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Your Gift, Their Success

Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, UNLV's most promising students receive the scholarship support they need to achieve their academic goals and fulfill their dreams.

scholarships created
$ 10.4
million private dollars + pledges raised for scholarships (as of 5/4/23)
Individual scholarship awards funded

Scholarships Matter

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About Scholarships

Thank you for your interest in a scholarship gift to support UNLV students. To attract and retain the best students and to enable many of our students to afford a college education, UNLV relies on philanthropic support from individuals and organizations.

"Scholarship" is a term applied to an award of money made to a UNLV student in support of his/her education. For purposes of these guidelines, “scholarship” also refers to a student award or graduate student fellowship.

You can establish an annual scholarship named according to your instructions with a minimum gift of $5,000 or an endowed scholarship with a minimum gift of $30,000 with cash, securities, real estate, or personal property. A Memorandum of Understanding or a confirmation letter will detail the agreed-upon criteria for the acceptance and expenditure of the funds contained in that account. Named scholarship funds may be set up for the benefit of all UNLV students, or may be restricted to a particular college, school, department or program.

If you would like UNLV to award scholarships to students for the duration of their study at UNLV, (four or five years for undergraduates) the full funding must be received and available when the award is made. For example, if you would like a student to receive $5,000 per year for four years, then the UNLV Foundation must have $20,000 available before a multi-year commitment is made to the student.

For named, annual scholarship funds, and for endowment funds, the UNLV Foundation consults with the individual or organization making the scholarship gift to establish criteria for the scholarship. The criteria should be flexible and general to guarantee the widest possible pool of applicants. Acceptable award criteria may include: minimum GPA; specific major, program, department, school or college; undergraduate or graduate status; class standing; and residency. Donors with strong preferences regarding major field of study may consider limiting the award to upper-level students to reduce the likelihood of recipients switching majors and to ensure commitment to that field.

Donors may also wish to require that a student’s financial need be established. UNLV calculates financial need based on federal government guidelines. If financial need is a criteria used to award a scholarship, students must complete a FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) that requests information contained in the family’s IRS tax returns, and earnings and bank statements. A UNLV Foundation development officer will work with you to help you determine if financial need should be included in your list of award criteria and to approve other criteria you may wish to include.

Statement on Equal Opportunity (Board of Regents Handbook --Title 4; chapter 8 section 1)

The Nevada System of Higher Education is guided by the principle that there shall be no difference in the treatment of persons because of race, religion, color, age, sex, disability, or national origin, and that equal opportunity and access to facilities shall be available to all. This principle is applicable to every member of the Nevada System of Higher Education community, both students and employed personnel at every level, and to all units, facilities, and services of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

This principle governs the admissions and subsequent treatment of students in all colleges, as well as student participation in extracurricular activities. It is a guiding policy in the employment of students, either by the Nevada System of Higher Education or by outsiders through the System. All student services, including financial aid, placement, tutoring, and counseling, are governed by the concept of equal opportunity.

All enrolled UNLV students are eligible for scholarships. Some scholarships require a special application available through Financial Aid and Scholarships or individual awarding units.

A UNLV scholarship committee selects the scholarship recipient(s) based on the donor’s criteria. Due to IRS regulations, the donor may not participate in the selection of the recipients. When recipients are selected, funds are transferred from the UNLV Foundation to the Financial Aid and Scholarships office to disburse the awards to the scholarship recipient(s). The UNLV Foundation serves only as the receiving and investing entity for scholarship gifts given by you or your organization.

UNLV's scholarship committees begin meeting in February to select scholarship recipients. Students are notified of awards beginning in March. Funds are distributed to students prior to the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.

The week prior to the start of a term, scholarship funds are electronically transmitted to a student’s fee account. If a student still owes tuition or other fees to the institution, the amount owed will be subtracted from the scholarship payment. If the student does not owe any amount, or if the scholarship is greater than the student’s tuition and fees, a check will be issued to the student which may then be applied to other related expenses.

Please make your check payable to the UNLV Foundation. The address to mail your gift is:

UNLV Foundation
Box 451006
4505 Maryland Pkwy.
Las Vegas, NV 89154-1006

Contributions may also be made online.

The UNLV Foundation will provide you with a gift receipt for your tax-deductible contribution.

For annual scholarship gifts, we ask that your contribution arrive at the UNLV Foundation by December 31 preceding the academic year in which the scholarship will be awarded to students. This allows the University time to process applications, and select and notify students of their award.

Any scholarship gift received after December 31 may be awarded in the subsequent scholarship award cycle. The UNLV Foundation will send an invoice in the fall to those donors who wish to be reminded that their scholarship gift is due.

The primary donor(s) to each named scholarship fund will receive a report following the close of the academic year listing the names and majors of the student recipients for the previous academic year. These donors will also be invited to attend UNLV’s annual scholarship recognition event, where they will have the opportunity to meet scholarship recipients. Donors may also contact the UNLV Foundation Scholarship & Tribute Giving office to request additional information throughout the year.

Types of Scholarships

The minimum gift required to set up a named scholarship fund with specific award criteria is $5,000 annually.

For gifts of less than $5,000, donors may specify the college, school, department, or program where they wish to direct their scholarship gift or they may make a gift to the UNLV Foundation Annual Scholarship Fund. Such gifts are pooled with the gifts of other donors and awarded according to criteria established by the academic unit.

This general scholarship fund enables UNLV to pool the resources of many donors and to make awards wherever the need is greatest. This fund may also be used to attract and retain academically talented students, many of whom receive competitive scholarship offers from other institutions.

A scholarship endowment fund is similar to a savings account or an investment account. The income from the endowment fund is used to support a scholarship, but the principal of the fund remains untouched. The endowment fund thus provides scholarship support for students in perpetuity.

The minimum amount necessary to endow a scholarship fund is $30,000. In order to generate "spendable" income, endowment funds will be invested for a minimum of one year prior to the first scholarship award.

You may also begin an "endowment-in-progress" with an amount less than $30,000. You may add gifts to this fund for a maximum of five years until it reaches the minimum threshold. For example, you might start a fund with an initial gift of $6,000 and commit to building the endowment to $30,000 within five years. If you wish to help students immediately, you might make two gifts each year, one to help "grow" the endowment and the second to be used for the annual scholarship. 

If you wish to make a one-time scholarship contribution, or a tribute gift in honor or in memory of a loved one or associate, you may contribute to the UNLV Foundation's Scholarship Endowment Fund. Income from this scholarship endowment is awarded to students in all areas of undergraduate and graduate study.

"Agency Awards" are scholarships provided to UNLV students who are selected by an individual or organization other than the University. Each individual or organization establishes its own eligibility criteria and application procedures. The organization sends a check made payable to the Board of Regents with the student's name and social security number included on the check. The funds are then credited to the named student account. Agency awards are not a gift to the university or the UNLV Foundation; therefore, they are not considered a charitable contribution. Please consult your tax adviser.

While UNLV encourages agency awards as they are very important to students, the UNLV Foundation is not involved in these particular awards. Agencies should submit such award checks directly to the Financial Aid and Scholarships Scholarship Office, Box 452016, Las Vegas, NV 89154-2016.


If you have any questions, please contact:

Marian Alper

Director of Donor Relations
Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement
Box 451006
Las Vegas, NV 89154-1006





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