How to Begin a Memorial Scholarship


A memorial scholarship honors the memory of a loved one or friend who has passed away. Grieving loved ones can take solace in the fact that the scholarship will help a deserving individual advance her education. Families can choose scholarship requirements that align with the individual's academic or professional interest, which can establish a deeper meaning in the memorial scholarship.

Establish eligibility requirements for your scholarship. The scholarships might go to a student at the late individual's high school or college alma mater or to a student majoring in the same field of study. The scholarship may also honor the individual's love of an activity by going to a student who participates in a specific activity, like a sport. Decide which path your memorial scholarship will go, and create a list of requirements that applicants must meet.

Create a committee of volunteers for your memorial scholarship. Individuals with a relationship with the person who passed away will be your most dedicated team of volunteers for this cause. The scholarship committee will have to review scholarship applications and select a recipient. The committee also might help raise money or meet annually to revise scholarship eligibility criteria.

Raise funds for the scholarship. Unless you are putting up the money yourself, your memorial scholarship will need some funds to get started. First, determine how much money you will offer for the scholarship. Then, identify ways to raise that money. For example, you can solicit donations from family and friends, or you can hold an annual memorial 5K or golf scramble. You can honor the person who has passed away during these events, and entry fees can go toward the scholarship.

Create a scholarship application. The application should require basic biographical information about the applicant. Also, include a list of other items that you require from each applicant, such as school transcripts, test scores or letters of recommendation. Include an essay question that gives you more insight into the applicant and relates to the interests or aspirations of the person the scholarship is honoring.

Publicize the scholarship and collect applications. Work backward, first deciding when you want to award the scholarship. Set a deadline date at least a month before the award date so that the committee has time to review applications and select a winner. Promote the scholarship in school newsletters, on school websites, on community bulletin boards and on scholarship websites.

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