Support the Adelphi experience for current and future generations of students.
In the next few weeks, hundreds of thousands of graduating high school seniors across the country will pore over acceptance and financial aid letters before selecting a college or university. In most cases, the scholarship offer will result from the discounting of tuition, not from endowment returns.
This is one of the troubling features of modern American higher education: both public and private institutions “discount” tuition in order to provide financial assistance to students whom they wish to enroll. In practical terms, what does this mean?
Say, for instance, that tuition at a college or university is $30,000 per year. In order to attract a certain student to enroll, a college may offer a “scholarship” of $10,000 per year. At many institutions of higher education, tuition is simply discounted to $20,000 because there is not adequate endowment income to underwrite the $10,000 scholarship. By charging less for tuition, many institutions – including Adelphi – hope to encourage talented and needy students to enroll. These students include biologists, nurses, dancers, actors, and athletes as well as those who are unusually well-prepared for academic success.
We at Adelphi do not want to increase the discount rate in order to recruit students. This is a slippery slope. So, one of our goals is to decrease discounting by substituting endowed and expendable scholarship funds. In this way, we can make maximum use of potential tuition revenue in order to ensure the quality of all that happens in and out of the classroom. This, by the way, does not include climbing walls and saunas; at Adelphi, it means science labs at the highest level, the “trading room” in business and other technology-infused classrooms across campus, and up-to-date clinical settings with simulations, emergency room settings, and home health care suites for the College of Nursing and Public Health.
To the extent that we can increase funds for endowed and expendable scholarships, to that extent we can reduce tuition discounting and increase funds available for quality enhancements.
I know: scholarships matter.
Robert A. Scott
President of Adelphi University
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