June 24, 2021
A post-graduation scholarship is a type of charitable grant that foundations would make to attract individuals with career skills needed in a particular region to make their homes and build their careers in that community. A post-graduation scholarship would be awarded to an individual who has already completed a degree or technical program in a career field that is needed in a particular region, thus paying off a portion of the individual’s student loans. As with traditional scholarships, these programs would establish eligibility requirements as well as a process to verify that those requirements continue to be met through the duration of the scholarship award agreement.
The Council appreciates the leadership of Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL), and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), as well as their staff.
The Workforce Development Through Post-Graduation Scholarship Act (S.2191 / H.R. 4095) would:
- Define post-graduation scholarship grants as a charitable activity.
- Exclude from an individual’s taxable income a post-graduation scholarship grant in the same manner as traditional scholarships.
- Ensure that this program is benefiting those communities most in need.
- Require the Secretary of the Treasury and Comptroller General to submit to Congress reports on the implementation of this program.
In addition, the Council worked with a coalition of philanthropic organizations on this legislation:
Randy Maiers, President & CEO, Community Foundation of St. Clair County
“We’re excited to partner with Senator Peters in supporting post-graduation scholarships like the Come Home program we’ve developed that is bringing the best and brightest workers back to St. Clair County,” said Randy Maiers, President & CEO, Community Foundation of St. Clair County. “These awards are a win-win for our area: they help recipients pay back their student loan debt while putting their training and education to good use.”
Joshua D. Gibb, President & CEO, Galesburg Community Foundation
"Post-graduation scholarships will provide a critical tool for communities to attract and retain needed talent for our workforce. Our communities need good policy to unlock resources that will aid them in attracting highly skilled professionals with the education, skills and drive to make a difference in our communities- both urban and rural. Post-graduation scholarships are a win-win, because not only do the recipients benefit, but so do our communities, our employers, and the people who call our communities home.”
Amanda Lessley, President & CEO, Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation
“As a community foundation serving rural Illinois, we help people give where they live. Our donors want to make a difference in the people and places of southeastern Illinois, and the post-graduation scholarship program can help them do that. It is a philanthropic tool to help reverse the brain drain and attract talent back to our communities. To see a young family move to town and fill a needed job is a win-win for our donors and recipients.
Population decline, lack of skilled workers, and outmigration are enormous challenges for the entire state of Illinois, not just southeastern Illinois. Therefore, we are thankful that the State of Illinois has passed the first statewide resolution urging community foundations to create post-graduation scholarship programs to attract talent back to our state. I am looking forward to joining with many community foundation colleagues throughout the state in launching these programs. We want to change the narrative and show others that Illinois is a great place to live, work and raise a family! We want YOU in our state and community!”
Kyle Caldwell, President & CEO, Council of Michigan Foundations
“The Council of Michigan Foundations is proud to work with Senator Peters and our community of philanthropy on innovative strategies to retain and attract talent in support of Michigan’s talent agenda and economic growth,” said Kyle Caldwell, President and CEO of the Council of Michigan Foundations. “As an increasing number of students are taking on significant loan debt, the Workforce Development Through Post-Graduation Scholarships Act offers financial relief for graduates looking to come to or return to Michigan. This added resource strengthens the partnership between philanthropy and businesses as we look to create pathways to economic stability for individuals and families that strengthen Michigan’s workforce.”
Paul D. Daugherty, President & CEO, Philanthropy West Virginia
“Philanthropy West Virginia and West Virginia’s innovative foundation network are pleased to work with U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito to build up a stronger economy and workforce,” said Paul D. Daugherty, president & CEO of Philanthropy West Virginia. He adds, “As West Virginia recovers from the pandemic, now is a critical time for us to grow our state’s population and economy by attracting and retaining great young talent. The Workforce Development through Post-Graduation Scholarships Act, once passed and enacted, will be a triple win by providing new opportunities for philanthropy to partner in economic development, address our state’s population decline, and reduce the post-graduation burden on our younger workforce.”
The Council strongly supports allowing foundations to administer post-graduation scholarship programs by enacting the Workforce Development Post-Graduation Scholarship Act.
- Council Position Brief on the Workforce Development Through Post-Graduation Scholarship Act
- Council Statement on introduction of the Workforce Development Through Post-Graduation Scholarship Act
- Senator Gary Peters Press Release on the Introduction of S. 2191
- Senator Shelley Moore Capito Press Release on the Introduction of S. 2191
- Rep. Darin LaHood Press Release on the Introduction of H.R. 4095
- Rep. Terri Sewell Press Release on the Introduction of H.R. 4095
- Legal Background on Scholarship Grantmaking by Foundations