Scripps Presidential Scholarship Initiative tops $10 million goal

A green courtyard is surrounded by white buildings with red tiles.
Scripps College meets its $10 million target for their Presidential Scholarship Initiative. (Talia Bernstein • The Student Life)

Scripps College reached its fundraising goal of $10 million this February for the Presidential Scholarship Initiative, a project started in 2017 by President Lara Tiedens to financially assist the college’s lowest-income students. 

The goal was to eliminate student loans for students from families with an annual income below $60,000 and to reduce loans for all students, Enrique Gonzalez-Salgado, associate vice president for philanthropy, told TSL via email. 

During the 2019-2020 academic year, Scripps provided full support for 95 students as well as loan reduction for 36 seniors, according to their website

Now that the initiative has reached its goal, loans will be reduced by $1,000 for eligible seniors. There may be further loan reduction or elimination for other students, according to Gonzalez-Salgado. Additionally, around 10 percent of students will get loan-free financial aid as a result of the initiative, an increase from less than 1 percent of students in 2018.

“[The loans] may reduce concern over financing education and allow students to focus on learning and growing, ultimately making the Scripps College experience accessible to a broader student population,” Gonzalez-Salgado said.  

Although the college has met its $10 million target, Gonzalez-Salgado said Scripps will continue accepting contributions toward the initiative. 

With an additional $1 million, Scripps would be able to support a further 12 students by raising the qualifying family income to $70,000 a year. An additional $2 million would allow the college to offer no-loan packages to 19 more students by increasing the qualifying family income to $75,000/year, Gonzalez-Salgado said.

He attributes the success of this initiative to several people, including the college’s trustees and “most invested philanthropists.” 

Among them is trustee Carolyn Revelle, whose $1 million donation in April 2018 got the initiative off to a “promising start,” according to the website. Revelle has historical ties to Scripps, as her mother was part of the first graduating class and the great niece of Scripps’ founder, Ellen Browning Scripps.

“The success of the initiative is truly a reflection of the generosity of our alums, friends and family who made contributions in spite of one of the most challenging times in our recent history,” Gonzalez-Salgado said. 

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