The Scholarship Process
How much money is awarded in scholarships each year?
In academic year 2020-2021, more than $930,000 was awarded. Our award amount changes each year based on our donations and how our scholarship funds have earned. We hope the amount always increases! Each year the Executive Director of the SPC Foundation calculates the value of every scholarship fund and creates a recommended budget for the next year. The budget’s primary focus is to preserve the corpus of every endowment while helping the maximum number of students in the most significant way possible. The SPC Foundation Board has adopted a 5% pay out policy to provide for scholarships. The 30-member Foundation Board reviews and must approve this budget.
How many students receive a scholarship each academic year?
In academic year 2020-2021, 848 students were awarded SPC Foundation scholarships. As our scholarship budget increases, we can help more students.
How are students made aware of the scholarship application process?
The SPC Scholarship Coordinator is a full-time college employee who communicates with all high school counselors, principals and superintendents in our service area as well as with our current SPC students. In addition to sending information by mail, the Coordinator visits high schools during the fall. SPC’s office of Recruitment and Marketing also includes the scholarship process in the information they share on recruitment visits. SPC uses social media and other online forms of communication as well, especially as the deadline to apply nears. All information is also available via our website all year as well as in the College’s printed and cd catalogs. In addition, we display printed posters, especially on the SPC campuses, so our current students are made aware.
What is the timeline for the scholarship process?
Scholarship applications are due by March 1 of every year. The Scholarship Coordinator checks for completeness and prepares the application materials to send to the members of the Scholarship Committee. The members of the Committee work in teams to review the applications and rank them. The Scholarship Coordinator then matches students, according to the Committee’s rankings, with scholarships. Many scholarships are presented at area high school honors banquets and graduations in May. Most students are notified electronically before the end of May. Some scholarships cannot be awarded until after a semester begins. Scholarships are awarded every academic year, usually beginning with the fall semester.
What happens if a student misses the scholarship application deadline?
While the late application may not be considered in the current academic year, a student may apply for SPC scholarships anytime by visiting the college’s homepage and choosing the Scholarships link (southplainscollege.academicworks.com). On occasion, late scholarship awards are made during the academic year.
Who chooses which students receive scholarships?
The SPC Scholarship Committee guides the Scholarship Coordinator by ranking scholarship applications. The Committee is composed of approximately 30 faculty members from across the disciplines. Members work in teams of three to review approximately 90 scholarship applications each. Some of the review is objective, like class ranking, and some is subjective, like the evaluation of the Career Goals essay. All parts of the application are evaluated using a scoring rubric. Applications are ranked by the average score of the committee team. Exceptions to this are those scholarships that require department recommendations, which are made by department committees.
How are faculty members chosen to serve on the Scholarship Committee?
Faculty members are appointed by their department chairperson to serve on the Committee in staggered three year cycles. An effort is made to have representation from all instructional areas.
Who monitors scholarship recipients to be sure they continue to meet a scholarship’s criteria?
The Scholarship Coordinator monitors scholarship recipients throughout the academic year, often working with other SPC faculty and staff. Every scholarship recipient is required to read and sign a Scholarship Agreement which is written specifically for their scholarship and makes clear the criteria they must meet.
How do students get their scholarship money?
Scholarship money is awarded in two equal parts for almost all SPC scholarships. The student receives ½ for the fall semester and ½ for the spring semester. Money is transferred directly to the student’s South Plains College tuition and fees bill. If that is already paid, the money is transferred to the student’s designated refund deposit account after the semester “census date”—about two weeks after the semester’s start. If the student chooses not to have a Texan Card, the money is transferred to a bank at the direction of the student.
Do scholarship recipients ever have contact with their donor?
Every recipient is required to write a personal thank you note to the donor/designee of the scholarship. In addition, those students who receive a named, endowed scholarship are invited to meet their donor/designee at the annual Scholarship Banquet held every November. This evening meal and brief program provide the opportunity to get to know one another and develop a relationship. On occasion, scholarship recipients and donors/designees are brought together at private events. The College’s Director of Development serves as the liaison to help create the relationship both parties desire.
Tax Deductible Donations
For donations to be tax-deductible, the donor cannot have a role in the selection
of the recipient. Restrictive criteria may be stipulated but must be general enough
not to create control by the donor. The purpose of the contribution should be for
a charitable cause and
cannot be for the furtherance of a private interest.