Establishing a Scholarship
AFSA accepts individual donations of any amount but also has an endowed named scholarship program for those donors who prefer to make larger contributions. These endowed scholarships are bestowed as part of AFSA's Financial Aid program or AFSA’s Merit Awards Program as a need-based undergraduate college scholarship or as a merit awards for a high school senior, respectively. There are two ways to establish named scholarships.
Annual Named Scholarships are established on a yearly basis and can be renewed. Donation levels range from $1,000 - $19,000. These scholarships are bestowed in $1,000 - $3,000 annual increments and cease when the gift is depleted.
Perpetual Named Scholarships are established by a donation which guarantees that a scholarship in an individual’s name will live on in perpetuity since the original gift is protected and only the approximate interest is used to fund yearly awards. A minimum gift of $20,000 establishes a Perpetual Named Financial Aid Scholarship bestowed to Foreign Service children for undergraduate college study. A minimum of $30,000 establishes an Academic or Art Merit Award, which are recognition awards provided to Foreign Service high school seniors for their academic and/or art achievements. All perpetual scholarships are deposited into the scholarship endowment valued at over $7.3 million and are commingled. Once a perpetual scholarship has been established, additional gifts in any amount can be further donated to the named fund. Finally, with AFSA’s Gift Acceptance Policy and Individual Gift Agreement (cover letter of intent) both the donor and AFSA enjoy an added level of confidence that the gift will be used as fully expressed.
In addition to providing needed financial assistance to Foreign Service children, the named scholarships are an effective way of preserving Foreign Service history. When these awards are bestowed to the students, biographical data is provided about the person (and family, if applicable) for whom the scholarship has been named. Students are given an opportunity to learn about the contributions of those who have served their country abroad and are encouraged to correspond with the individual who established the award, or a member of his/her family at least once a year and many form a stronger tie. It is totally up to the donor and student how much contact they would like with one another.
All named scholarships are publicized in The Foreign Service Journal and may be announced on the scholarship web page of the AFSA website. Restrictions can be placed on a named scholarship although it may make it more difficult for AFSA to bestow the award.
Scholarships have been established in a number of ways. Donors have remembered AFSA in their wills, some have established trusts in which the AFSA Scholarship Fund is named as a beneficiary while others have donated appreciated securities. Before making a planned gift, we recommend that you meet with your attorney or tax advisor to discuss the financial and tax implications of your charitable contribution.
The Scholarship Fund endowment is invested in large capitalization, small capitalization, international stocks and bonds whose oversight manager is Merrill Lynch. The AFSA Finance and Audit Committee oversee the management of the investment portfolio through regular review.
Contributions to the AFSA Scholarship Fund are fully tax deductible. Checks should be made to the "AFSA Scholarship Fund". A cover letter/individual gift agreement should accompany any gift which specifies your wishes.
- Lori Dec, Scholarship Director, (202) 944-5504