For the fourth consecutive year, graduating seniors will funnel their class gift into a student scholarship endowment.
The endowment fund begun by the class of 2012 reflected a departure from traditional class gifts of benches and art, but it's proved to be a popular move.
So far, the classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014 have contributed $44,500 to the senior class scholarship, said Mary Evanson, senior director of annual and special gifts for the Iowa State University Foundation.
"This year, seniors have pledged around $30,000, most of which will go toward the scholarship, " she said. "Some seniors choose to designate their gifts to other areas on campus about which they are passionate."
Over the past few years, about 20 percent of graduating seniors have made pledges toward class gifts, Evanson said. "That's very strong participation."
The 2012 Senior Class Council members' only criteria for the scholarship was that it be given to seniors, Evanson said. They left it up to the financial aid office to select scholarship recipients.
Students apply for a variety of scholarships, including the senior class scholarship, by filling out Iowa State's FinAidScholar form.
The first scholarship from the endowment was a $500 award given to an Iowa State senior for fall semester 2014. The number of awards and their amounts will be adjusted as the endowment grows, Evanson said.