Scholarship FAQs

Scholarships assist Oklahoma students in pursuit of higher education. At Communities Foundation of Oklahoma (CFO) we administer scholarships to individual students from communities large and small.

How do I establish a scholarship fund?

Refer to our Start a Fund Page or contact Lauren Rennie, Scholarship Director, to get started. 1.405.488.1450

Can I fundraise to grow my fund balance?

Yes!  There are many ways you can grow a scholarship fund.  if you plan to hold special events, write grant proposals, or engage in other fundraising activities, we ask that you contact our Scholarship Director prior to getting started.  

How are funds invested?

All endowed funds are professionally invested in one of three pooled accounts.  Our friendly team will work with you to select the best option for your goals.

What are the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma administrative fees?

Please refer to our current Fee Schedule for specific information.  Our fees cover all general administrative tasks performed by CFO including establishing the fund, providing tax receipts for donations made into the account, investment expenses, and sending quarterly fund statements.

The fee also covers all scholarship specific tasks including creating and accepting applications, online application costs, tracking students, coordinating and providing materials for selection committees, and distributing scholarship payments to colleges/universities.  

Can I choose the criteria for eligible students?

Yes! You can set eligibility requirements based on many different criteria including:

  • Residency
  • High School
  • Year of Study
  • Major or Area of Study
  • Selected College, University or CareerTech
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • And many more!

Our Scholarship Director will work with you to create a scholarship that allows you to follow your passions while ensuring compliance with IRS regulations.

Can I or a member of my family choose the students? Can I ask someone else to make these selections?

Our Scholarship Director will guide you through a process that allows donors to participate in the screening and selection of applicants to the extent allowed by federal law.  Unfortunately it is not possible for donors to pre-select or individually choose recipients. 

If you'd rather not participate in the process, you can designate a local selection committee or the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma’s Scholarship Committee can help award your new scholarship each year.

How do I know the amount of the scholarship to be awarded annually?

The amount available is based on Communities Foundation of Oklahoma’s spending policy, established during the Board of Trustees' Annual Meeting (usually held in August). This distribution is a percentage of the average fair market value of assets over the previous eight quarters (or life of the fund). Each January, our Scholarship Director will notify you of the amount available for your scholarship awards.

How are students paid and tracked throughout the years they receive a scholarship?

Scholarship payments are made directly to the recipient’s college, university or CareerTech. For multi-year awards, our Scholarship Director will track the student based on GPA and other applicable requirements. Students receive and sign a student agreement clearly outlining expectations and are responsible for meeting all conditions necessary to remain eligible for future payments.

What can scholarship dollars pay for?

Per IRS Publication 970:

Qualified education expenses: For purposes of tax-free scholarships and fellowship grants, these are expenses for:

Tuition and fees required to enroll at or attend an eligible educational institution; and Course-related expenses, such as fees, books, supplies, and equipment that are required for the courses at the eligible educational institution. These items must be required of all students in your course of instruction.

Expenses that don't qualify. Qualified education expenses don't include the cost of:

Room and board, Travel, Research, Clerical help, or Equipment and other expenses that aren't required for enrollment in or attendance at an eligible educational institution. 


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2932 NW 122nd Street Suite D, Oklahoma City, OK 73120   (405) 488-1450   (877) 689-7726   Email us

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