UW-Superior Foundation FAQ’s

Jump down to


What are all the steps to apply for UW-Superior Foundation Scholarships?

First, complete and submit the General Application. The General Application is very simple, but you will want to spend some time on your description of why you deserve a UW-Superior Foundation Scholarship. Department reviewers will read these carefully, and they will also take into consideration the extra-curricular activities, leadership roles, etc. you have listed. Once the questions on the General Application are answered, you are automatically matched to scholarships for which you meet the criteria. No other action is needed for these scholarships.

Once your General Application is submitted, check out the scholarships that the system has “Recommended” for you and apply for the ones in which you believe you may qualify. Due to the multitude of variations with Majors, Minors, & Concentrations, as well as the complexity of some scholarship criteria; some scholarships may be recommended to you for which you are not eligible. Please read the descriptions and related deadlines carefully and apply for those scholarships where you appear to meet the minimum criteria.

How can I see which Foundation scholarship opportunities I was automatically matched to?

After logging into the scholarship application system, click the “My Applications” tab. All scholarship opportunities that you have applied to or the system automatically applied you to based on your General Application will appear under the heading “Current”.

How does the system know my university information when applying for scholarships?

Once your General Application is completed, some of your personal, contact and academic information is imported from PeopleSoft, the campus information system. Only information that is associated to the various scholarships is imported. This imported information is located under the “Application Record” of your General Application. Please note: you cannot update the information on this section of the application. If you have concerns about the information in the imported fields, you must contact the Registrar’s Office for more information on making any necessary updates.

When and how will I know if I have been awarded a scholarship?

Award notifications are usually sent out by the end of April or early May. Further directions will be provided to you once notification is received. Please be sure to follow all stated requirements (submit thank you letter, etc.) to avoid holding up your award. Award notification will be sent to your UW-Superior email address.

Can I be awarded more than one scholarship?

Yes. Various factors are considered for all scholarship awarding and some students receive more than one.

How do I request a letter of reference when applying for scholarships?

Most scholarships do not require letters of reference. If a reference letter is needed, you will be prompted to enter the individual’s full name and email address. It is an expectation that you respectfully request permission to use an individual as a reference PRIOR to entering their contact information. Once the contact information is entered, an email is immediately sent to the individual with instructions for completing the reference letter. Please encourage a timely response from your reference. You will not be able to view the submitted reference letter, only that it has been received. We strongly encourage you to request/receive these as early as possible. Once a reference letter has been added to the system on your behalf, you will be able to use it for multiple scholarship opportunities. To see if your reference has been submitted, click the Reference tab. You have the option to resend your request for reference from here.

Do I need to complete the FAFSA when applying for scholarships?

Some scholarships require the recipient to show financial need as determined by the annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA annually if they want to be considered for need-based awards.

When applying for Foundation scholarships, can I save my application and come back to it later?

Yes. You may save your General Application or individual scholarship applications. Scholarship applications that have been saved will show as “Drafted”.

University of Wisconsin – Superior Foundation, Inc.

What is the mission of the Foundation?

To secure, invest and manage financial resources that support exceptional opportunities for the University of Wisconsin-Superior, its students, faculty, and facilities.

What are the basic duties of the Foundation Board of Directors?

In addition to executing the mission, some basic duties of the Foundation are:

  • balance the budget
  • execute donor wishes
  • oversee and manage investment assets
  • meet financial obligations
  • obtain annual audit by independent accounting firm
  • maintain effective internal control environment

What is the structure of the Foundation?

The Foundation is a private foundation. It is a non-stock, not-for-profit entity and is incorporated under Chapter 181 of the laws of the State of Wisconsin. It is also registered as a § 501c3 not-for-profit corporation within the meaning and provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States. The legal name is University of Wisconsin – Superior Foundation, Inc. and its office is located on the UW-Superior campus in Superior, Wisconsin.

The Foundation’s annual meeting is held in September or October in Superior, Wisconsin. The Board of Directors also meets two or three other times during each year.

The Foundation has three categories of Directors: (1) Voting Director; (2) ex officio Director; and (3) Emeritus Director. Ex officio and Emeritus Directors are not eligible to vote on matters that come before the Board.

The Voting Directors (not less than ten and no more than thirty) control and manage the affairs and business of the Foundation. Directors may reside at any location. A Voting Director’s term of office is three years. Upon the recommendation of the Governance Committee, the Board may elect a Voting Director for three consecutive terms.

The Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Superior and the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement may be non-voting ex officio Board members. An Emeritus Director is a distinguished former Voting Director.

The Foundation officers, who are elected from the Voting Directors, are the President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. The immediate Past President also serves as an Officer. The UW-Superior Vice Chancellor for University Advancement may serve as the Executive Director of the Foundation and as the liaison between the Foundation and the university.

The Foundation has three standing committees: (1) Advancement (plans approaches to solicit/acquire contributions and steward donors); (2) Governance (makes recommendations for the Foundation’s corporate governance): and (3) Finance (informs and advises the Board of Directors on financial matters.)

How can I become a Director of the Foundation?

After evaluating the qualifications of each Director candidate, any Director or other individual may suggest an individual to the Chair of the Governance Committee for election as a Director. The Governance Committee brings the name of a Director candidate before the Board of Directors for vote. Once the Board decides to approve the appointment of a new Director, the Governance Committee assigns a mentor to the new Director for the purposes of orientation and guidance for the first year

Are all Directors required to make a contribution to the Foundation each year and are contributions tax deductible?

The goal of the Board is 100% participation in a gift amount of each Director’s choosing. As a § 501c3 not-for-profit corporation within the meaning and provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, contributions to the Foundation may be tax deductible to the extent of state and federal law.

May my contribution to the Foundation be something other than cash?

Yes. Please refer to the Foundation Gift Policy and contact a member of the Advancement staff for further details.

What is the Foundation’s relationship with the University of Wisconsin-Superior?

The Foundation is connected to the university’s fundraising, alumni relations and development operations. Through a full spectrum of fundraising programs, the Foundation provides resources that advance the mission of the university. The Foundation’s sole purpose is to support the university and encourage and manage gifts (receive, invest and guarantee good stewardship) for the benefit of the university and its community.

The Foundation is a legally separate entity from the university and must maintain appropriate, legally mandated independence from the responsibilities of the university. As such, the Foundation has no formal or legal role in the governance of the university, the setting of academic priorities, payment of university employees or other matters that are part of the university’s responsibilities. Likewise, the university does not have a formal or legal role in the governance of the Foundation.

What is the UW-Superior Foundation’s relationship with the Alumni Association?

The Foundation works closely with the Alumni Association but the Alumni Association is a separate entity. The Alumni Association works to foster life-long pride and loyalty among alumni and friends by offering opportunities to strengthen their continued relationships with the university.

How does the Foundation support the university and how much annual support is provided?

By executing its mission and following donor intent. In FY17, the Foundation supported the university with over $1.2 million, broken down between scholarships and other institutional/programmatic support. In addition, the Foundation funds its own annual operating budget ($450,000) as does the Alumni Association ($77,000).

What are the types of Foundation funds/assets and what is its total asset amount?

Endowment Funds result from donor contributions which are made for a particular purpose, such as a specific scholarship, and are established as a permanently restricted fund by the donor.

Board Designated Funds are funds that the donor does not designate as permanently restricted, but because of their nature and purpose, are designated as such by the Foundation Board of Directors.

Unless expressly instructed or authorized by the donor, for both endowed and board designated funds, the original gift remains intact and only the investment income generated may be used for the payment of administration fees, investment management fees and for the donor’s or the Foundation’s stated purpose. The earnings from the endowment funds are used to fund the criteria established for each fund. The principal (or charitable contribution amount) is not distributed and the fund lives into perpetuity. A Foundation spending policy is used to calculate annual distributions from each fund – currently 4% of the trailing 3-year average June 30 market values of each fund – as long as that amount is less than the accumulated earnings of the fund. The minimum amount to establish an endowment fund is $10,000.

The Foundation’s investment and financial management firm manages the endowment funds.

Temporary Restricted Funds consist of contributions restricted to a specific use but are expected to be completely used within a short period of time. (E.g. a building fund) Earnings from temporary restricted funds are credited to the unrestricted fund.

Unrestricted Funds are funds from donor contributions without a specific designation. Fees and interest earned from temporary funds and certain other funds are credited to the unrestricted fund. Unrestricted funds are used to fund the administration of the Foundation in compliance with its annual budget. Funds are also used for university institutional support and undergraduate research.

As of June 30, 2017, total assets grew to over $16 million.

How are scholarships awarded?

There are presently 23 academic and non-academic university scholarship committees that award scholarships. Each scholarship committee receives a Foundation report in January that summarizes its scholarships and the criteria for each, along with the award amounts. Each scholarship committee accepts student applications and from those reviews and selects the student recipients that best meet the stated criteria. The number of scholarships per committee varies.

How are scholarship disbursements made?

Each scholarship committee forwards its recommended student recipient applications to the Advancement Office where the scholarship amounts and criteria are verified. The Advancement Office then notifies the student recipients of their selection along with the scholarship name, contact person(s) and the amount of the scholarship.

What happens after scholarships are awarded?

The university business office invoices the Foundation after the scholarships post to student accounts. The Foundation submits payment to the university.

How is the donor informed of a scholarship award?

The donor receives an annual scholarship report packet each November that includes:

  • A thank you letter co-signed by the Foundation President and Finance Committee Chair that includes investment performance information and other economic info, a financial report of the fund which includes beginning balance, contributions received, market gains/losses, administrative fee charged, scholarship amount awarded, and an ending balance – as of June 30 of each year, a summary of the scholarship criteria and the names and award amounts for the student recipients
  • A thank you letter from the Chancellor
  • Student thank you letters

What is an Institutional Support Fund?

Temporary restricted funds whose distribution is determined by donor wishes. The Foundation has many institutional funds and each has a fund manager who administers the fund according to the Advancement Office document called the Foundation Fund Management Guideline. The Foundation reports the activity of these funds to the respective fund manager. Examples of these funds include: athletic team funds and academic/ program specific funds.

How are Foundation office expenses paid?

The Foundation operating budget is not funded by the university. It is partially funded by unrestricted “Superior Fund” gifts and an administrative fee charged on endowment funds – currently 2.25%. The Vice Chancellor for University Advancement approves all expense payments, and any payment request of $5,000 or greater is additionally approved by the Foundation President and Chair of the Finance Committee.

What are the funds to which I may contribute and/or can I set up my own fund or scholarship?

There are currently more than 400 funds to which you may contribute. If you wish to establish your own fund, please contact an Advancement staff member for further details.