sophomore, etc.)
  • The geographic location the students are from
  • A minimum GPA requirement
  • Personal attributes, such as leadership
  • Financial need
  • Duration the student can receive the scholarship
  • Socio-economic status
  • Major
  • Residency in a particular area (city, county, state)
  • Graduating from a particular high school or school district
  • Fluency in or primary language other than English
  • Growing up in a single-family household
  • First generation to attend college
  • Demonstrating commitment to working with historically underprivileged or underrepresented populations
  • Disabilities or having overcome specific challenges

Because of IRS guidelines and Utah State University policy, the following terms are not permitted in a gift agreement:

  • Selection of scholarship recipients based on
    • family relationships
    • race
    • ethnicity
    • gender
    • religion
    • citizenship or national origin
    • age
  • Donors are not permitted to participate in the selection of receiving students of the scholarship.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about Scholarships, please contact Colleen Hobson - Director of Advancement Services - 435-797-1285 or