John E. Brown founded John Brown University in 1919 to make a Christian college education possible for students from the Ozarks who had limited financial means. In the early days, students worked on the campus dairy farm or the radio station to help pay for their educations. Brown, a charismatic speaker and motivator, also worked diligently to partner with investors who would be a part of what God was doing at JBU.
Endowed scholarships are scholarships created by individuals, families, foundations, or groups of donors (such as alumni classes). They can be named in honor or memory of someone, such as a friend, family member, or beloved professor.
Funds that are given to create to an endowed scholarship are invested in JBU’s endowment and a spending percentage, which is reviewed and set annually by the JBU Board of Trustees, creates the annual scholarship(s) for students with financial need or who meet certain criteria. The long term objective of the Endowment is to earn a return sufficient to preserve the purchasing power of the Endowment for generations to come, as well as to provide for current spending needs.
In addition, funds can be added to the scholarship further increasing its value.
Those who create and those who contribute to endowed scholarships will receive custom reports each year, showing its value, amount of growth, information about student recipients, and thank you notes from those students. In addition to supporting students, donors also receive other benefits: they become members of JBU’s Master Builders Society, an organization that was created in 1941 to recognize faithful supporters who are committed to advancing the mission of JBU. And, they are invited to JBU’s annual Scholarship Dinner, our premier event bringing donors and students together for an evening of celebration.
A minimum of $10,000 is required to create an endowed scholarship. In addition to cash gifts, there are a variety of creative ways to fund a scholarship. JBU works closely with donors so that the terms of the endowed scholarship (reasons for creating it, appropriate criteria) accomplish the donor’s intent.
The majority of JBU’s endowed scholarships are awarded to students with demonstrated financial need. The Financial Aid Office evaluates each student’s need and awards based on the appropriate level and in accordance with any stated endowed scholarship criteria. Some endowed scholarships are unrestricted, while others have requirements that the recipient must meet. For example, an endowed scholarship might be restricted to incoming freshmen, Business majors, or require that the recipient be a resident of a certain state. If recipients cannot be found to match the criteria, the available funds are carried over to the next academic awarding period or are reinvested in the scholarship’s fund.
For many, a private education is not affordable in today’s economy when lowered federal tuition aid, inflation, and unemployment affect college choices for many prospective students. These families must make significant sacrifices, and some simply are not able to bridge the gap between their contribution and the cost of an education. This is why JBU remains committed to providing as much financial aid as possible, and endowed scholarships are key to this commitment.
JBU has more than doubled the number of endowed scholarships over the last decade, awarding over $1.7 million each year. Almost 90% of JBU students receive financial aid, and 210 endowed scholarships significantly contribute to this.
For questions, please contact:
Dr. April Moreton
Director of Development