French poet and novelist Anatole France (1844-1924) wrote, “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”

The students at Miami Dade College, while not necessarily knowing France’s words, live that sentiment. They come to Miami to fulfill their dreams, to believe that they are capable of greatness. 

We believe that too, and strive to help them in every way possible.  One of the best ways to help is through scholarships.

Scholarships are the lifeblood of any academic institution. This is especially true at Miami Dade College, where 67% of our students are considered “low income” and 46% live below the federal poverty level for their household size.  As a result, many of our students work and support families. Many attend part-time to juggle their myriad responsibilities.

There are several considerations when establishing a scholarship fund at Miami Dade College Foundation.

To endow or not to endow?
An endowed fund is invested in perpetuity, with a portion of the annual earnings (currently the equivalent of five percent of the gift) being used to fund scholarships.  The funds are combined with those of other donors for investment purposes; the investments are overseen by the MDC Foundation’s Investment Committee and professionally managed by a nationally-recognized investment advisory company.  The minimum for establishing a named scholarship fund is $25,000.

Non-endowed scholarship funds do not earn interest and do not exist in perpetuity unless additional donations are received.  Funds will be awarded to students until the account is depleted.

Who gets these scholarships?
You have the opportunity to set the criteria that will be used in selecting scholarship recipients.  These can include:

  • Financial Need – Many donors prefer scholarships to be awarded based on financial need, as determined by the College’s Financial Aid Office
  • Academic Achievement – You may stipulate that scholarship recipients must have a minimum GPA to qualify
  • Field of Study – You may restrict scholarships to a students in particular areas of study (e.g., business, architecture, visual arts)

Because of federal laws , you may not restrict scholarships by race, national origin or gender.

What is the process?
The process of awarding scholarships is managed by Miami Dade College on behalf of the Foundation. Students complete a single application and the College-wide scholarship committee matches students with scholarship opportunities, ensuring that as many students as possible are helped.

By law, donors are not permitted to participate in the selection process. Your wishes are fulfilled through the establishment of the scholarship criteria at the time you make your gift.

OK, let’s do this.
When you decide to establish a scholarship, a member of the MDC Foundation staff will work with you to determine the type, name and criteria for your fund.  They will develop a written gift agreement that captures your wishes and serves as a formal guide to ensure that those wishes are carried out for as long as the scholarship fund exists. 

To learn more, contact the Miami Dade College Foundation at 305.237.3240.