State Councils Update: CIC/UPS Scholarship Level Maintained; Challenge Grants Will Raise Scholarship Funds


CIC’s State Council Programs—including four selective grant opportunities—are supported by an endowment generously created by UPS. The annual drawdown funds the CIC/UPS Scholarships Program, the Scholarship Challenge Grant Program, the National Venture Fund Grant Program, and the Capacity- Building Grant Program. The First Opportunity Partners Grant Program is funded annually through a diversity and inclusion grant from the UPS Foundation.

This year, CIC is pleased that, despite market volatility and a conservative approach to endowment spending, it has been able to supplement endowment support to maintain the level of the CIC/UPS Scholarship at $3,000 per qualifying institution. Moreover, CIC also was able to fully fund all four selective grant programs.


This summer, CIC awarded Scholarship Challenge Grants to five State Councils as conditional matching support for fundraising campaigns during the 2019–2020 fiscal year. The campaigns must be designed to attract new donors and increase gifts to State Councils to create scholarship funds for returning students. Together, the campaigns are projected to raise at least $153,000 for students at 122 private colleges and universities during the 2020–2021 academic year.

  • Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas Foundation (ICUTF) will integrate its fundraising efforts with its legislative affairs program by raising scholarship funds for students in the ICUT Scholars Internship Program, which places students in legislative internships in the state capital. Through this fundraising initiative, ICUTF will help more first-generation, minority, and new American students participate in valuable internships.

  • Iowa Colleges Foundation (ICF) will focus on raising gifts for its ICF Student Retention Scholarship Program, which is designed to respond to financial hardships that lead too many students to withdraw from college. With a commitment to raise $1.30 for every $1 of the CIC grant, the new funds will provide a $1,000 scholarship to one low-to-moderate income returning student at each of ICF’s 23 member colleges and universities. It will complement ICF’s existing scholarship program that provides $1 million each year in student aid and helps reduce the financial demands on ICF colleges and universities.

  • Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC) will leverage its grant to raise scholarships from corporate donors who wish to support strategic goals, such as the creation of internships, co-ops, or a talent pipeline. The program aims to connect corporate Ohio with high-achieving students who can fill future positions and strengthen the state’s economy. To reach corporate donors, OFIC will host a talent pipeline event in the state capital, organize events that allow donors and human resources staff to meet student scholarship recipients, and conduct research via LinkedIn to identify C-suite executives who are graduates of OFIC member institutions, among other initiatives.

  • South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) will use its grant to strengthen its recently initiated Discretionary Scholarship Program to help returning students who encounter extenuating financial hardships that may lead them to drop out. Recent research shows that many low-income students can remain in college with as little as $500 in extra help to address unexpected financial issues. In 2018–2019, 170 students at SCICU institutions received discretionary scholarships that averaged about $500 and made all the difference between giving up and persisting to a degree.

  • West Virginia Independent Colleges and Universities (WVICU) will use its grant to focus on recruitment of new donors—both major corporate and individual donors. As part of the initiative, WVICU will build on a new video marketing campaign themed “Send a Student to Class.” The marketing effort is designed to raise both scholarship funds and awareness of the value and superior performance of private colleges in West Virginia.

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