What is a Scholarship Trust Fund?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 September 2019
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A scholarship trust fund is a type of charitable trust fund that provides qualified applicants with financial support while seeking a college degree or some type of vocational training. An educational trust fund of this type may be structured to provide assistance to individuals coming from families within a certain income bracket, students of a specific ethnic or religious background, or to support students who wish to enter a job field that is highly specialized. Funds of this type must follow basic governmental regulations that are established in the country where the fund is located. In addition, a scholarship trust fund must provide financial information about the fund and its activities to a board or directors or other governing body on a regular basis, as well as making that data available to the appropriate government agency.

The typical scholarship trust fund is established with specific bylaws that comply with standards set by governmental agencies. An administrator or manager for the fund is normally appointed, and is accountable to a board of directors. This administrator is responsible for evaluating applications for assistance and determining which are approved and which are rejected. Depending on the structure of the fund, the administrator may also be responsible for managing any fund investments in a manner that results in a continual flow of revenue into the fund, allowing it to provide scholarships from one year to the next.


One of the more common incarnations of the scholarship trust fund is known as the hardship fund. This type of trust is established to help students obtain a higher education by providing a scholarship to cover tuition and fees at an approved college or university. Typically, the student must be able to demonstrate that he or she cannot afford to cover those costs in order to receive a scholarship. Many hardship funds also require that applicants maintain a certain grade point average in order to continue receiving financial support, as well as be enrolled in enough classes to be considered a full-time student.

There are also scholarship trust funds organized to aid racial or religious minorities. In these instances, the ethnicity or the religious affiliation of the candidate provides the basis for the extension of the scholarship. Specialty scholarship trust may provide assistance in other situations, such as providing single parents with the resources to obtain a degree and increase their ability to support their children. There are also educational trust funds aimed at assisting people with disabilities to pursue a university degree or obtain vocational training that allows them to be self-sufficient. The assistance offered by any scholarship trust fund may be structured to match grants or scholarships from other organizations, up to a certain figure, or provide the sole means of supporting the student in the pursuit of his or her education.

When applying for assistance from a scholarship trust fund, students are generally encouraged to determine which months out of the calendar year the fund actively accepts applications, and submit the request early within that time frame. This is especially important for smaller funds that have limited resources. Submitting early increases the chances of early review and possibly being awarded the scholarship before the available funds are committed to other applicants.


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