Four State Councils Receive Scholarship Challenge Grants

The CIC State Councils Scholarship Challenge Grant Program provides potential donors to independent higher education with a straightforward and compelling incentive—matching funds to support students at private colleges in their state. During the past six years, the program has helped State Councils secure more than $2.5 million in new financial aid for private college students.

In June 2017, CIC awarded grants to four State Councils whose state executives and board chairs proposed promising initiatives to help students and institutions in their states. The grants require matching funds and will provide at least $210,000 in new scholarship support this year.

Map of United States with four states highlighted: Iowa, New Jersey, North Carolina, and West Virginia  

The Iowa College Foundation (ICF) CIC-ICF Nursing Scholarship Challenge will focus on corporations, corporate foundations, and individual donors from the medical, health care, and insurance industries to raise new financial aid for nursing students. Jack Jones, president of ICF, estimates that 1,500 to 2,000 potential donors will be given the opportunity to participate.

The Independent College Fund of New Jersey (ICFNJ) One Student-One Donor Campaign will use the CIC challenge grant to introduce ten new $2,500 student scholarships. Each ICFNJ board member will help secure at least one new donor during the 12-month campaign. MaryAlice Breuninger, ICFNJ’s development officer, notes that 90 percent of students at the majority of New Jersey private colleges rely on financial aid.

The North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) Teacher Education Scholarship Challenge will address the shrinking supply of teachers in North Carolina. Noting previous success in raising scholarship dollars though a challenge grant, Hope Williams, NCICU president, expects that support for prospective teachers will help strengthen enrollment in teacher education programs and help private colleges in North Carolina address a critical talent gap.

The West Virginia Independent Colleges and Universities (WVICU) Circle of Vision Challenge will leverage CIC’s match to expand its donor base among corporations and individuals. The campaign will rely heavily on personal cultivation by members of the WVICU board of directors and the new executive director, Rebecca Ceperley. The new scholarships will support students at eight private colleges in West Virginia.

View more information about CIC’s State Council grant programs or contact Carol Schuler, vice president for state council programs, at