Declining access to higher education?

I am fortunate to administer an endowed scholarship that flourishes even in these financial times thanks to careful foundation oversight and recent gifts from our generous donor. It is a partial tuition scholarship and most students also receive significant institutional and federal aid. So, I have concerns when I read that many scholarship providers are pulling back support.

Full cost of attendance at my university this fall (tuition, fees, room, board, books/supplies, personal expenses) is $18,370. The average financial need (cost of attendance minus expected family contribution) of my new class of 100 scholarship recipients is greater than $15,500. More than half of the students have need within 1% of the full cost of attendance.

With less money thrown off by endowments and contributed by donors, scholarship providers must make difficult choices. Should current scholarship recipients have their awards renewed, at the expense of new applicants? Should scholarship amounts be reduced so that the same number of students can benefit? Should the size of awards be protected, but their number cut? ~Jonathan D. Glater

Access to higher education becomes even more important in challenging economic times. Here’s hoping that scholarship providers can keep their focus on priorities.

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