Page 38 - FSJ_03_12

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The scholarship program is funded
by taking 5 percent of the average five-
year balance of the portfolio as of Dec.
31 of each year to provide for the
scholarships and for administrative
costs, a practice that is well within the
industry standard for this type of fund.
In 2008, the Scholarship Fund do-
nated $37,500 to the Fallen Diplomats
Scholarship Fund, which is adminis-
tered by the Federal Employees As-
sistance and Education Fund to help
provide scholarships to the eight chil-
dren who lost a Foreign Service par-
ent to terrorism between 1998 and
2003.
Also in 2008, the AFSA Governing
Board approved a renovation to the
AFSA headquarters building, which
involved a loan of $1.2 million from
the Scholarship Fund to be paid back
over 10 years. I am glad to report that
AFSA has been repaying the loan in
fine fashion.
A Vital Committee
The Scholarship Committee, which
manages the overall program, is com-
posed of representatives from all of
the Foreign Service agencies, as well
as from DACOR, AAFSW and the
AFSA Governing Board. Its most im-
portant work is to take the annual sum
approved by the AFSA Governing
Board, and determine the number
and amount of scholarships to be
awarded. The committee strives to
maximize the financial aid grants to
the neediest of applicants. It also un-
derstands the importance of recogniz-
ing merit, and tries to balance the two
programs.
Each year the committee also re-
views the administration of the merit
and financial aid programs. With the
need-based awards, usually only small
tweaks may be needed. But the com-
mittee works continually to make the
merit awards as fair a competition as
possible between students from
widely different high schools — rang-
ing from overseas institutions that
sometimes provide instruction in a
language other than English and
home-schooled students to those at
some of the large, excellent schools in
the Washington, D.C., area.
Committee members and other
volunteers serve as judges for the
competition, a time-consuming but
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F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / M A R C H 2 0 1 2
The Scholarship Fund is
an IRS Section 501 (c) (3),
tax-exempt entity that is
separate from AFSA.