In 1976 Ithaca College tuition was $3,475 a year. Today the cost is over $25,000 (about $8,700 in 1976 dollars). That rise in tuition precisely mirrors the national average for private four-year institutions.
Of course, there are other way to pay for college: loans, part-time jobs, grants. But loans must be paid back with interest, part-time jobs take time away from study, and grant amounts haven’t kept pace with tuition increases. (In the mid-1970s Pell Grants—the cornerstone of need-based federal aid—paid 84 percent of a student’s average cost of attending college. Today that figure is 34 percent.)
To make up some of the shortfall, Ithaca College is currently devoting 24 percent of its annual budget to financial aid. That limits the funding available for new academic programs, visiting scholars and artists, technology, faculty development opportunities, student internships, and building maintenance and repair.
The best way to financially assist bright, talented students is to increase the scholarship funding generated each year by the interest from the invested portion of the College’s endowment. But Ithaca’s endowment per student is unusually low — IC ranks 9th among 12 peer institutions — so it’s critical to increase the endowment and support endowed scholarships.
Providing endowed scholarship aid is one of the most personally rewarding ways to support the College and its students. You get the immediate pleasure of assisting individual students, and lifelong satisfaction from helping to keep the College financially healthy.
Endowing a scholarship is an extraordinary way to pay tribute to someone who has made a difference in your world — or in the worlds of you and a group of friends, or classmates, or roommates. Memorial and honorary scholarships can be named for a person or persons who have positively affected your life. Current Ithaca College endowed scholarships — the gifts that truly keep on giving — are named for friends, family members, IC professors, IC staff members, classmates, athletic teams, student organizations, former employers, even entire departments.
There is hardly a better way than providing scholarship aid to make a world of difference in the lives of IC students for many years to come. The goal for this campaign objective is $30 million.