How to Establish a Scholarship

PCC Foundation Endowed Scholarship Process

One of the PCC Foundation’s most successful recent efforts has been to develop endowed scholarships to provide perpetual financial assistance to Pitt Community College’s students.

The establishment of a perpetual restricted fund creates the endowed scholarship.  The corpus of this fund is invested, and normally only the interest from these investments is used to provide the scholarships to deserving students.  The PCC Foundation follows North Carolina’s UPMIFA regulations/guidelines.

The PCC Foundation recommends starting an endowed scholarship with a minimum of $10,000, but $25,000 – $30,000 is recommended due to the increasing costs of tuition and fees. Endowed scholarship can be established with contributions or through estate gifts.  The PCC Foundation’s Executive Director and staff will work with individuals or their attorneys, financial planners, and CPAs to develop endowment agreements.

The PCC Foundation also provides a “Build an Endowment” program that allows donors to contribute over a designated time to build an endowment. This program often works well for developing memorial endowments or endowments that are supported by an event, a group of people, or an organization.   With this option, the scholarship is not awarded from the endowment fund until the endowment corpus reaches a pre-determined total.  With the “Build an Endowment” program, donors may choose to also award an annual scholarship (with an annual contribution) at any amount over $200, until their endowment fund matures.  This allows the scholarship award to get started to assist students immediately, and to get the scholarship publicized to generate further support to reach the endowment goal.

All PCC Foundation mature endowed scholarships are awarded as follows unless specified in the endowment agreement: up to 90% of the annual interest earned is made available to provide scholarships.  The remaining 10% of the annual interest earned is re-invested into the principal as a safeguard against corpus erosion due to inflation.  This approach guarantees the perpetuity of the scholarship. Annual reports of the funds and announcements of scholarship awards will be distributed to donor representatives of the endowment funds.

Once the endowment is established, it will not be cancelled.  Funds can be added to the endowed scholarship fund and an individual or organization can establish multiple endowments.

The PCC Foundation’s Finance Committee oversees the investment management agreement with an investment management firm, and investment and spending policies. The PCC Foundation Board follows NC UPMIFA guidelines for endowments.  The PCC Foundation reserves the right to adjust endowment spending policies to meet current investment earnings.

If a scholarship or an endowment is developed and designated for a specific purpose, the PCC Foundation reserves the right to re-purpose the use of the funds in the future, if needed for extenuating circumstances.  For example, if the fund is designated for a specific curriculum program that ceases to exist, the Foundation Board can re-purpose the fund to a similar use/or program at the college that closely matches the donor’s initial intended use.

Establishing Scholarship Guidelines

The Executive Director of the Foundation, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, assists donors in the process of the establishment of endowments, develops the appropriate endowment agreement forms, and provides reports to donors of the endowments’ earnings and distributions.

Donors may designate specific programs and criteria including minimum or maximum grade point averages to be used as guides for the selection process.  Scholarship Guideline Form

The PCC Foundation deposits the funds for scholarships, and the Executive Director of the PCC Foundation directs the administration of recruiting and screening scholarship applicants. The Executive Director of the PCC Foundation works with the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee, faculty, staff, and occasionally donors to review scholarship applications and select scholarship recipients. The Executive Director authorizes the Financial Aid Office to disburse the scholarship funds into students’ PCC accounts.

The Executive Director will assemble a committee to review the applications to choose the recipient depending upon the criteria. It is helpful if most scholarships can be awarded in the spring/summer to allow students an opportunity to prepare for fall admission. However, scholarships can be awarded at any time. The staff of the PCC Foundation will take photos and write and submit articles to the newspaper and PCC webpage to promote the scholarship award.

Establishing Named Scholarships That Are Not Endowed

The PCC Foundation is pleased to assist donors in establishing named scholarships in recognition of an individual, corporation, or organization. The named scholarships should be established with a minimum contribution of $5,000 if it is a one-time contribution to be distributed over several years, or a minimum of $1,000 annual contribution for five or more years. Frequently, named scholarships have been developed that eventually grow and convert into endowed scholarships. The PCC Foundation Executive Director and staff will assist the donor in developing guidelines for awarding the scholarship and appropriate publicity for the scholarship.

Program Scholarships That Are Not Endowed

The PCC Foundation will be happy to assist donors who would like to establish temporary or long-term scholarships or general contributions in any amount to support students, faculty, staff, or an activity in a designated program, service, or organization at Pitt Community College.

Memorial Scholarships

The PCC Foundation will establish a named memorial scholarship for any amount.  The Executive Director will work with the family and friends of the deceased to establish the scholarship, to promote it, and to award it.

Often, depending upon the number of memorial contributions received, families will request that the scholarship not be expended, but continue to grow until it can become an endowed scholarship. The Foundation sends acknowledgements to both the person who makes a memorial contribution and to a representative of the family of the person for whom the memorial fund is established.

The Executive Director will work with representatives of families, funeral homes, churches, and newspapers to provide appropriate information about memorial gifts in obituaries and funeral programs.

The PCC Foundation’s federal tax identification number is 23-7376114.

All contributions to PCC Foundation scholarships should be made to:
Pitt Community College Foundation

A designation can be made for a specific fund.

Questions about PCC Scholarships and the PCC Foundation should be directed to:  Susan Q. Nobles, Vice President, Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the PCC Foundation.
Telephone: 252-493-7210
e-mail address:

Pitt Community College Foundation
PO Drawer 7007
Greenville, NC  27835