In the last issue of The Observer, there was an article titled “Scholarships get personal.” This story discussed an addition to Case Western Reserve University’s policy on scholarships. There is a new option for donors looking to make contributions.
In the past few years, the application rate at CWRU has increased dramatically. This could be attributed to the growing number of students applying for college nationwide; the number is also expected to grow even more in coming years. More students are going to college, so CWRU should in turn have a higher application rate.
The university has reacted accordingly. Currently, CWRU has made a new level of donations for scholarships available to prospective donors. Donors are now allowed to donate between $1 and $25,000. This is great for incoming students because all donations will go towards scholarships.
This new donation level is also helpful to alumni and other donors because it opens the door for donors looking to donate smaller amounts of money. I expect that many more people will want to donate to scholarships now that they are able to donate smaller amounts. Previously, many people had chosen not to donate because of the requirements. I realize many CWRU graduates are extremely successful, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have thousands of dollars that they’d like to donate.
More scholarship money is also good for prospective students. Many students today compare the cost of college as much as they compare programs when picking a school. I, along with many of my friends, chose CWRU because of the amount of scholarship money I could receive.
Money is a key factor in the college application process. Even if CWRU wasn’t the cheapest option, most students still compare prices and think about the cost of college when making a decision. I know that if I hadn’t received the scholarship that I did, I wouldn’t be at CWRU right now. I would’ve chosen a less prestigious school or a public school in-state instead.
The importance of scholarships is easy to understand. CWRU’s ability to give out its scholarships makes the university even more competitive. While CWRU may cost as much as some Ivy League schools, the university’s scholarships enable it to compete for the same students.
The decision to enable more donors to give only sharpens this edge. CWRU will be able to increase admissions and stay competitive for the increasing number of students applying and enrolling in college.
Brian Eckert is a first-year finance and economics double major.