Supporting Students through Scholarships at Utah State University

Scholarships offer an unparalleled opportunity for deserving students to chart a more certain course. 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.

Expendable Scholarships

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

Expendable scholarship funds may be named by the donor. However, most of these gifts tend to go to general scholarship funds. A named expendable scholarship includes a gift agreement, signed by the donor and the university, that lays out the terms of the gift. A $10,000 minimum gift, either outright or pledged over a maximum of five years, is required to create a named expendable agreement.

Endowed Scholarships

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. Currently the endowment fund spending rule is 4% of the value of the endowment is spent on the award annually. Endowed scholarships can be named for the donor, or other individual(s) specified by the donor. 

Each endowed scholarship includes a gift agreement that is signed by the donor and the university, that lays out the terms of the gift. An endowment can be established with a $25,000 minimum gift, either outright or pledged over a maximum of five years. An endowment of that size that has been invested for a complete year will generate an annual award of approximately $1,000 depending on market fluctuations.

In both cases, donors can specify (with some limitations) the type of student they would like to receive the award. Examples of scholarship terms donors can designate are:

  • College, department or program in which the students are enrolled
  • Academic standing (freshman, sophomore, etc.)
  • Geographic location the students are from
  • Minimum GPA requirement
  • Personal attributes, such as leadership
  • Financial need
  • Duration the student can receive the scholarship
  • Major
  • Residency in a particular area (city, county, state)
  • Graduation 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

IRS guidelines and Utah State University policy stipulate the following terms are not permitted in a gift agreement and selection of scholarship recipients cannot be based on:

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Marital and parental status
  • Religion
  • Citizenship
  • Disability
  • National origin
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Family Descendants
Additionally, donors are not permitted to participate in the selection of scholarship recipients.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about Scholarships, please contact Associate Vice President of Advancement Services Colleen Hobson at 435-797-1285 or colleen.hobson@usu.edu.