Club Scholarships Process
It is nearing the time of year that many of our Sertoma clubs are getting ready to award college scholarships. Each year this leads to many questions from both our members and students. Thus, we will address a few of the common questions.
Q. How should a club disburse funds to the students who are awarded a scholarship?
A. Scholarship checks should be written in the name of the school. A club must never give the money directly to the student. Under the Tax Reform Act of 1986, scholarship funds not used for an IRS-defined education expense must reported as taxable income to the student. A school is required to report to the student all funds he or she has received that are taxable; a club does not have the ability to know if the funds are taxable due to the studentís fiscal situation.
Q. Many students call Sertoma Headquarters saying they were awarded a scholarship by Sertoma and want to claim it. When the scholarship is awarded by the club, Headquarters cannot help these students claim the scholarship. How is it best to help students claim their scholarship?
A. The application and notification to the students must explain how to claim their awarded scholarship. All correspondence needs to include all of the contact information necessary for the student to ask questions or write a letter. Make sure the Sertoma clubís name is on all correspondence, as many of the students who call do not know the clubís name Ė only that it was a Sertoma scholarship. If there are many clubs in the area, tracking down the contact person can be difficult. Additionally, make sure to note to what academic year the scholarship applies.
Sertomaís Scholarship for the Hard of Hearing or Deaf, is the leading funder of scholarships for hard of hearing or deaf students since the programís inception in 1994. Students with clinically significant bilateral hearing loss, graduating from high school, or undergraduate students pursuing four-year college degrees in any discipline are eligible for the scholarship.