For the last 15 years, the Bronco Shop and Boise State bookstore have been funneling money back to students, according to Mike Reed, the Boise State Bookstore director.
The Bronco Shop focuses sales on apparel and Boise State merchandise. The Boise State bookstore caters more specifically to students, offering apparel, textbooks and school supplies.
Each of the five Bronco Shop locations in Meridian, Twin Falls, Boise and the campus bookstore, located in the Student Union Building, boast “Your purchases fund scholarships.”
“We’ve been giving back to the university for years,” said Reed. “This year we gave back $600,000; last year, we gave back $600,000.”
Over the course of the last five years, the bookstore has returned $3.65 million dollars to the student body in scholarships and endowments.
Funds for the scholarships usually come from Bronco gear. Sales of products with the Boise State logo or athletic Bronco help the return tremendously.
“That fund is mostly driven by the sale of our insignia product,” Reed said. “If we have a good year in the athletic program, everyone is on board and that is where most of the money comes from.”
The money goes where it is needed, as determined by the university and financial aid services. “Financial aid will come to us and say, ‘Where we really need that is with the Presidential and Dean’s scholarships,’” Reed said. “They’ll give a presentation on [why], then the board votes. That recommendation moves up to the vice president and president.”
The Bookstore Advisory Board meets once a month to determine where the donation will go to best aid the university. While the money isn’t reserved for these two scholarships, it is not uncommon for a majority of the donation to fuel the Presidential and Dean’s scholarships. These two scholarship programs are merit-based and used to recruit new students to Boise State.
In an email Renee Rehder, senior associated director of Enrollment Services and Scholarships, said, “The Presidential Scholarship is a two-year $5,000 per year award. The Dean’s Scholarship is a two-year $3,000 per year award. Each year, we take the total amount of funds available and divide it amongst our Presidential and Dean’s scholarships. The way the funds are divided depends on the strength of the application pool and the total dollar amount of funds available.”
The two scholarships this year will benefit a large majority of incoming Idaho residential students and Idaho transfer students.
While purchases fund scholarships, they also fund and sustain programs.
The Capitol Scholars program is also bookstore funded. It offers a need-based scholarship to Idaho juniors in the top 10 percent of their high school class who plan to attend Boise State. The bookstore contributes to a $500 one-time text-book scholarship to help these students.