Columbia To Make Poor Kids Richer
Written by Bwog Staff
This morning you recieved an email from PrezBo in your overflowing cubmail box. Read it! It’s news!
Columbia has decided to reform its financial aid policy to benefit students whose combined family income is less than $50,000. Now Columbia will just give these students money instead of loaning it to them. Also a good time to announce a $47.5 million gift kicking off the mother of all capital campaigns.
Full email from Bollinger after the jump …
I am very pleased to announce two important developments at
Columbia. One is an extraordinary gift from University Trustee
Gerry Lenfest (LAW ’58) that will endow faculty chairs in the Arts
and Sciences and the Law School. The other is the elimination of
loans, beginning in the 2007-08 academic year, for undergraduates
from families earning less than $50,000 a year, in Columbia College
and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Gerry Lenfest’s $47.5 Million Gift for Endowed Chairs
A Trustee and longtime friend of the University, Gerry Lenfest has
pledged $48.5 million dollars—$37.5 million to endow faculty chairs
in the Arts and Sciences and $10 million to endow chairs at the Law
School. The gift provides a one-to-one match that allows other
donors to establish endowed professorships in the Arts and Sciences
and the Law School with gifts of $1.5 million. This very generous
gift affords Columbia a vital tool, in the form of endowed
professorships—which are among the highest academic honors a
university can bestow—for retaining our best faculty and attracting
other talented scholars.
With this gift, Gerry has now given more than $100 million to
Columbia. Just this past year, he gave $12 million to establish an
endowment for the Distinguished Faculty Awards in the Arts and
Sciences. Columbia is a better, stronger institution for the time,
support, and leadership that Gerry has given to us, and we are very
grateful to him.
Financial Aid Changes at CC and Fu Foundation SEAS
Beginning in the 2007-08 academic year, Columbia will eliminate the
debt burden of students from families earning less than $50,000 per
year attending Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of
Engineering and Applied Science. Replacing loans with grants for
these students will allow them to fully participate in the
undergraduate experience and make post-graduate career decisions
that are not driven by the need to pay back large loans. This
change will apply to returning students’ aid packages for 2007-08
and thereafter, as well as to financial aid for new students.
Columbia has always sought to be a place where talented students can
achieve their fullest potential, even if they do not have the
ability to pay the full cost of attending the University.
Columbia’s students include a higher percentage of students from
low-income families than our peer institutions, and we enroll the
highest percentage of recipients of Pell grants (generally for
students whose families earn less than $40,000 a year) in the Ivy
League. We are proud of the diversity of our student body and
committed to continuing to expand opportunity at Columbia.
Columbia College and SEAS currently award more than $55 million in
need-based institutional grants, and this new initiative will add
approximately $3.5 million annually to financial aid expenditures.
We will pay for these additional costs through a combination of
current funds, gifts, and future fundraising.
Both of these important initiatives underscore the importance of
donor support, which helps to sustain the University and its core
values, including academic excellence and expanding accessibility
and opportunity to talented students. In the coming weeks, we will
announce an ambitious $4 billion campaign to lay an even stronger
foundation for the University for generations to come.
I want to express my appreciation, again, to Gerry Lenfest for his
powerful and generous gift—and to everyone who helps support the
University, the faculty who teach here, and the students who study
Lee C. Bollinger