effective giving

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.

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3 Responses to effective giving

  1. Daffy Duck says:

    $200,000 = 80 x $5000? Do they teach this in Math 95? Or am I missing something?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great gift – but it’s not an endowment. It’s outright cash, so recheck the RG story, which is correct, to see that 125 scholarships will be given in Fall 2012 and another 125 scholarships will be given in Fall 2013. These scholarships are renewable for up to four years provided recipients keep their grades up. We don’t know what will happen after 2013 but it would be nice for people to let Mrs. Solari know that THIS gift is greatly appreciated.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is a very good move. The tuition cannot keep rising at the historical rate — there is a lot of pushback developing. It’s crazy that more of the private giving — over $100 million per year at UO — doesn’t go in some way to operating costs, and alleviation of tuition increase.