When David Tobias was awarded a service fellowship, it was like hitting the college lottery. The fellowship is given to students with a proven record of service for others and who are willing to spend at least 10 hours a week volunteering. Their reward: everything’s paid for—tuition, room, board. It’s an annual package worth more than $23,500.
The University awards five freshmen service fellowships annually. From the financial side, that’s more than $117,000 in lost income per class, or nearly $500,000 per year. The Univ-ersity also hands out 10 full-tuition St. Francis Xavier scholarships worth nearly $17,000 apiece, 100 Trustee scholarships worth $8,000 apiece, 100 Presidential scholarships worth $5,500 apiece and 100 Honor scholarships worth $4,000 apiece. Annually.
So where does the money come from to finance these scholarships? Much of it comes from alumni, parents, staff, faculty, businesses. In short, who gives to the annual fund.
“If it wasn’t for those people giving to the University, tuition would naturally go up,” says Dan Cloran, director for the annual fund. “Measures would be put in place, and we would probably lose faculty, students, programs. Right now, tuition is at a reasonable level for a private, Catholic education.”
Xavier is one of the least expensive of the 28 Jesuit universities. With 90 percent of students receiving financial aid, the annual fund’s contributions only cover a fraction of those costs.
“The annual fund brings in nearly $5 million to offset those costs, and raising more is possible, Cloran says. Currently, 29 percent of Xavier’s constituency base gives to the annual fund. “Imagine the impact if half of the people who don’t give to the annual fund participated,” he says.