First-Time Endowed Scholarship Donor
Matching Program

A 1:1 permanent match for gifts from donors creating their first undergraduate scholarship endowment at Penn State

Every year, nearly 100,000 students enroll at our University. These individuals and their families put their faith in Penn State to deliver a world-class education, offer opportunities for leadership and growth, and help our graduates to hit the ground running in their careers. As a public, land-grant institution, Penn State has a moral imperative to fulfill that promise to all our students, regardless of their financial background. As declining state support has shifted the burden of rising tuition to students and families, too many undergraduates are juggling full-time course loads with full-time jobs, ultimately delaying their degrees and their careers and denying them the full Penn State experience. Many graduate with extraordinary burdens of debt—and many others don’t graduate at all and must find a way to pay their student loans without the benefit of a degree.

Over and over, alumni and friends report that creating a scholarship at Penn State has been one of the most rewarding ways to deepen their relationship with the University and support new generations of students who face financial challenges to earning their degrees. To encourage our supporters to establish their first scholarships during A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence, the University will permanently double the principal of those endowed gifts, doubling the impact on students.

While donors may take up to five years to fulfill their pledges, the First-Time Endowed Scholarship Donor Matching Program shifts funds from the University into new endowments immediately, so that students can begin benefiting from a gift in the semester after the scholarship is established, and your commitment will help undergraduates both right away and far into the future.


David J. Lieb

Senior Associate Vice President

Office of University Development


Your Gift, Penn State’s Match

An illustration of how the power of a $50,000 gift—the most common minimum endowment for Penn State scholarships—can multiply through this matching program.

1: Initial gift

$50,000 pledge from donor, payable over five years.

2: Following quarter

The University applies the 1:1 match of $50,000 to the endowment principal.

4.5 percent of the endowment’s principal value of $50,000 is paid out, early activating the scholarship and making $2,250 in aid available in the next academic year.

3: Next four years

As the donor makes additional pledge payments, the awarded amount increases each year.

4: Upon completion

When the pledge is fully paid, the scholarship will pay out on the full amount of the endowment of $100,000 or $4,500 annually.

Scholarships at Penn State

Creating a scholarship endowment at the University is an opportunity for alumni and friends to support students who share their values and passions. The following categories represent a sampling of current scholarship programs at Penn State, but the Office of University Development can partner with you to define a scholarship that meets your philanthropic goals. To qualify for matching funds through the First-Time Endowed Scholarship Donor Matching Program, a scholarship must be directed to students whose families can cover 25 percent or less of their educational costs, as determined by Penn State’s Office of Student Aid.

Undergraduate Scholarships

Minimum Endowment: $50,000

Whether donors choose to celebrate leaders of student organizations, young people from their hometown high school, or other undergraduates with whom they feel a strong connection, their scholarships can help to create a diverse and vibrant Penn State community. Two common types of undergraduate scholarships are:

Academic Merit Scholarships:

Students of exceptional promise can be inspired by scholarships that reward their achievements, free them to focus on their studies, and allow them to fulfill their potential for leadership and service.

Athletics Scholarships:

Student-athletes can succeed on and off the field with support from alumni and fans who want to honor the commitment of our players to representing Penn State at the highest levels.

Renaissance Scholarships

Minimum Endowment: $30,000

Designated as University-wide or for the donor’s preferred campus, Renaissance Scholarships assist academically talented students with the greatest financial need.