Fund a Scholarship

Support Student Scholarships

Endowed scholarships are established and named through an outright gift of $25,000 or more over a maximum five-year period. The original gift is permanently invested, and 5 percent interest is awarded as a scholarship annually. While approaching the $25,000 level, interest earnings are added to the fund. Endowed scholarships can also be established or added to through an estate gift. The scholarship is awarded one year after the scholarship is fully funded.

Reasons to Establish a Scholarship

  • Memorialize a loved one
  • Preserve your loved one’s name and memory through a scholarship.
  • Leave a legacy where you have a passion
  • You can designate the scholarship for a specific major or cocurricular activity based on your interests.
  • Honor someone who invested in someone else
  • Perhaps you had a favorite faculty member you’d like to honor or another person who had an impact on your life.
  • Connect with a student
  • See first hand how your dollars affect other lives.

How to Establish a Scholarship

  1. Start by calling Institutional Advancement at 605-995-2603 or e-mail for more information.
  2. The staff will discuss the various options with you and how your goals and objectives best fit within the scholarship program.
  3. We will send you a form to complete and sign indicating the name and criteria of the scholarship.
  4. You make the scholarship gift.
  5. The scholarship is awarded.
  6. For endowed scholarships, an annual report is sent to you indicating the earnings and award amount of the scholarship.

Why Donor-Funded Scholarships are Necessary

  • DWU student population: Approximately 40% are first generation
  • The highest percentage of Pell-eligible students (those least able to afford college) among South Dakota colleges
  • 20% have zero family contribution
  • 16% are underrepresented groups (minorities)
  • Average debt upon graduation: $30,000-$40,000

Awarded in scholarships annually – $3,000,000
Donor-funded scholarships – -$573,443
Needed to fill the gap – $2,426,557