Harper College


Scholarship recipient: "Because you gave, I can focus on school and my family."

What is a scholarship?

Scholarships are funds established by individuals, families, businesses, foundations or groups of donors to provide aid to Harper College students.  The Harper College Educational Foundation manages over 250 scholarship funds created by donors.  Scholarships may be named in someone's honor - a friend, professor or loved one.  The Foundation offers two kinds of scholarship funds - endowed scholarships and current use (unendowed).

Endowed Scholarships

An endowment is a permanent fund, often named for the donor(s) or other individuals.  Endowed scholarships exist in perpetuity and often grow in size.  An endowed scholarship is created with a minimum gift of $10,000.  Endowed scholarships may be used for general use scholarships or for a special restricted purpose.  Endowed scholarship award amounts are determined by the Harper Foundation investment and spending policy. 

Donations can be added to the endowment at any time to grow the principal, thereby increasing the award amount.  Endowed scholarships must "sit" for one year after reaching its established level of fund before it can be awarded  Donors can make an additional donation that can be awarded immediately during this year.

Current Use (Unendowed) Scholarships

Current use scholarships require a minimum donation of $3,000 and can be spent the same year it is established.  The scholarship allocation is dependent upon the donor's interest and the level of donation.  This type of fund does not earn interest.  Additional gifts can be added to the fund.  This scholarship is terminated when the fund balance has been fully spent and additional gifts are not received.

How are scholarships awarded?

Students apply online for scholarships through Harper’s scholarship management system. Scholarship applications are reviewed, and the Educational Foundation distributes these awards to student accounts. Distributions from endowed scholarships are made according to the specified requirements of each fund. For example, an endowed scholarship might be restricted to first generation college students or students studying a health career.

Scholarship Stewardship

Scholarship donors receive a Scholarship Stewardship Report annually that gives a financial summary of the scholarship fund for the previous fiscal year.  Scholarship recipients attend a orientation where they learn about the scholarship they have received, and asked to write thank you notes to their scholarship donors. ;

Each spring, the Foundation hosts an event in which scholarship donors and their scholarship recipient have the opportunity to meet and learn more about one another at the event. 

Stories that Inspire

Linda Kolbusz-Kosan and Ken Kosan, Founding Donors, Kolbusz-Kosan Endowed Scholarship

A wedding gift that changes lives

As older adults getting married, we didn't need to have a traditional gift registry. Instead, we endowed the scholarship and asked guests to donate. Now the scholarship could continue in perpetuity. We felt it was the best way to assist students while celebrating a special time. Read More


For more information please contact Foundation Staff at foundation@harpercollege.edu or 847.925.6490.

Last Updated: 4/1/24