New endowment promising for some, not all students

New endowment promising, CMU still too expensive (credit: Eunice Oh/) New endowment promising, CMU still too expensive (credit: Eunice Oh/)

In May, President Subra Suresh announced that the university aimed to launch endowed “Presidential Fellowships” and “Presidential Scholarships” for graduate and undergraduate students respectively, stating that the university had previously only provided about 8 percent of the total financial aid students received.

Now, just six months later, President Suresh announced through email to the campus community on Nov. 18 that the university has established a permanent endowment of about $80 million for these fellowships and scholarships by fundraising from alumni and nonprofit foundations. President Suresh also announced that the funds will be available for students across all colleges and schools.
It is promising to see a highly public focus on student scholarships and fellowships under President Suresh’s leadership. This newly raised endowment has the potential to support students who would not otherwise be able to afford an education at Carnegie Mellon.

The total cost of attending Carnegie Mellon for the 2018 graduating class is $63,822, making it one of the most expensive universities in the United States. With rising tuition costs and a focus by President Barack Obama on making education affordable, it is more important than ever that the university has established funds for assisting prospective students. By providing students with assistance through resources like the funds generated for this new endowment, Carnegie Mellon can continue to remain a competitive institution when vying for potential students’ enrollment.

In his most recent email to the campus community regarding the endowment, President Suresh stated, “significantly growing our endowment for student support will remain a key priority for me and for the university for years to come.” A continued focus on affordability for students must remain a priority for the university. After all, students drive the university’s operations and its mission to “disseminate knowledge and art through research and creative inquiry, teaching, and learning.”

While this new endowment has the potential to make Carnegie Mellon affordable for a select number of students, the endowment will not cover more than a slice of the student population.

With a continued focus on providing for its students, it will be possible for the university to cover a large number of students with funds that it raises itself based upon its promising efforts in the first six months of this new endowment project’s initial announcement.