Student Experience Matching Fund Program

Endowing funds for internships, study away and research

student experiences abroad

“High-impact practices like study abroad, internships and collaborative research are central to a Wofford education. These practices connect students to real-life challenges, discoveries about themselves and their world, and reveal new horizons for life after Wofford, all necessary qualities if Wofford graduates are to become engaged citizens and effective members of their communities.”
PRESIDENT NAYEF SAMHAT

How to establish an endowed fund and secure a Student Experience Fund match

Please contact Calhoun Kennedy in the Office of Advancement at 864-597-4211 or kennedycl@wofford.edu.

The college offers two opportunities to establish an endowed scholarship:

  1. A minimum of $50,000, payable over up to five years, establishes a named, permanently endowed scholarship.
  2. A commitment of $25,000, payable over five years, coupled with a documented estate/insurance plan for an additional $100,000, establishes a named, permanently endowed scholarship. This option offers the donor the opportunity to establish the scholarship with a lower initial gift when it is combined with a generous planned gift.

There are three funding levels provided under the Student Experience Matching Fund Program as listed below:

Donor pledge total to apply for match Match amount (set) Endowment
Level One $25,000-49,999 $25,000 $50,000-74,999
Level Two $50,000-99,999 $50,000 $100,000-149,999
Level Three $400,000+ $100,000 $500,000+

The sky is the limit on the upper end: The greater the fund size, the greater the benefit to deserving students. Recently, Wofford has awarded 5% of the market value of each endowed fund, and each fund has grown by a similar percentage annually. There are no upper limits on any endowed funds.

Providing high-impact opportunities

Wofford College has received several large gifts totaling $1.25 million from trustee Howard Coker ’85 and an anonymous donor to establish the Student Experience Fund Matching Program.

The fund will match $1.25 million in newly created endowed funds for internships, study away and research experiences.

chemistry lab

Why support experiential learning?

STUDY ABROAD

  • About 67% of Wofford students study abroad because they crave experiences to explore the world.
  • Wofford is ranked #12 in the nation for the percentage of students who study abroad for academic credit. It’s a differentiator for the college.
  • According to the 50-year alumni survey conducted by IES Abroad:
    • Nearly 90% of alumni secured a job within the first six months after graduation.
    • 50% said the overseas experience helped them get their first jobs.
    • 90% got into their first- or second-choice graduate or professional school.
    • Study abroad alumni earned, on average, more than $7,000 more in starting salaries than the general population of recent college grads.

Endowed funding for study abroad experiences will make Interim travel and study, summer experiences and semester or year-long programs accessible for more students.

student experiences at home and abroad

INTERNSHIPS

  • Approximately 70% of Wofford students have an internship during their college experience.
  • According to a survey of 2018 summer experiences, 80% of rising seniors said their summer experience was directly related to their career aspirations; 60% of rising juniors and 40% of rising sophomores said the same.
  • In a study reported in the Wall Street Journal, paid internships contribute to an increase in starting salaries (as much as $10,000 per year).
  • Currently, the Career Center grants $50,000 in stipends to students. This funding is capped at $1,500 per student and is usually not enough to cover the needs of students. Endowed funding in this area would allow the college to support student internship experiences at a higher level.

RESEARCH EXPERIENCES

  • Students who participate in high-impact undergraduate research experiences excel in self-efficacy, problem solving, critical thinking and many other developmental markers compared to their counterparts who did not have such experiences.
  • Each summer, approximately 40 students and 20 faculty members participate in collaborative research on campus. In addition to learning research methods, they develop lifelong bonds.
  • During the fall and spring semesters, many seniors complete a capstone/research project.
  • Students explore a variety of research topics, from the mathematics of gerrymandering to cancer research to the Angolan peace process.
  • Research funding is limited on campus, and students sometimes have to turn down research experiences abroad or at major research institutions because of financial constraints. We need additional funding so students can say yes to opportunities for undergraduate research.