Information for

Students & Parents

Financial & Legal Professionals

Frequently Asked Questions

Let us help you answer some of the most commonly asked questions.

What is the difference between an annual scholarship and an endowed scholarship?

Donors may establish an annual named scholarship with a minimum balance of $1,000. Occasionally, a donor will give a lump sum and ask that a scholarship be disbursed for a set number of years, or until the fund balance is zero. An endowed scholarship requires a minimum contribution of $25,000, which is invested. Income from the fund is distributed on an annual basis, and the scholarship fund will last in perpetuity.

Is my donation tax deductible?

Yes! Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by the law. (Tax ID 030367034).

How much of my donation goes to scholarships?

One hundred percent. Administrative costs for development efforts are currently absorbed by the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. In addition, there are generally no fees attached to the administration of your scholarship.

What is the relationship between VSAC and the Vermont Scholarship Fund?

The Vermont Scholarship Fund is a 501(c)(3) affiliate of VSAC. The Vermont Scholarship Fund acts as a charitable receptacle for donor gifts; VSAC administers scholarships set up by donors to the Vermont Scholarship Fund. The VSAC Board of Directors also serves as the board of directors for the Vermont Scholarship Fund.

I can't decide whether to establish a scholarship fund with my local high school or with VSAC.

If your scholarship is meant to benefit high school seniors from one particular school, then you may want to consider establishing your scholarship directly to that school. However, if you would like to help students from more than one town, a particular region or county, or the entire state, then the Vermont Scholarship Fund is a viable option for you to consider.

How long will the Vermont Scholarship Fund last?

We are building a scholarship endowment that is intended to exist in perpetuity. Our annual distribution rates are determined on an annual basis and are meant to ensure that the principal of the funds will gradually increase.

Does the Vermont Scholarship Fund accept matching gifts?

Many companies have matching fund programs through which they match some portion of your gift to the scholarship fund. This is an easy and effective way to increase the amount of your donation.

How much money is in the Vermont Scholarship Fund?

Each year, more than $3.6 million dollars are received from private philanthropic sources and distributed for annual scholarships. In addition, approximately $2.5 million flows into – and out of – VSAC annually for the scholarships funded through state and federal programs. The balance of the Vermont Scholarship Fund endowment is about $3 million.

Are scholarships awarded in cash?

The vast majority of awards are for tuition, fees, or room and board. Checks are made payable to the institution the student is attending.

When will my scholarship be awarded?

VSAC scholarships are awarded in early March. Between July and October, funds are disbursed to the college the student is attending.

I would like to establish an endowed scholarship. How much time do I have in order to meet my $25,000 commitment?

The pledge period for an endowed scholarship fund is three years from receipt of your first contribution.

May I make a gift in memoriam?

Endowed memorial gifts of less than $10,000 will be added to the Great Expectations Scholarship Fund in memory of the deceased. Donors will receive a gift acknowledgment, and family members of the deceased will receive notice of your contribution (in the interest of confidentiality, we do not disclose the amount of the gift to family members).

How can I learn more?