Policy and Intent
As a private foundation (as that term is defined in the Internal Revenue Code), the Bill and Suzanne Lowe Family Foundation (“Foundation”) has established the following policies and procedures pursuant to which it will award scholarship grants. It is intended that all scholarships will be awarded in accordance with these procedures on an objective and nondiscriminatory basis and that the Foundation’s scholarship program will at all times be operated so as to conform to procedures approved or prescribed by the Treasury Regulations applicable to grants to individuals by private foundations. The following procedures will be interpreted in a manner which ensures the Foundation’s compliance with the requirement of IRC§ 4945 and section 53.4945-4 of the Treasury Regulations.
The Foundation wishes to support promising and motivates students seeking a degree or certification from a trade school, vocational school, community college, or other similar institution for post-secondary education that offers a training program to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation and is accredited by a national recognized accreditation agency. Scholarships may be granted for one year or multiple years.
From time to time, the Foundation may prioritize certain types of degrees or educational programs, and it may expand its scholarship program to include traditional four-year colleges and universities. Regardless of any such tailoring of the Foundation’s scholarship program, all scholarships shall be awarded pursuant to these policies and procedures.
Selection of Grantees
Criteria for Selection: The scholarship criteria will be objective and nondiscriminatory, and the group from which applicants are selected will be broad enough to constitute a charitable class. No individual within this class may be earmarked to receive scholarship benefits. The selection criteria will also be reasonably related to the purposes of the grant. Criteria may include, but need not be limited to: prior academic performance, employment history, demonstration of overcoming personal and economic hardships, recommendations from instructors, financial need, and the conclusions that the selection committee might draw from a personal interview as to the individual’s motivation, character, ability, and potential. All scholarship applicants will submit an application, which will include a biographical record and supporting material, including personal essays, letters of recommendation, grade transcripts, and other supporting information as the Foundation may request.
Selection Committee: Ultimate selection of the scholarship recipients will be made by the Foundation’s board of directors. However, the board may appoint a Scholarship Advisory Committee comprised of individuals with particular expertise relevant for the scholarship program to review all applications, conduct interviews, and perform other such duties necessary to provide the Foundation board with a recommended slate of scholarship recipients. Application materials for all scholarships recommended by the Scholarship Advisory Committee shall be forwarded to the Foundation for review and for final determination that the applicants meet the applicable criteria and these policies and procedures. In the absence of a Scholarship Advisory Committee, the Foundation’s board will directly carry out the scholarship selection process described herein.
No scholarship may be awarded to any family member of the Foundation’s board of directors or Scholarship Advisory Committee, or any other disqualified person as defined in IRC § 4946(a) with respect to the Foundation.
Potential applicants will submit a completed application form as developed by the Foundation from time to time consistent with these policies and procedures.
Foundation scholarship recipients shall be notified after the Foundation has given final approval of the scholarship award recipients. The Foundation shall provide each scholarship recipient with a letter notifying him/her of the grant and specifying that all amounts must be used exclusively for tuition at post-secondary educational institutions that normally maintain a regular faculty and curriculum, and for fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses at such institutions, or for room and board expenses payable to the institution. The letter shall inform the student that no funds may be disbursed until the Foundation receives confirmation that the student is enrolled in the educational institution, at which time the funds shall be disbursed to the school for the student’s benefit. The letter shall also describe the reporting any requirements and shall specify the date by which the recipient must comply with the reporting requirements each year. The recipient shall be required to sign and return a copy of the letter indicating his/her acceptance of the scholarship.
Supervision Over Scholarship Grants
The Foundation shall require each scholarship recipient enrolled in courses to provide annually a transcript indicating the recipient’s courses taken, and grades received in each academic period covered by the grant. The transcript must be verified by the educational institution that the recipient is attending. If the recipient is not taking courses but is instead involved in the preparation of research papers or projects, the recipient shall have the educational institution prepare a brief report to the Foundation at least once a year on the progress of the recipient’s paper or project, which report shall be approved by the faculty member supervising the recipient’s work or another appropriate institutional official.
The scholarship grant will be paid by the Board of Directors directly to the educational institution for the scholarship recipient’s use. Each educational institution must be described in IRC § 170(b)(1)(A)(ii) and must agree in writing to use the grant funds to defray the scholarship recipient’s expenses or to pay the funds (or a portion thereof) to the recipient only if the recipient is enrolled at such educational institution and his or her educational institution is consistent with the purposes and conditions of the grant.
Scholarship grants will be used only for: (1) tuition and fees required for the enrollment or attendance of the student at a qualifying institution; (2) fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of instruction at such an educational institution; and (3) room and board. An additional condition is that no part of the Scholarship Grant shall be used as payment for teaching, research, or other services by the scholarship recipient required as a condition for receiving the scholarship.
If for any reason, a scholarship grant is paid to a person other than the educational institution attended by the scholarship recipient or if the scholarship grant is used for expenses other than qualified tuition and related expenses within the meaning of IRC § 117(b)(2) or for room and board, the Foundation must receive a report on the progress of each recipient of such a scholarship grant at least once each year. This report must include a summary of the use of the funds awarded, and the grantee’s courses taken (if any) and grades received (if any) in each academic period. This report must be verified by the educational institution. A final report is also required.