UWRF Foundation gives back to University students
April 23, 2010
Recently the UW-River Falls Foundation has received three new endowment gifts. Two of these are designated for scholarships and one for a professorship. The foundation has also received funding for two new annual scholarships and seven special project accounts.
For over 60 years, the UWRF Foundation has made it possible for generations of students to attend UWRF. Scholarships provide students with critical financial support and access to an education. In 2008-2009, with support from donors, UWRF was able to award 630 scholarships, according to the UWRF Foundation’s Web site.
“The foundation of any structure or endeavor is the key to its success. It must be strong to support the full weight of the enterprise. Even in times of economic challenge, the unflagging loyalty and generosity of our community of supporters provide the very foundation on which our institution’s future success is built and the structure on which our future students will build their own careers and lives,” according to the Foundation’s Web site.
An endowed scholarship exists in perpetuity, leaving a legacy and continuing a tradition of support. The donor’s contribution is to be used to establish the endowed fund, and additional gifts may be contributed at any time. The UWRF Foundation invests the contributions in the principal, or corpus, of the endowed fund. Income from the endowed fund will be used for scholarship awards each year. Endowed scholarships may be named to forever honor or memorialize a person, family, faculty member or fellow alumnus.
Most UWRF scholarship recipients are selected in the winter and early spring prior to the academic year that they receive their scholarship awards. The selection process is conducted by a University-wide or a college scholarship committee that reviews scholarship fund criteria and student applications. Every annual and endowed scholarship will have selection criteria established by the donor and the UWRF Foundation. The following criteria may be considered in developing a scholarship: class status (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student), specific college and/or major, GPA requirement, financial need and renewable scholarships for multiple years. IRS regulations prevent donors from designating family members as scholarship recipients or from selecting the recipients.
Such giving techniques as “planned gifts” strive to offer win-win solutions for the donator and the UWRF Foundation in such a way the donator can make a gift that costs nothing during the donator’s lifetime, give stock and realize larger tax savings, get a monthly paycheck for life in return for your gift, and donating your house, continue to live there, and get a tax break all at the same time.
A law was passed in 2001 that gradually decreased the federal estate tax through 2009, according to the UWRF Foundation. That law stipulated that if no future laws were passed—and professionals in the field all expected that Congress would pass a new law in those intervening 9 years—the federal estate tax would go away in 2010, and return to much higher levels in 2011.
Because of this, at the moment there is no federal estate tax. Therefore people with large estates who die between January 1, 2010 and the date of any new estate tax law may be able to leave estates that are not subject to federal estate tax. Congress might pass a new law to tax people who die during the rest of the year, might try to make the law retroactive on people who died earlier in the year, and might not pass any estate tax law this year or next.