University announces fundraising initiative for student support and scholarships 

and | Junior News Editors

The University announced Make Way, an initiative to raise at least $600 million to diversify the student body and remove the financial barriers tied to admissions and the student experience, on Oct. 6. 

Chancellor Andrew Martin announced Make Way at a celebratory event in Tisch Park attended by students, alumni, donors, and faculty. 

“With Make Way, we aim to be the most supportive university in the country for all of our students, including first-generation and lower-income students as well as those from middle-income families for whom a WashU education is a significant financial stretch,” Martin said to The Source.

The $600 million will come from donations, gifts, and commitments. Some alumni have created fundraising challenges to incentivize support for increasing access to scholarships, promising to match or exceed certain donations. 

According to Vice Provost for Admissions and Financial Aid Ronné Turner, the University estimates to raise the $600 million “within the next two years.” The money will be accessible or put to use at various points in time.

Some of the gifts will provide resources that can be used immediately after the gifts are received,” Turner said. “Other gifts will be designated for endowment. The income from these endowed gifts will be available every year in perpetuity. All the gifts will supplement the University’s existing resources for scholarships.”

Before Make Way, the University worked on several initiatives to increase financial aid and student resources over the years. In 2021, the University announced Gateway to Success, a 1 billion dollar investment in student support and funding. This initiative led to need-blind undergraduate admissions at WashU.

According to Martin, the University needs to increase the number of scholarships and fellowships available to undergraduate and graduate students in order to compete with similar universities.

“By further growing endowment resources through Make Way, we can bring our scholarship and fellowship packages into alignment with our closest competitors,” Martin told The Source.

WashU falters in the scholarship category, Turner said. According to her, a reason for the University falling behind its competitors in terms of offering scholarships is that WashU’s endowment “has not been as large as other institutions.” Turner also said that many “peer institutions offer financial aid awards that don’t include loans for students from a broader range of socioeconomic backgrounds.”

Turner wants to ensure that the University can educate students regardless of their financial status. 

“We’re missing out on educating and learning from some of the brightest students with the greatest potential to contribute to our community and our world,” Turner said to The Source. 

She added that “by building a more diverse student body that reflects the racial, socioeconomic and geographic diversity of our region, country and world, we will be enriching the educational experience for all of our students.”


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