Philanthropy: Helping Students Even After Graduation

The more than 8,200 students who will receive undergraduate and graduate degrees from UConn this weekend face, on average, less debt than college students at other public and private universities.

Eighty-three percent of UConn undergraduates receive some form of financial aid and the average student loan debt at UConn is nearly 20 percent lower than the national average for students at public and private institutions as of 2013, the latest available data.

Additionally, data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that UConn’s student default rate of 3.8% is much lower than the national average of 13.7%.

There will be 6,000 bachelor’s degrees and 1,600 master’s degrees handed out to the Class of 2015 in different commencement ceremonies this weekend.

Without his Leadership Scholarship, Trayvonn Diaz wouldn’t be graduating. “I wouldn’t have been able to participate in activities around campus, such as concert performances, bus trips to New York City and Boston, my coed community service fraternity, local charity races, or other experiences that helped me enjoy the overall UConn experience.”

[Related: Diaz reflects on his four years at UConn as a first-generation student]

“Not to mention,” Diaz said, “that I would have struggled to purchase the textbooks I needed for required courses in my major.”

Added senior Claire Price, who will return to UConn this September to pursue her PhD, “I am just so grateful. Neither myself nor many of my friends could have attended UConn without scholarship money.”

Graduation arrives a few months into the UConn Foundation’s five-year, $150 million fundraising initiative, Transforming Lives, that has a stated goal of doubling the amount of financial support—including merit and need-based scholarships—that it raises for the benefit of UConn students.