SCHOLARSHIP POLICIES and PROCEDURES

The Starved Rock Country Community Foundation (“the Foundation”) holds and administers funds (the “Funds”) that provide scholarships to individuals, including high school, college and graduate school students.  These grants enable the recipients to complete an undergraduate or graduate education, unless otherwise noted, in the field of their choice at the college or graduate school of their choice.  

Educational Institution – An institution that has a regular faculty, a curriculum, and an organized body of students in attendance at the place where the educational activities are held.

Qualified Expenses – Certain expenses incurred in attending an educational institution.  They are:

  • Tuition and fees for enrollment and attendance.
  • Course-related expenses – fees, books, supplies, and equipment required of all students for courses of instruction.
  • Room and board, travel, research, clerical assistance. Payments for expenses in this group are not exempt from income tax.

Scholarship Grants

Foundation staff and designated members of selection committees established for such awards shall contact high school, college and graduate school administrators as well as managers of other relevant community institutions to advertise the availability of the Foundation’s Scholarship Grants and to request that these administrators nominate potential candidates or encourage potential awardees to submit applications for scholarship aid.

Foundation staff shall develop application or nomination procedures that are appropriate to accomplish the purposes of the Fund under which any such award is established.

Selection Criteria

The criteria to be used in selecting grant recipients from a fund established at the Foundation must be based on criteria that are appropriate to accomplishing the underlying purpose of the grant as described in the agreement creating such Fund.  Foundation staff should work with donors to establish Funds that fulfill the donor’s charitable goals and feature clear selection criteria.

Scholarship Grants

Criteria for scholarship grants may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Prior academic performance;
  • Performance of each applicant on tests designed to measure ability and aptitude for educational work;
  • Recommendations from instructors of such applicant and any others who have knowledge of the applicant’s capabilities;
  • Additional biographical information regarding an applicant’s career, academic and other relevant experiences, financial need; and
  • The grant selection committee’s conclusions as to the applicant’s motivation, character, ability, or potential.

Criteria may also include the applicant’s place of residence, past or future attendance at a particular school, past or proposed course of study or evidence of his or her artistic, scientific or other special talent. Preference may be given to applicants of a particular sex, race (other than white), ethnic background or religion so long as such preference does not violate public policy.

Recipients of Scholarship Grants must be (1) primary or secondary school students; (2) undergraduate or graduate students at a college or university who are pursuing studies or conducting research to meet the requirements for an academic or professional degree; or (3) students – whether full-time or part-time – who receive a scholarship for study at an educational institution that provides an educational program acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor’s or higher degree, or offers a training program to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation and is authorized under federal or state law to provide such a program and is accredited by a national recognized accreditation agency.

Scholarship Grants must be used for qualified educational expenses (see definition) at an educational institution (see definition).  The Foundation reserves the right to impose additional, minor reasonable restrictions and/or requirements upon the awarding of Scholarship Grants and the administration of such grants. Any substantial or material changes will be made only with approval of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Grant Selection Committees

The Foundation shall appoint all members of any selection committee charged with the evaluation of candidates for grants covered by this policy. Appointments shall be made by the Foundation Board of Directors.

A Fund’s donors may not control the selection committee.  This means that no combination of donors, persons appointed or designated by donors, and persons (a term that includes partnerships, corporations and trusts as well as individuals) related to them may constitute a majority of the committee, be given a veto power, be allowed to chair the committee or otherwise be permitted to control the committee’s decisions. If a donor/advisor recommends a person for appointment to a selection committee based on objective criteria related to the expertise of such person, such person will not be deemed t o be appointed or designated by the donor/advisor.

Donor/advisors and related persons may provide advice with respect to the selection of grant or award recipients solely as members of a selection committee. This means that donors may not pre-screen applications and choose those to be referred to the committee.  It also means that donors may not make a final selection from among candidates approved by the committee.

Every member of the selection committee must adhere to the relevant policies of the Foundation as they may be adopted and amended from time to time, including without limitation the Foundation’s conflict of interest and confidentiality policy. Each member of any selection committee covered by this policy must disclose any personal knowledge of and relationship with any potential grantee under consideration and refrain from participation in the award process in a circumstance where he or she would derive, directly or indirectly, a private benefit if any potential grantee or grantees are selected over others.

Grants covered by this policy may not be awarded to any member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, any substantial contributor to the Foundation, any employee of the Foundation, or any other disqualified person with respect to the Foundation.  Grants also may not be awarded to any donor

Grants will ordinarily be awarded for a one-year period, but may be for a shorter or longer period.

Scholarship Grants Paid Directly to the Educational Institution

Unless otherwise provided in the fund agreement, the Foundation will pay Scholarship Grants directly to the educational institution for the use of the scholarship recipient. The educational institution must agree in writing to use the grant funds to defray the scholarship recipient’s expenses or to pay the funds (or a portion thereof) to the recipient only if the recipient is enrolled at such educational institution and his or her standing at such educational institution is consistent with the purposes and conditions of the grant.

Unless otherwise provided in the fund agreement establishing a Scholarship Grant, a condition of each Scholarship Grant is that it will be used only for qualified educational expenses. An additional condition is that no part of the Scholarship Grant shall be used as payment for teaching, research, or other services by the scholarship recipient required as a condition for receiving the scholarship.

Scholarship Grants Paid Directly to the Recipient

If for any reason, a Scholarship Grant is paid directly to the recipient or anyone other than the educational institution, or if the Scholarship Grant is used for expenses other than qualified educational expenses, the Foundation must receive a report on the progress of each recipient of such a Scholarship Grant at least once each year. This report must include a summary of the use of the funds awarded, and the grantee’s courses taken (if any) and grades received (if any) in each academic period. This report must be verified by the educational institution. A final report is also required./advisor or substantial contributor to the Fund making the award, to any member of a selection committee for such award, or to any members of their families. Finally grants covered by this policy may not be made for a purpose that is not charitable.

Each selection committee established under this policy shall forward its recommendations to the Foundation staff in such form and on such schedule as the staff shall establish. The Foundation Board shall approve each award made under this policy.

Application and Nomination Process

Applicants for Scholarship Grants shall be required to submit such application forms and supporting materials as the Foundation may deem appropriate on a schedule to be determined by the Foundation.

 

 

 

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