Undergraduate Scholarships: Promising the Full Penn Experience
December 22, 2010
At Penn, we say it again and again: scholarships increase access. And at Penn, scholarships have indeed brought about a broader diversity of high-achieving students who enter this University.
But scholarships do much more. As the cornerstone of Penn's no-loan, all-grant financial aid policy, scholarships ensure that the remarkable young men and women who have entered our doors have all the support and resources they need -- not only to make their academic journeys without the crush of financial burdens, but also to make the most of the richly integrated academic life that defines Penn. Undergraduate research. Community-service and civic-engagement courses. Cross-disciplinary, individualized majors. Prized internships.
For rising undergraduates and their families, financial aid scholarships are there every step of the way, a crucial part of this University's unwavering commitment to students to achieve all they can -- right up through their senior years.
Two seniors, Rachel Romeo and Nimit Jain, revealed just how personally true this was when they spoke at the reception for scholarship donors last month.
Rachel Romeo, C'11
Rachel's acceptance letter to Penn also came with the means to say yes: a scholarship endowed by Amy Gutmann and Michael Doyle. But two years later 'yes' became 'maybe,' as Rachel's family faced medical costs that threatened their already stretched finances. What made the difference? Another scholarship, this time from the Lui family. For Rachel, this named scholarship meant that she could continue to follow her chosen course in psychology, linguistics, and performing arts; to study American Sign Language (not offered at many other colleges); and to earn a grant from CURF to research language development in hearing-impaired infants -- an investigation that already has the potential to revolutionize clinical diagnostics for language disorders. Now Rachel has firmly decided on a career in academia, with plans for graduate work at University College London.
Nimit Jain, C'11, W'11
Nimit's story is different. For him, initially, the power of a scholarship wasn't about access; when he was admitted to Penn he was able to pay his tuition through his own entrepreneurial chutzpah. But after two years, Nimit was, as he says, in a mess. Keeping his business ventures running to pay his tuition was eating away at his coursework, and because he could only schedule a few classes a semester, he was faced with the prospect of having to pay for an additional fifth year in order to graduate. To the rescue: named scholarships from Evelyn Davis, Peter Kash, and Steven Feldman, W'84. For Nimit, a dual major in the College and Wharton, it meant being able to focus rigorously on full courseloads, and to thrive with fellow classmates in Penn's interdisciplinary environment. As Nimit puts it, he owes his whole education to his scholarship donors.
For students like Rachel and Nimit, financial aid in the form of named scholarships is one of the best reliances against unexpected circumstances. It is also perhaps the most rewarding. That's because a student who receives a named scholarship also receives a scholarship donor. It's like having an extra academic advisor, study buddy, or career counselor in their corner -- a real partner in the Penn experience.
At Penn, the power of financial aid goes a long way. It not only brings remarkable students to campus and supports them throughout their college years, but it also draws equally remarkable donors -- Penn alumni and friends -- into what Amy Gutmann calls "our sacred trust."
Interested in endowing a scholarship? Learn how.
Amy Gutmann and Michael Doyle Endowed Scholarship: Established in 2006 by Amy Gutmann and Michael Doyle to provide financial support to an undergraduate who would otherwise be unable to meet the cost of a Penn education.
Lui Family Scholarship: Established in 2009 by the Lui Foundation to provide financial support to undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences who would otherwise be unable to meet the cost of a Penn education, with preference for students majoring in economics or psychology. Donors: Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Lui.
Feldman Family Endowed Scholarship: Established in 2003 by Steven Feldman, W'84, to provide financial support to an undergraduate who would otherwise be unable to meet the cost of an education at Penn, with a preferene for a student in the Wharton School who has an interest in entrepreneurship. Donor: Mr. Steven M. Feldman.
Kash Family Endowed Scholarship: Established in 2005 by Peter and Donna Kash to provide financial support to a Wharton undergraduate who exemplifies an interest in entrepreneurship and who would otherwise be unable to meet the cost of education at Penn. Peter served as adjunct professor of Entrepreneurship and International Venture Capital at the Wharton School from 1996 to 2000. Donor: Mr. Peter Kash.
Evelyn Y. Davis Scholarship Endowment: Established in 2003 by Evelyn Y. Davis and the Evelyn Y. Davis Foundation to provide financial support to five senior undergraduates in the Wharton School who are U.S. citizens, have demonstrated superior academic achievement, have expressed a career interest in the fields of business or political journalism, and would othersie be unable to meet the cost of an education at Penn. First preference shall be given to students who have expressed a career interest in business journalism, and second preference shall be given to those who have expressed a career interest in political journalism. Donor: Mrs. Evelyn Y. Davis.
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