From the UConn Foundation's Our Moment newsletter (June-July 2012)
The physical transformation of UConn is obvious, thanks to the $2.3 billion state investment in the University's infrastructure. Not so obvious, perhaps, is the sizeable chunk of debt—about $23,000, enough to purchase a decent car or put a down payment on a house—most of today's students are shouldering to get their UConn degree.
For members of the Class of 1962, who just celebrated their 50th reunion, the average cost of their last year at UConn was about $1,500. For in-state members of the Class of 2012, it was $21,720.
"We want our established alumni to understand that since their graduation education costs have risen dramatically for students and their families," says Frank Gifford, vice president for development for the UConn Foundation, which raises funds from private sources to support the University. "The UConn Foundation is ramping up its efforts to help students pay for college and cope with rising education costs."
"Our goal is to make sure UConn continues to be affordable and accessible to talented students, and private giving is an important part of that equation," says Gifford. "Scholarship support has always been a major focus, but we are working more actively with our alumni and friends to make them aware of the University's growing need for privately funded scholarships."
During the 2010-2011 academic year,
"We are trying to close the gap between the aid that students qualify for and the aid they actually receive," says Gifford.
For UConn to remain among the top public universities, it must attract high-caliber students, and for those students, scholarship support is often the determining factor in choosing a school. "Competitive scholarship assistance allows UConn to attract the most qualified students," says Gifford.
"UConn is a tremendous value for students," says Gifford. The University's costs rank 26th among the top 53 public universities, and even with planned increases of 4.5 percent a year, UConn's costs will remain in the mid-range for public universities.
The UConn Foundation is halfway through a $600 million fundraising campaign—the largest in the university's history. One third of the total campaign goal—$200 million—will be used to increase support for scholarships and enhance curricular and research opportunities, focusing on priorities such as the honors program, study abroad, internship, service learning and leadership development programs.
To support scholarships, please contact the Foundation's development department.