Scholarship Fund Program

The RJS Family Foundation has established the Peoples Services, Inc. Scholarship Fund Program. It is a competitive merit- and need-based scholarship program designed to help eligible employees pay for the tuition expense of accredited post-secondary education for their dependent children. To be eligible, active employees must have worked full-time (defined as a minimum of forty (40) hours per week or more) for at least one year for Peoples Services, Inc. or any of its subsidiaries.

Scholarship participants will be selected on the basis of their financial need, academic record, demonstrated leadership, and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experiences, and essays on their educational and career goals. Up to four awards—one $10,000 and three $5,000—will be granted annually. These scholarship awards can be used at any eligible accredited educational institution, such as a college, university, vocational school, or program.

In no instance does any employee, or a relation of an employee, of Peoples Services, Inc. or its subsidiaries or a Sibila family member play a part in the selection process for the award of the scholarships to eliminate any bias. Applications can be made between December 1 and April 1 of each year, beginning in 2019.

This program should not be confused with the Educational Assistance Program available to our employees for their own continuing education.

Please read the program information listed below in its entirety. Click here to download and print a copy for your records.

The RJS Family Foundation has established a Scholarship Fund for the benefit of the dependents of the employees of Peoples Services, Inc. and its subsidiaries. It is a competitive, merit and need-based scholarship program designed to help eligible employees pay for the cost of accredited post-secondary education for their dependent children. The scholarship cannot be used towards a post-graduate program. The scholarship program has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service, will be conducted in accordance with Sections 4.01 through 4.07 and must meet the 10% test of Section 4.08 of Revenue Procedure 76-47.

The dependent of an employee may apply for a scholarship from the RJS Family Foundation Scholarship Fund if the employee has worked full-time (defined as a minimum of forty (40) hours per week or more) for at least one year for Peoples Services, Inc. or any of its subsidiaries. The employee and dependent must be a U.S. citizen or national of the U.S., unless such individual is a legal resident of the U.S. via a green card or work Visa. Scholarships cannot be awarded to the company’s officers, directors, trustees, foundation managers, members of selection committees or their relatives, including their dependent children as defined herein.

To apply for a scholarship from the RJS Family Foundation, applicants must submit a completed application with requisite attachments including official transcripts, letters of recommendations from unrelated individuals and an essay.

Scholarship participants are selected on the basis of their financial need, prior academic record, demonstrated leadership, and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experiences, statements of educational and career goals, and letters of recommendation. Applicants must be in their final year of high school or currently enrolled in a post-secondary school, have a minimum GPA of 2.50 and have been accepted to a university, college, vocational school or certification program at a qualified educational institution.

Recipients of a scholarship from RJS Family Foundation will be chosen by a Selection Committee, consisting of at least three individuals appointed by the Trustees of the RJS Family Foundation, based on their experience in the fields of business and education. In no instance does any employee, or a relation of an employee, of Peoples Services, Inc. or a Sibila family member play a part in the selection process for the award of the scholarships.

Awards are paid directly to the school of enrollment for the awarded applicant and may be used only for tuition. Award amounts cannot exceed the cost of tuition, must be used for undergraduate studies at an accredited educational institution, and are eligible for renewal up to three additional years or until completion of a vocational, associate, or bachelor’s degree is earned, whichever occurs first. Renewal is contingent upon satisfactory academic performance and the continuation of the scholarship program. An award recipient will not be considered ineligible for renewal because the individual’s parent/guardian is no longer employed.

Awards may not be used by the recipient toward other education related expenses such as books, room and board, course materials, laboratory fees, and/or transportation. Under no circumstances will funds be disbursed to the award recipient or the recipient’s parent(s)/guardian(s). If a recipient withdraws from the educational institution before completion of the academic period or program covered by the scholarship, the school must send and refund of the scholarship back to the RJS Foundation Fund, not the recipient.

Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, disability or national origin.

A dependent child is eligible if they are the employee’s biological or adopted child; has the same principal place of abode as the employee for more than one-half of each calendar year; has not attained the age of 19 or is a student who has not attained the age of 24; and has neither provided over one-half of such individual’s own support nor filed a joint return with a spouse for the calendar year. If a child can be claimed as a dependent child by two parents who are separated and/or divorced, the employee can still claim the child as a dependent under the terms of the Scholarship Fund Program, if they meet the age and financial support requirements above, but do not meet the principal place of abode test because of residing with the other parent as the custodial parent by decree.

A stepchild, foster child or grandchild can be eligible as a dependent if one or more of the following is true: (1) the child is the employee’s dependent for federal income tax purposes, or (2) provides more than 50% of the child’s financial support, or (3) the child lives primarily with the employee when he/she is not away at school. A foster child must also have lived with the eligible employee for at least 24 months immediately prior to submitting an application for the Scholarship Fund Program. The age criteria spelled out in the above paragraph also applies.

A domestic partner’s child (defined as a child of an employee’s registered domestic partner who depends on the employee for support and who lives with the employee in a regular parent/child relationship) may qualify if one or more of these statements are true: (1) the child is the employee’s dependent for federal income tax purposes, or (2) the employee provides more than 50% of the child’s financial support, or (3) the child lives primarily with the employee when he/she is not away at school.

A child who has been an employee’s ward for at least 24 months under a court-approved legal guardianship immediately prior to a request for benefits, may qualify if one or more of these statements is true: (1) the child is the employee’s dependent for federal income tax purposes, or (2) the employee provides more than 50% of the child’s financial support or (3) the child lives primarily with the employee when he/she is not away at school.

In the case of two or more employees who are eligible to apply for a Scholarship Fund award for the same eligible dependent, only one application can be received for the dependent.

Natural Child(ren)

  • Preferred Documentation: Birth certificate
  • Alternate Documentation: Most recent federal tax return and hospital certificate of live birth or most recent Visa document and related legal documents that establish dependent relationship and birth date
  • Document Resources: County Clerk/Recorder; State Vital Records; Personal tax filing records; U.S. State Department

Stepchild(ren)

Stepchild(ren) residing with you for at least 12 months prior to Scholarship Fund request

  • Preferred Documentation: Birth certificate and marriage certificate
  • Alternate Documentation: Most recent Federal (joint) tax return or most recent Visa document and related legal documents that establish dependent relationship and birth date
  • Document Resources: County Clerk/Recorder; State Vital Records; Personal tax filing records; U.S. State Department

Adopted Child(ren)

  • Preferred Documentation: Birth certificate or final adoption decree or placement letter from court or adoption agency for pending adoption(s)
  • Alternate Documentation: Most recent Federal tax return or most recent Visa document and related legal documents that establish dependent relationship and birth date
  • Document Resources: County Clerk/Recorder; State Vital Records; Personal tax filing records; U.S. State Department

Foster Child(ren)

Foster child(ren) court approved for at least 24 months prior to Scholarship Fund request

  • Preferred Documentation: Court assignment or agency order establishing relationship or proof of state licensing or approval of foster child status and related legal document that establishes birth date
  • Alternate Documentation: Not applicable
  • Document Resources: County Clerk/Recorder; State Vital Records; U.S. State Department

Child(ren) whom you are a legal guardian

Child(ren) whom you are legal guardian to for at least 24 months prior to Scholarship Fund request

  • Preferred Documentation: Court assignment or agency order establishing legal guardianship and related legal documents that establish relationship and birth date
  • Alternate Documentation: Most recent federal (joint) tax return or most recent Visa document and related legal documents that establish dependent relationship and birth date
  • Document Resources: County Clerk/Recorder; State Vital Records; Personal tax filing records; U.S. State Department

Child(ren) of your registered domestic partner

Child(ren) has resided with you for at least 12 months prior to Scholarship Fund request

  • Preferred Documentation: Birth certificate and State Declaration of Domestic Partnership Certificate
  • Alternate Documentation: Most recent Federal (joint) tax return or most recent Visa document and related legal documents that establish dependent relationship and birth date
  • Document Resources: County Clerk/Recorder; State Vital Records; Personal tax filing records; U.S. State Department; Domestic Partners Registry websites

Adopted child(ren) of your registered domestic partner

Child(ren) depends on your support and has lived with you in a regular parent/child relationship for at least 12 months prior to Scholarship Fund request

  • Preferred Documentation: Declaration of Domestic Partnership Certificate and birth certificate or final adoption decree or placement letter from court or adoption agency for pending adoptions
  • Alternate Documentation: Most recent Visa document and related legal documents that establish dependent relationship and birth date
  • Document Resources: County Clerk/Recorder; State Vital Records; Personal tax filing records; U.S. State Department; Domestic Partners Registry websites

Foster child(ren) of your registered domestic partner

Registered domestic partner’s foster child(ren) court approved for at least 24 months prior to Scholarship Fund request

  • Preferred Documentation: Declaration of Domestic Partnership Certificate and agency order establishing relationship or proof of state licensing or approval of foster child status and related legal documents that establishes birth date
  • Alternate Documentation: Not applicable
  • Document Resources: County Clerk/Recorder; State Vital Records; Personal tax filing records; U.S. State Department; Domestic Partners Registry websites

Child(ren) for whom your registered domestic partner is the legal guardian

Child(ren) whom your registered domestic partner is legal guardian to for at least 24 months prior to Scholarship Fund request

  • Preferred Documentation: Declaration of Domestic Partnership Certificate and birth certificate and court assignment or agency order establishing legal guardianship
  • Alternate Documentation: Not applicable
  • Document Resources: County Clerk/Recorder; State Vital Records; Personal tax filing records; U.S. State Department; Domestic Partners Registry websites

  • Students must be in their final year of high school or currently enrolled in a postsecondary school;
  • Prior academic performance – GPA minimum of 2.50;
  • Extracurricular activities, community involvement and demonstration of leadership;
  • Applicant’s statement of goals and aspirations;
  • Financial need;
  • University, college, vocational school, or certification program acceptance; and
  • Letters of recommendation.

An eligible educational institution is any college, university, vocational school, program or other post-secondary educational institution that maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly enrolled body of students in attendance at the place where it carries on its educational activities and is an accredited institution.

Click here for a database of U. S. Department of Education accredited post-secondary institutions and programs.

Up to four (4) awards, totaling $25,000⁠—one (1) $10,000 award and three (3) $5,000 awards⁠—will be granted annually, as long as we meet the IRS’s 10% testing requirements. In the future, we may increase the total number of scholarships to as many as eight (8) scholarships, with varying amounts, totaling $25,000 annually, as long as the total number of scholarships awarded does not exceed 10% of the number of employees’ dependents who can be shown to be eligible for scholarships each year. These awards can be one-time only or eligible for renewal up to three additional years or until completion of a vocational, associate or bachelor’s degree is earned, whichever occurs first. Renewal is contingent upon satisfactory academic performance and continuation of the Peoples Services, Inc. Scholarship Fund. Awards are for undergraduate study only.

The RJS Family Foundation Scholarship Fund is available for renewal up to a total of 4 academic years (8 semester or 12 quarters) of undergraduate course work for each eligible dependent child, including the initial award. The terms do not have to be consecutive. Any Scholarship Fund Program award that is provided with respect to a semester or quarter shall count towards the total number of semesters or quarters, regardless of the number of courses taken during the applicable semester or quarter. A Scholarship Fund award that is disbursed for a summer session also counts toward the total number of semesters or quarters. The Scholarship Fund award cannot exceed 100% of the tuition of the institution attended, when included with all other sources of tuition payments. This maximum allowable is regardless of the type of institution or amount of payment.

Benefit Exclusions

Room and board, books and course materials, health insurance, transportation and parking, tutoring fees, courses taken through correspondence, laboratory fees, special fees established only for specified courses, auditing fees, late fees or interest fees, tuition insurance or expenses at any United States or foreign institution that are not normally included in the basic tuition.

Note: “A grant may not be terminated because the recipient or the recipient’s parent terminates employment with the employer subsequent to the awarding of the grant regardless of the reason for such termination of employment.  If a grant is awarded for one academic year and the recipient must reapply for a grant to continue studies for a subsequent year, the recipient may not be considered ineligible for a further grant simply because that individual or the individual’s parent is no longer employed by the employer.  If a grant is awarded for a period of more than one academic year, subject to renewal, the standards for renewal must be based solely upon non-employment related factors such as need and maintenance of scholastic standards.  Renewal may not be denied because the recipient or parent has previously terminated employment with the employer.  In such case, the recipient or parent met the employment requirement at the time the grant was first awarded, and no further employment requirement can be effected at the time of each renewal.  At the time the grant is awarded or renewed, there must be no requirement, condition or suggestion, express or implied, that the recipient or parent is expected to render future employment services for the foundation or employer, or be available for such future employment, even though such future employment is at the discretion of the foundation or the employer.”  [N. IRC 4945, Section 4.05.]

Due to the complexity of IRS regulations, please consult with your tax advisor regarding questions specific to your situation. The intent is to make these awards exempt from taxation as income.

  • Applications can be made between December 31 and March 31 for the coming academic year; checks are normally mailed to the institutions in August, with the recipients being notified beforehand.
  • Complete the RJS Family Foundation/Peoples Services, Inc. General Scholarship Application. Be sure to print a hard copy of the application for your records. You will receive an acknowledgement via e-mail once the application is received.
  • Submit required dependent documentation (see list of acceptable documentation) to the HR Department for verification. Returning applicants need not submit the documentation, if previously submitted.
  • Renewal of a Scholarship Fund award requires the applicant to reapply every year.

Payment of any awards will be made directly to the institution – in no case will it be disbursed for the dependent child’s personal use or refunded directly to the parent(s) of the child. If the dependent withdraws from an eligible educational institution during an academic term that is covered by a Scholarship Fund award, is no longer a student in an undergraduate degree program, or if there is any other change in the dependent’s educational status or relationship to the employee, the employee must notify the HR office immediately. Any false statement, misrepresentation or factual error when applying for a Scholarship Fund award, any attempt to abuse the Scholarship Fund and/or any failure to abide by the rules, requirements, or procedures of this program may result in disciplinary action or termination of employment. Each employee whose dependent is eligible to receive a Scholarship Fund award agrees that, if any of the events described in the preceding sentence occurs, he or she will forfeit the right to receive any future Scholarship Fund award. In the event that a dependent has been awarded a scholarship and withdraws form the school before completion, the school will send any refund of the scholarship back to the RJS Family Foundation Scholarship Fund, not the recipient.

Colleges and universities consider all tuition benefits in determining a student’s eligibility for need based financial aid; eligible dependent children may experience a reduction in other financial aid due to the eligibility for the Scholarship Fund Program award.

Disclaimer:

If any issue arises about how this program should be interpreted or applied, such interpretation or application will be made by Peoples Services, Inc. in its sole discretion and will be binding upon all interested persons. Peoples Services, Inc. reserves the right to make such exceptions to this program as are determined to be in the best interests of the Company, and to change or terminate this program, at any time and from time to time. Any such exception, change or termination (a) will be effective on the date specified by Peoples Services, Inc., and (b) could, at the discretion of the Company, apply to any Scholarship Fund (SF) award that will be provided on or after such effective date.

  • Current, complete transcript of grades—must display student name, school name, grades and credit hours for each course and term in which each course was taken.

Through the use of a Selection Committee, independent of RJS Family Foundation, the Sibila family, and Peoples Services, Inc. or any of its subsidiaries, all applications will be received and evaluated for merit, based on the required criteria, and determine the recipients of the scholarship awards.

 

Example of Information Needed for Application Process for the RJS Family Foundation Scholarship Fund

Applications are evaluated on the information supplied; therefore answer all questions as completely as possible. Make sure all required documentation has been submitted. Be sure to print a hard copy of the application for your records. You will receive an acknowledgement via e-mail once the application is received. We respect your right to privacy, the application requires submission of personal information to RJS Family Foundation. Information provided by the applicant is considered confidential and is handled by RJS Family Foundation. Only authorized persons with a need to know will be permitted access to this information.