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Underfunded Endowment Funds Need a Boost

Underfunded Endowment Funds Need a Boost
So far this year, more than $1.5 million in private scholarships helped about 750 University of Arkansas at Little Rock students with expenses such as tuition, books, and housing.

While the funds open doors, the competition can be substantial. There never seems to be enough money to assist all the qualified applicants, said Stephanie Carper, UALR scholarship coordinator.

"Students inquire constantly about scholarship opportunities," Carper said. "The essays they submit speak of the financial need that these funds help alleviate and remind us of the barriers that they have to overcome to attend UALR."

Thousands of dollars that could potentially help those students remain in limbo, sitting in accounts that lack sufficient funding for their intended endowed scholarship purpose. Together, nearly 40 private funds require about $320,000 to reach their minimum endowment levels and would provide more than $20,000 annually in UALR scholarships.

"More resources are needed to meet the needs of the many students who are seeking to improve their lives through education," Carper said.

Friends and family of UALR can assist by donating money to existing future endowments. They also can help future students by starting endowment funds of their own.

While many endowments at the university provide scholarships, the funds can be established for other purposes such as study abroad opportunities and travel to performances and conferences.

The current threshold to establish an endowed fund is $25,000, although numerous underfunded accounts were created when the minimum endowment total was $15,000, and their target dollar amounts haven't changed.

Those interested in contributing to underfunded endowments or establishing an endowment of their own are asked to call Jan Davis or Peggy Mitchell at the Office of Alumni and Development at (501) 569-3194.

Visit http://ualr.edu/scholarships for a full list of current available scholarships.
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