This announcement by Brown University, the Providence-based Ivy League school, came in early December of 2017 after the school had concluded a three-month long financial campaign aiming to bring affordable tuition rates for all students.
Changing financial aid
That campaign, The Brown Promise: The Future of Financial Aid at Brown, launched on September 20th, culminated with $30 million raised by over 2,000 donors. According to an official statement released by the university, they plan to continue the school’s financial initiative “to raise an additional $90 million to ensure [its] sustainability” for a total of $120 million and perhaps more.
This fundraising effort was part of a larger $500 million goal “for undergraduate financial aid set in 2015 as part of the $3 billion BrownTogether campaign.” And in the first week of January, Brown University President Christina Paxson announced that Brown has achieved another milestone; they’d raised $1.64 billion. “We aim to build on this momentum and drive toward achieving the $3 billion campaign goal by the year 2022, the end date we now have set for the comprehensive campaign,” Paxson wrote.
Philanthropy isn’t such a novel thing at Brown University, recalls alumnus Tevin Jackson, class of 2014, who worked with the Brown Annual Fund. “Fundraising wasn’t always easy when I was still a student,” he says. “But I think for today’s context of growing student debt, it becomes more of an imperative that Brown University addresses this in smaller ways.”
How will this affect students?
All returning and incoming students can expect more affordable tuition in the form of financial aid awards in the fall of 2018, a change that builds “on need-blind admissions and other initiatives to make a Brown University education more accessible,” the school’s official page explains. At Brown University, at a time when the school’s tuition fees an estimated $67,439, these scholarship funds will not need to be repaid by students, unlike loans. This new policy will address the needs of not only domestic but also international students.
“This initiative takes financial aid at the University to the next level, helping us do more for moderate-income students and families,” Paxson said in a statement. “It amplifies our commitment to bringing the best and brightest students to Brown regardless of their socioeconomic background.”
“We have seen an outpouring of generosity from alumni across the generations — from the 1950s to the 2010s — as well as current members of the Brown senior class, and parents and friends of the University, all stepping up to strengthen the future of financial aid at Brown,” she continued.
The school will continue to raise money, aiming for a benchmark of $3 billion that it’s likely to quickly achieve, perhaps even before 2022. It’s possible that in the future, more schools will undertake similar initiatives. After all, many understand that affordable tuition is as important for many young people as an education itself.
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Header image: Brian Yang