One of the goals of a liberal arts education is to provide access to countless opportunities and resources to receive a valuable education.
As the price of higher education keeps skyrocketing each year, many families run into issue paying the full price, especially when there is limited financial aid to go around.
Not only does this affect the student’s inability to pursue their interests, but schools also suffer when they are unable to obtain the funding for classes, faculty, organizations, events, etc.
This results in a domino effect because there could be a decrease in enrollment.
There is a common misconception that private colleges are more expensive, as the sticker price generally appears higher than public colleges.
However, this does not show that there are many generous donors who give their own money, so students have a chance to succeed at a quality institution.
It turns out that many of the funds at Gustavus are paid for by these established individuals who have the desire to give back.
“These donors are making tomorrow possible for the next generation of Gusties and it’s important that we recognize the impact that their gifts make in our day to day lives,”Assistant Director of the Gustavus Fund in Advancement Benjamin Miller ‘03 said.
Donors always look forward to hearing Gusties’ inspirational stories, along with what they are doing outside the classroom.
They see Gusties in a positive light as individuals who go on to achieve remarkable accomplishments later in life, making them believe it is in their best interest to contribute.
This year, the Alumni and Parent Engagement Office is preparing to host an event called “Tomorrow Made Possible Day” that will happen on Thursday, April 12th outside Evelyn Dining Hall.
There will be a huge “Thank You” poster that students will be encouraged to sign as a way of expressing gratitude for the tremendous gifts donors bring.
As an extra incentive, there will be free cake so people can enjoy a sweet treat while learning about the importance of the event.
They will also have cute stickers, and drawing to win awesome prizes.
“We want to celebrate the fact that while a large portion of the academic year’s operating costs are covered by the family/student investment, a portion of the costs are also covered by donors to the College,” Miller said.
“This is an opportunity for us to thank those donors for giving back to this wonderful place.”
The purpose is to show that the funds associated with running a college come from multiple sources instead of only one.
Many oblivious people do not realize that money comes from alumni, parents, and friends of the college.
A“42% of gifts given to the Gustavus Fund are between $25 and $100… donating to the college at any level, helps ensure a Gustavus education for future students.
Current students have access to several opportunities and amazing faculty because of the generous gifts of time, talent, and treasure given by our donors,”Assistant Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement, Marissa Henry ’16 said.
Students should watch for promotional outreach through flyers, emails, and Facebook updates leading up to the big event.
The office is also making an infographic that will include startling statistics related to donors and financial aid, among other expenses.
“In 2017, it cost roughly $221,954.55 a day to run the college, which breads down to $154.14 a minute, or $2.57 a second,” Henry said.
These numbers show people just how much money makes Gustavus function, providing an adequate breakdown of where that money comes from.
Students feel so overburdened when the cost of tuition is lingering at the top of their mind that they are unable to realize that there are so many others who help pay for their education.
Angela Erickson ’01, Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement, states that “while students are the reason we’re all here and we keep their needs front and center, much of what Gustavus is all about truly would not be possible without the support of our donors.
It’s so amazing the stories they share; we’re grateful that they reflect on the way Gustavus has impacted their lives and make a choice to contribute to making that a reality for others.
I hope the event also teaches students that “donors” aren’t just a few really wealthy individuals cutting $40 million checks.
The majority of the gifts we receive to Gustavus every year are LESS than $100, and together we all make a great impact on the student experience.”