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Create a Scholarship

Making Education Attainable

Thousands of students rely heavily, if not entirely, on financial aid. Creating a scholarship fund is a unique and ideal way to forever change lives. By creating a scholarship fund, you are able to honor your legacy or that of a loved one in a very special way. And, not only are you able to determine who you honor with a named scholarship fund, you also may decide the type of student you want to support. The College Heights Foundation is very sensitive to the goals of the donor and prides itself on being the Guardian of Trusts to carry out your intended wishes.  Through your scholarship gift you have the opportunity to support areas dear to you. For instance, you can specify so that your gift goes to help a student from a particular region or who is pursuing a certain academic discipline.  If you are ready to create a scholarship fund, then please read some of the details below or contact our office at 270-745-4597 for more information.  

The College Heights Foundation wants to make sure your gift is used in a way that fully honors your wishes. One of the ways to guarantee this is through a Fund Agreement. This agreement specifies between the donor and the Foundation exactly the type, intent and amount of the gift. Also, to ensure all the specified criteria is followed when choosing scholarship recipients, then donors are encouraged to create Scholarship Guidelines. These guidelines are followed by the awarding committees to provide the donor peace of mind that their scholarship will be awarded according to their wishes in perpetuity.  

Scholarship Guidelines: Template

There are several different types of scholarship funds you may establish and the right type of fund depends on your wishes. The type of scholarship fund you create is strictly about what you want to achieve with your gift.

Please review the various types of scholarship funds (endowed, non-endowed, building funds, or one-time memorial funds) to determine the best type of fund for your individual goals.  Whichever type of fund you choose, please know that you are making a difference in the lives of students and scholarships are one of the University’s highest priorities to ensure that educational dreams can become a reality.

 Purpose, Options, and Procedures for the Creation of a Scholarship Fund


A named scholarship is a unique way to honor or memorialize an individual who understands the importance of an education.  Scholarship awards not only recognize the individual, but they also provide meaningful financial support to deserving students.    

Scholarship Options

There are four different types of options to consider when creating a scholarship fund in the College Heights Foundation:

  1. Endowed Scholarship Fund.  An endowment provides a permanent source of funding to ensure that a scholarship is awarded in-perpetuity to honor the designated individual forever.  A minimum of $10,000 is required to endow a fund before it will begin awarding scholarships.  Only a portion of the earnings is used each year to make the scholarship award thus ensuring its permanent existence.  Scholarships are administered in accordance with written guidelines reflecting the expressed wishes of the donor.
  2. Custodial Scholarship Fund.  A custodial scholarship fund is a non-endowed fund that can be established with a minimum gift of $1,000.   The entire amount of the gift is spent as directed by the donor or the specific fund guidelines.  Custodial funds provide meaningful financial support to current students, but these types of funds are not designed to last in perpetuity.  When the balance of the fund is spent on scholarships and not annually replenished by the donor, then the named fund ceases to exist.
  3. Building Scholarship Fund.  A building scholarship fund allows the donor flexibility and time to determine if the fund will reach the necessary level to become an endowed scholarship.  Often times these funds are established with the hope and intent that the fund will reach the minimum $10,000 endowed level, but there is some uncertainty as to the level of support that will ultimately be received.  Building funds are granted 5 years from the date they are created to reach the minimum endowment level and annual earnings are applied.  Once the fund reaches that level, it is converted to an endowed scholarship fund and will begin making awards.  If the fund does not reach the $10,000 endowment level in that time period, then it will be utilized as a named custodial scholarship fund to benefit deserving students.
  4. General Scholarship Fund.  The first three options provide a specific named scholarship fund.  Many individuals choose to honor or memorialize an individual with a specific one-time gift, but don’t necessarily wish to create a separate scholarship fund.  These gifts are deposited into the General Scholarship Fund and then an award is made from the General Fund in the name of a certain individual.  These scholarship awards are similar to the Custodial Scholarships, but they do not require a minimum amount and are also designed to handle gifts that are not likely to be recurring in nature.


Once it is determined which type of scholarship fund is most appropriate, then the following procedures outline the steps necessary to establish the fund:

  1. A donor makes a philanthropic gift to establish the scholarship fund.  This gift can be made by writing a check, using a credit/debit card, transferring appreciated securities, gifting real estate, or a variety of other giving vehicles.
  2. The gift(s) are deposited in the College Heights Foundation and will be invested in a specific balance of equities and fixed income.  For endowed funds, 4% of the total fund balance is awarded to the scholarship recipient.  The remaining earnings stay in the corpus of the endowment to keep the fund growing through down markets and to keep place with inflation and tuition increases.  For custodial funds, the entire amount of the gift may be spent in any given year.
  3. The donor can determine how the scholarship fund will be awarded and develop written guidelines specifying the criteria for the recipients to be chosen each year.
  4. The scholarship award will be applied to the WKU account of the recipient each year split equally between the fall and spring semesters.
  5. A copy of the award letter that is sent to the student is also sent to the donor or family who established the scholarship fund.
  6. An annual fund statement is sent to the donor or family indicating the balance of the fund, the earnings growth, and the annual scholarship distributions.

The estimated costs of a Western Kentucky University education are approximately:

        In-State Tuition:
        Meal Plan:

Facing this burden without some financial assistance is simply not feasible for most students. With your scholarship support, the College Heights Foundation can help make that load bearable. 

When describing an endowment, the key word is everlasting. When you create an endowed fund, your donation is invested, allowing the principal to remain intact and grow over time. The original gift is never spent, but rather a portion of the investment return is used to provide ongoing permanent support. Your individual endowed fund becomes a part of the University’s overall permanent endowment, yet still maintains a separate identity. Not only is an endowment a beautiful way to carry on the legacy of a loved one or mentor, but it is also provides a self-sustaining source of funding that never ends.  Endowed funds truly allow you to support WKU in perpetuity.  Because the original gift is left untouched, your legacy is infinite. Just as the buildings on campus are named after great leaders of WKU, so too your endowment—your name—will hold just as much importance and be as impactful as they are. Through an endowment you have the unique opportunity to reach beyond the limits of time—to forever make a positive difference.

Purpose, Procedures, and Planning for a Scholarship Endowment 


An endowment provides a permanent source of funding to ensure that a scholarship is awarded in perpetuity to honor the wishes of the donor.


1) A donor makes a philanthropic gift to establish the scholarship fund. This gift can be made by writing a check, transferring appreciated securities, giving real estate, funding through a will bequest, or a variety of other giving vehicles.

2) The gift is deposited in the College Heights Foundation and invested annually (balance of equities and fixed income). 4% of the earnings are awarded to the scholarship recipient, 1.5% management fee is assessed for administering and investing the funds, and the remaining interest earned is placed back in the corpus of the endowment to keep the fund growing through down markets and to keep pace with inflation and tuition increases. For example: if $100,000 is given to establish the fund and the investments earned 10% interest, then $4,000 would be awarded to the scholarship recipient, $1500 would pay for the administration of the fund, and the other $4,000 would be placed back in the endowed fund to create a new balance of $104,000.

3) The donor can determine how the scholarship fund will be used and develop criteria for the recipients.

4) The scholarship will be applied to the account of the recipient so the student’s out of  pocket expenses to the institution will be decreased by the amount of the scholarship.

Scholarship Needs

The costs of an annual Western Kentucky University education are currently:

In-State Tuition:
Meal Plan:

With these numbers rising each year, students need help more than ever. A donor can make a gift according to the costs she wishes to cover for a student, such as creating an endowment that would ensure enough for a student's tuition and books. 

Many donors often choose to create a scholarship fund or add to a scholarship fund that has already been established by including the College Heights Foundation as a portion of their estate plan.  There are many different vehicles that can be utilized to ultimately benefit the scholarship fund, but a common occurrence is to include the fund as part of their will.  Provisions in the will can be included that identify a specific amount or a percentage of the overall estate. 

Please click here to review sample bequest language.

There are various ways of giving to the College Heights Foundation to create a scholarship fund. The Foundation wants to make sure you are able to donate in a way that best suits your needs, therefore we accept scholarship contributions through a variety of methods.  Please review the link to determine the most beneficial way for you to make a gift that will provide educational opportunities for a countless number of students.

Gifts of Cash

There are three easy ways to make a gift of cash to the Foundation:

  1. You may write a check payable to the College Heights Foundation and mail it to College Heights Foundation, 1906 College Heights Boulevard, Bowling Green, Kentucky, 42101. 
  2. You may call our office at 270-745-4597 to make a credit card gift over the phone.
  3. You may simply visit our giving website at www.wku.edu/makeagift to make an online gift. Please be sure to reference the individual fund for which the gift is intended.

When you itemize your deductions, your gifts of cash may be deducted on your income tax return. Amounts up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income may be deducted during the year of the gift, with any excess deductions carried forward for up to five additional years. Your actual savings depend on your tax rate and other factors. Cash gifts are considered transferred on the date they are hand-delivered or mailed while credit card gifts are received on the date the card is processed.

Gifts by EFT/Automatic Credit Card

Some donors prefer the convenience of making a monthly gift in order to spread their entire contribution out over an entire calendar year. We offer convenient ways for donors to give monthly through electronic funds transfer, payroll deduction, or automatic credit card.

These options allow a donor the convenience of simply having an amount deducted each month from their checking account or automatically charged to their credit card without the hassle of writing a check or providing a credit card number each month. This option also allows donors to potentially maximize their giving by considering the amounts monthly as opposed to the entire amount at once. As an example, a $1,000 annual contribution can be made by simply contributing $84 each month through one of these giving options.

Gifts of Appreciated Securities

Giving stocks and bonds that have increased in value provides even greater tax benefits than gifts of cash. The market value of the securities is deductible (subject to applicable limitations), and you also avoid paying capital gains tax on the appreciation. You may generally deduct gifts in the form of appreciated property up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income with any excess deductible over the next five years. Anytime you wish to consider a gift of securities, please contact us in advance so we can walk you through the process.

Gifts of Closely Held Stock

In some situations, a donor may wish to make a gift of stock in a closely held corporation. If you own highly appreciated stock in a company that has significant cash reserves, this may be the best way for you to make a sizeable gift. When closely held stock is gifted, the donor is usually entitled to receive a charitable income tax deduction for the appraised value of the stock, in an amount up to 30 percent of adjusted growth income. Like gifts of appreciated securities and cash, any excess may be carried over into the next five years. This gift is beneficial because it allows the donor to make a gift without realizing capital gains tax on the appreciated value of the stock, and it allows the corporation to use a potentially taxable cash surplus for philanthropic purposes.

Gifts of Real Estate

A gift of real estate can consist of almost any type of property: a primary residence, a vacation home, a farm or ranch, a commercial building, subdivision lots or an undeveloped parcel. Such a gift will provide a charitable deduction for the full fair market value of the gift up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income if you have held it for more than one year. The usual five-year carry-over also applies.

Through various methods of managing property and arranging for its distribution to family and others, you can minimize taxes and worries for your heirs. You may also be able to arrange a supplemental income for retirement through a charitable trust as part of your gift, or give a home while continuing to live there.

You will need to have your gift of real estate appraised by an independent appraiser to determine the value of your deduction, and you should first consult with the College Heights Foundation to make sure your real estate is appropriate to the needs of the University.

Gifts of Objects

Donations of artwork, books, equipment and antique furniture are sometimes appropriate gifts to WKU. Before making a gift of tangible personal property, however, please consult with the University to confirm your gift can be used as you wish while also meeting the needs of WKU. If your gift is valued at $5,000 or more, you must have an independent appraisal within 60 days of the gift's transfer to the CHF to determine the value of your deduction.

Gifts Through Estate

Many individuals choose to make a meaningful gift by including the College Heights Foundation as a beneficiary of their estate plans. Planned gifts can provide a perfect opportunity for individuals to maximize their charitable giving while also minimizing the tax consequences of their estate. A variety of estate planning vehicles may be considered including a Will bequest, gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, retirement funds, or life insurance policies. Please visit our planned giving site for more details or contact us to discuss some of these giving vehicles in greater detail to determine the option that might be best for your individual philanthropic needs.


For answers to any other questions, visit our FAQ page.

Also please feel free to contact us for answers to more specific questions regarding your interest in establishing a scholarship fund.


Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 4/16/21