Carry the Conversation Forward: Establish a Named Scholarship

St. John’s College has taken significant steps to fulfill our obligation, as found in the Statement of the Program, to offer an “education for all.” Our 2019 tuition reset lowered tuition by one-third and eliminated a decade of price increases. One year later, the college launched the Pritzker Promise, which matches a student’s federal Pell Grant funding.

Access to a St. John’s education has improved greatly through these efforts; yet our students still require a very high level of financial support—and this need will almost certainly increase. A growing percentage of students will come to St. John’s from lower-income households, and the amount they can contribute to tuition will shrink.

In this environment, scholarships help to ensure that no student has to choose between a St. John’s education and an alternative that can’t compare.

Current Use Scholarships: Immediate and Powerful

As the name indicates, this type of scholarship gift enables you to help a current or incoming student with the cost of a St. John’s education. Every effort is made to award your scholarship in the same year in which your gift is given, and the scholarship will continue for as long as you choose to give. For example, if you commit $10,000 a year for five years, the full $10,000 will be awarded in each of those five years. For students who are struggling with the cost of college, a gift of this nature can be the determining factor in their ability to attend St. John’s.

To establish a named current-use scholarship, the college asks that you commit to a $50,000 gift, which can be given all at once, pledged over five years, or planned through your estate. Not ready to make a $50,000 gift? St. John’s gratefully welcomes gifts of any size to the Johnnie Scholarships Fund, which provides immediate, unrestricted support for scholarships.

Endowed Scholarships: An Enduring Gift

Endowed scholarships differ from current-use scholarships but are just as important. When you create an endowed scholarship fund, your gift is not immediately spent but is instead invested, with the goal of sustaining your scholarship in perpetuity. Every year the college uses a portion of your fund’s value, usually five percent, to award your scholarship; meanwhile, the remaining assets stay invested and continue to grow.

For example, when your $50,000 gift has been invested for one full year, it will produce an estimated $2,500 scholarship award—and will continue to produce awards, year after year.  Over time, the value of those awards will grow as the invested assets grow. It is common for endowed scholarships to eventually yield awards that are larger than the original gift.

A gift of $50,000 will establish your named scholarship, and the gift can be made all at once, pledged over five years, or planned through your estate.

A Blended Approach: The Best of Both

A blended gift is a satisfying way to immediately help students while you build an endowment for the future. You can accomplish this goal by making two annual gifts: one to grow your endowment and the other to provide a current-use scholarship.

For example, you can pledge $10,000 a year for five years to establish your endowment. Your gifts are held in a secure account until the pledge is fulfilled and your gift is invested. Over that same period, your annual gift of $2,500 enables the college to immediately award your scholarship to students whose needs cannot wait.

Establishing Your Named Scholarship

If you are considering a named scholarship, it is helpful to start a conversation with a member of the college Development Team. We are happy to walk you through the process of creating your scholarship, which typically involves the following steps.

  1. Choose your scholarship. Current-use, endowed, and blended gifts all possess distinct advantages that benefit the college, our students, and you. We are happy to talk about your options and help you create a fulfilling gift.
  2. Name your scholarship. You can include your own name on your scholarship, or you might wish to honor a loved one—a parent, tutor, mentor, or friend. When you document your gift in the next step, you will have the opportunity to submit a bio so that students can get to know you or your loved one better.
  3. Document your intentions. A signed gift agreement establishes the name of your scholarship, outlines any award criteria you wish to set, and ensures that your gift will be used in accordance with your wishes.
  4. Make your gift. Your minimum commitment of $50,000 establishes your named scholarship. Our How to Give page describes convenient options for immediate gifts and pledges, while our Gift Planning site can help you plan your gift through your estate. You can also use our advanced giving form to give online. When prompted to select your area of support, choose “other” and type in the name of your fund.

What Our Students Have to Say About Your Scholarship Gifts