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Frequently Asked Questions

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If you have further questions, please contact Marc Laney.

Q: What is the difference between an athletic scholarship, an athletic endowment, and the entire athletics endowment?
A: We in athletics use the word athletic scholarship and athletic endowment interchangeably. Although many other parts of Rice have endowments that have been established for purposes other than scholarship (e.g. faculty chairs, building funds, etc.), ours have all been created for scholarship purposes. The entire athletics endowment is the sum of all individual athletic scholarship endowments.

Q: How much money is in the athletics endowment?
A: The market value of the athletics endowment was $39.5 million as of June 30, 2012.

Q: What is the minimum dollar amount needed to establish a new athletic scholarship?
A: $50,000, which can be paid over a period of up to five years. It may come from multiple donors or sources, but the total to each athletic endowment, called an "Efund", must be $50,000 in order to activate. Scholarships are created with a simple one-page document called an endowed fund agreement, which is signed by the originator of the scholarship as well as the Athletic Director and VP of Investments/Treasurer. Contact your gift officer for a sample endowed fund agreement.

Q: How soon does my scholarship begin distributing funds to a student-athlete once it is established?
A: All scholarship endowments are reviewed by the Treasurer's Office annually as of December 31st. Once at least $50,000 is deposited into your Efund (which can take up to five years) as of December 31st of any given year, your endowment activates for the next academic year. For example, if you sign an endowed fund agreement to establish a scholarship in November 2010 for $50,000 to benefit a women's volleyball player, and pay $10,000 per year for five years with the first payment to be made in November 2010, the endowment would reach $50,000 of gifts contributed by November 2015. It would then begin benefiting women's volleyball in the fall of the 2016-2017 school year.

Q: How does contributing for a scholarship affect the athletic department overall?
A: Scholarships greatly assist the athletic department as they decrease the department's tuition burden owed to the university for each student-athlete that is recruited each year. They also strongly enhance each student-athlete's life as they allow them to interact with their donor and learn about giving back.

Q: Can I name/title a scholarship any way that I want? A: Generally, yes! Many people name their scholarships after themselves while others honor family members, teammates, or coaches. Final approval of all endowment naming is granted by the VP of Investments and Treasurer.

Q: Which sport needs scholarships the most?
A: While some sports have more scholarships than others (football has the most), every sport needs scholarships, and no sport has reached its maximum scholarship funding. Some donors designate their scholarship to a specific sport or to women's/men's sports, while others leave designation to the athletics department. The most important thing is to give to what you are most interested in.

Q: How are the scholarships assigned to the student-athletes?
A: The athletics department assigns its scholarships each year, with all scholarship assignments approved by the athletics director. Feedback from coaches is also incorporated into the process when possible.

Q: Can I determine who should receive my scholarship?
A: Donors cannot determine to whom scholarships are assigned because of NCAA rules and IRS regulations. Once your scholarship is assigned to an athlete, that athlete will usually continue to receive that scholarship throughout his or her eligibility.

Q: Can I make a gift of any size towards the scholarship fund?
A: While it takes $50,000 to endow a new named scholarship, smaller gifts are gratefully accepted to either the general athletic scholarship endowment or to any other previously established scholarship endowment. Also, once a named scholarship fund is created, you or anyone else may contribute any amount to your scholarship at any time.

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