Dear Fellow Trinity Alumni,
We are very passionate about raising endowment funds for financial aid. The more we learn about the role of scholarships in attracting fantastic students, the more determined we become to achieve our goal of raising at least another $84 million for financial aid by June 30, 2015.
Trinity is a place of transformation for students. At the same time, distinctive students transform the College. Once you meet some of the remarkable scholarship students at Trinity you understand why increasing endowment funds for financial aid is so critical to the College’s future, and so important in changing lives forever.
Increasing financial aid resources is the first priority at Trinity for one reason: it is the most critical factor in recruiting a brilliant and diverse student body.
There is a booming interest in admission to Trinity. We received nearly 7,000 applicants for the class of 2015, more than 10 times the number of students needed to fill a class of 590. That represents a 48.4 percent increase over the previous year, with 2,500 high schools, including 500 new ones, represented.
While this is wonderful news, it brings into focus the most serious issue we face. The vast majority of our applicants will need significant financial aid before they can even consider coming to Trinity. Very often, the students we most desire—those who have the academic credentials, extracurricular involvement, and greatest potential for success—cannot pay the cost of a Trinity education.
Currently, we simply do not have enough endowed financial aid to attract all of the students we want. In fact, Trinity is currently near the bottom of the ranking among our peer schools in our ability to provide aid. Ultimately, a significant percentage of the top-ranked students who apply to Trinity choose other colleges that can better meet their financial needs.
Even if we had no competition at all, we couldn’t take a majority of the students within our applicant pool. More than half of them are unattainable due to insufficient financial aid. Therefore, the College must build about two-thirds of its incoming class from just 40 percent of its applicant pool, making up each class with a majority of “full-pay” students who don’t require any aid at all. That makes the College more “tuition dependent” than virtually any of our NESCAC peers.
While Trinity does still matriculate very high-performing students, selectivity, a key factor in academic rigor and a determinant of reputation, is clearly affected.
It is all about endowment. In the fiscal year 2010-11, Trinity provided $33 million in college financial aid. The single largest piece of the operating budget, it represents 25 percent of spending, and less than 20 percent of that currently comes out of endowment revenues. Absent new financial aid endowments, the College must divert more resources away from academic programs, quality faculty, critical facilities, and the range of extracurricular opportunities that define the Trinity experience.
We have made steady and consistent progress toward addressing this major issue. Through the Cornerstone Campaign , $66.5 million in new financial aid endowments were committed to Trinity between 2006 and 2012.
Investing in more students of promise is clearly Trinity’s most compelling campaign priority and our personal priority. Trinity’s highly ambitious plans for the future depend on attracting talented and promising students to study, write, and conduct research at the highest possible levels.
This is the bottom line: We must raise at least $83.5 million more in commitments by June 30, 2015. That is a daunting number, but it will be a game changer for Trinity. Doing so will allow us to approach a level of 45 percent of our students on aid, putting Trinity into a much more competitive position with our peers. That is our aspiration. We believe in it and we believe that it is achievable.
We are invested. Will you join us in investing, too? The payoff is truly profound.
Emily Latour Bogle ’79
Jeff Kelter ’76
Tim Walsh ’85