The percentage of scholarship money given out in fiscal-year 2017 is only 14.9 percent of Missouri Western Foundation’s total expenses, but that number does not tell the whole story.
Although the percentage number is lower than previous years, the amount of money given out in scholarships for the fiscal year 2017 exceeded previous years – totaling over $861,000. In 2014, $806,083 was given out in scholarships and accounted for 20.2 percent of the total expenses.
The increase in scholarship money was a result of five new scholarships being created from 2016-2017: Dr Leonard Archer Chemistry Scholarship, Sylvester Brandon Sr. Memorial Scholarship, Kenneth R. Jameson and Marjorie C. Jameson Scholarship, Jordan Swearngin Memorial Scholarship and Jerene Thomas Memorial Scholarship.
The Foundation has grown by $11 million in just five years. With that growth, 13 new scholarships were established from 2013-2017 allowing more students to be granted scholarships.
Even though the percent in 2017 seemed low, the Foundation obtained more money to give out in the form of scholarships compared to previous years. 480 scholarships were given out in 2017 compared to 211 scholarships given out in 2016.
Around $4,379 was given out to 211 students in the form of scholarships in 2016 equaling approximately $924,087. In 2017, the number of scholarships given out increased. 480 students were given scholarships, but received less money than the previous year. Approximately $861,000 was given out in scholarships for that year.
From 2014-2017 1,652 scholarships were awarded to Missouri Western students from the Foundation.
Scholarships come from a variety of sources which include estates, living donors,and companies. There is a mix of all three in the Foundation.
Endowed scholarships make up the largest scholarship pool by fund at the MWSU Foundation. An endowed scholarship is a permanent and perpetual scholarship fund. To be an established scholarship, a gift or multiple gifts must total at least $10,000. The donors are given two years from the first donation to complete the full $10,000 requirement.
Associate Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer Andrew Molloy explained more about endowed scholarships.
“Once the gift is received, it is invested for a year, and then a scholarship can be given yearly based on the approved distribution rate by the Foundation Board,” Molloy said. “The distribution formula is based on a five-year rolling average of the endowment plus the approved distribution rate. So, if an endowed scholarship’s five-year rolling average is $20,000 and the distribution rate is 5 percent, then the scholarship has $1,000 to award for that fiscal year.”
Vice President for University Advancemeny Jerry Pickman explained the significance of the endowment fund.
“The strength of any foundation is its endowment, and the Foundation’s endowment has grown almost $14 million during this time period,” Pickman said. “A larger endowment has allowed the Foundation to distribute more aid to the university.”
The endowed funds are invested to provide funding for programs, projects or scholarships as assigned by the donor. Also, they are invested to provide for the long-term growth of the investment. The spending allocation in each fiscal year is calculated using a three-year rolling average.
A donor could give MWSU $100,000 and ask that the scholarship be given out $50,000 for the first year, $25,000 the second year, $15,000 the third year and $10,000 the fourth year. The donor does not have to give the total amount up front, but can make contributions yearly to adhere to the four-year policy.
“Scholarships are set up as either endowed scholarships or restricted scholarships,” Pickman said. “A restricted scholarship is given out per the donor’s request which is adherence to the Foundation’s policies and guidelines. To set up a restricted scholarship at MWSU the donor must agree to give out at least $1,000 a year for four years and then a scholarship can be set up. The amount of restricted scholarship distribution all depends on the donor’s wishes.”
In 2014, a change in donor restriction occurred. $10,000 that had previously been donated was moved from temporarily restricted to permanently restricted. That means the donor was able to decide what that money would be used for.
The increase in the amount of scholarship money awarded can also be the effect of money moving from permanently restricted to temporarily restricted to unrestricted. Permanently restricted money can only be used for what the donor says. Temporarily restricted money is only restricted for a certain amount of time. Unrestricted money can be used for whatever the Foundation decides.
In 2017, $5.3 million was moved from temporarily restricted to unrestricted. The rest of the temporarily restricted money ($21,000) was moved to permanently restricted.
$4.4 million was moved from temporarily restricted to unrestricted in 2016. $3.4 million was also moved from temporarily restricted to unrestricted in 2015. In 2014, $3.3 million was moved from temporarily and permanently restricted to unrestricted.
In four years, the MWSU Foundation accumulated $16.4 million dollars in unrestricted funds.
There are six different groups of donors to Missouri Western: MWSU Ambassadors, Arts Society, Clock Tower Society, President’s Centennial Circle, Western League for Excellence and Gold Coat Victory Fund.
Donors are put into the corresponding group depending on much they donate to the Foundation and what they donate to. The MWSU Ambassadors focus is on nontraditional students. Gold Coat Victory Fund’s focus is on MWSU athletics.
“The MWSU Ambassadors selected nontraditional students as its primary focus and established a scholarship fund specifically targeted for them,” Bea Dobyan, president of the MWSU Ambassadors, said. “Each year, the Ambassadors hold Night at the Ritz to raise funds for scholarships. Since 1989, the group has distributed over $400,000 to more than 650 students.”
Northwest and Missouri
Southern State University
Comparing to similar university foundations, Missouri Western consistently awards more scholarship money. In 2016, the Foundation awarded $924,087 in scholarships. Northwest Missouri State University Foundation gave out $859,000 in scholarship money in the same year. Missouri Southern State University awarded $829,212 in scholarships for the fiscal year 2017.