Scholarships and Endowments
What is an endowment fund?
An endowment fund is a permanent, self-sustaining source of funding. Endowment assets are invested. Each year, a portion of the value of the fund is paid out to support the fund’s purpose, and any earnings in excess of this distribution are used to build the fund’s market value. In this way, an endowment fund can grow and provide support for its designated purpose in perpetuity. When you establish an endowment fund, you create a permanent legacy of support for Mercy.
Named Scholarship and Endowment Funds
A named scholarship or endowment fund may be established in memory or honor of a particular person or persons. If the fund is set up as an endowment fund, the principal will remain untouched and the interest will be used as designated. If the fund is set-up as a scholarship fund, the principal will be awarded as outlined in the guidelines you establish. Ideally, all scholarships and endowed scholarships would be need based; however, donors may identify specific guidelines for the scholarship in terms of student's talent, characteristics or interests.
To establish a named endowment or scholarship fund, the donor or family must make a commitment of at least $25,000. This may be paid at the time the fund is established or over a multi-year period of up to five years. A fully funded endowment which would generate one annual tuition would need to be funded in the range of $500,000 to $525,000.
Steps to Establishing a Named Fund
First, contact Mercy's Development Office. Any amount can begin a scholarship as long as there is a signed commitment that the fund will reach $25,000 within five years. Donors complete an agreement with the school regarding the naming of the scholarship as well as any specific criteria for awarding the scholarship. The more general the criteria, the more flexibility the Financial Aid Committee has in awarding it to the students most in need.
Selection of Recipients
In most cases, the actual scholarship award decisions are made by the school's financial aid committee. If the scholarship involves an academic discipline or department, decisions are made in consultation with appropriate faculty and staff members.
Is it possible to make a donation to Mercy's endowment or scholarship program without starting a named fund?
Yes! Many donors donate to our Making A Difference Fund if or one of our named funds and their gift is pooled with other funding in order to award student aid. Donors also make gifts to the Mercy High School Endowment Fund. Gifts may be made online, through a gift of stock or via check.
For more information, please contact the Advancement Office at 650.762.1190.