9/16/2011: From the RG. This is a very smart gift:
A University of Oregon graduate is donating $5 million to provide scholarships to a group that she says is often overlooked — the children of middle class families.
“I wanted to help Oregonians caught in the middle,” alumna and longtime donor Mary Corrigan Solari said in a written statement. “I have been acutely aware of the many middle class parents who have been struggling to finance their children’s education.”
The Mary Corrigan and Richard Solari Scholarships will be for $5,000 a year, renewable for a maximum of four years. UO undergraduate resident tuition and fees amount to $8,190 this year.
Why not give it to low income students? It’s very hard to give college money to low income students. More precisely, if you give them money the federal government reduces their Pell grants, pretty much dollar for dollar.
There are plenty of middle class kids who are not eligible for the maximum Pell, but who still need help paying for college – the threshold for maximum Pell was ~$40,000 family income, last I looked.
A $5 million endowment means about $200,000 a year, or about 80 of these $5,000 scholarships. (See comments.) Big money. More smart Oregon students will choose to come to UO.