Scholarship aid has never been more important in the lives of Mount Holyoke’s exceptional students and in the College’s ability to grow and evolve to meet the moment. To support this priority, generous donors have come forward in an unprecedented way to encourage the community to increase the College’s ability to provide critical scholarship and financial aid for talented and deserving students and ensure the future of Mount Holyoke.
“With this gift, my husband Phill and I hope to inspire others to invest. We need to ensure students with diverse backgrounds and from a wide variety of economic circumstances have the opportunity to join the Mount Holyoke community and thrive as student scholars and change agents.” — Liz Cochary Gross ’79
There are multiple ways to take advantage of this generosity and increase the impact of your philanthropic support while directly benefiting students immediately, and/or in perpetuity:
Meet the Moment Scholarship Challenge
Endowment gifts in support of scholarship aid are integral to helping the College attract and support the best and brightest students from across the economic spectrum. To support this priority and grow critical endowments for financial aid, incredible champions of Mount Holyoke have initiated a historic Meet the Moment Scholarship Challenge. Trustee Liz Cochary Gross ’79 and Phill Gross have pledged a record-breaking $10 million gift in support of scholarship aid, and Nancy Nordhoff ’54 has made a generous $1 million gift.
This challenge offers donors the opportunity to double — or triple — their impact with their endowment gifts. The College seeks to raise at least $20 million in new gifts and commitments, including the $11 million matching funds, over the next 12 to 18 months.
- 2:1 Match — Triple the impact for first-time donors to endowed financial aid: Every first-time donor to endowed financial aid who makes a gift or pledge between $50,000 and $250,000 will receive a two-dollar match for every one dollar contributed.
- 1:1 Match — Double the impact for repeat endowed financial aid donors: The challenge offers a dollar-for-dollar match for all new gift commitments between $50,000 and $250,000 made to endowed financial aid from donors who exceed their typical annual giving to endowed scholarship. Matching funds may be added to a repeat donor’s gift to create a new named fund, or to continue building an existing fund.
- Donors are strongly encouraged to include an increased Mount Holyoke Fund commitment in their giving plans for the corresponding number of years.
Mount Holyoke Fund Scholars Match
Thanks to Mount Holyoke trustee Bess Weatherman ’82, who has generously committed $1.25 million to the scholarship initiative, a $250,000 challenge will begin on January 14, 2021, and will match, dollar for dollar, all new gifts between $5,000 and $25,000 made to The Mount Holyoke Fund Scholars Program. Each Mount Holyoke Fund Scholars gift provides a one-year named scholarship in the amount of the gift to a student with demonstrated need. As a unique benefit of this challenge, we are offering a special opportunity to support a Mount Holyoke Fund Scholar with a minimum gift of $5,000.
We did it! $500,000 in one month. In four weeks, 34 donors rose to the challenge, bringing in $250,000 in new gifts and pledges for the Mount Holyoke Fund Scholars Program. Thank you!
Financial aid at Mount Holyoke College
Among the Seven Sisters, Mount Holyoke admits the highest percentage of low- and middle-income students. We meet 100% of demonstrated need. In 2019-2020, 73% of our students received financial aid, with an average aid package of $42,000. Three-quarters of our financial aid — a total of $53 million was awarded in 2019-2020 — comes from our operating budget. But our endowment, while healthy, remains one of the smallest among our peers. It only covers a quarter of that cost, about $13 million in 2019-2020. Unlike some of our peers, our financial aid packages include student loans.
A robust endowment is a crucial indicator of the College’s financial health and a reflection of the dedication and trust of the generous donors who invest in the College’s long-term success. A larger endowment helps us offset educational costs and provide access to more talented students. It allows Mount Holyoke to broaden its support for other critical priorities, such as career development and enhancing the college experience. And welcoming new donors adds to the pool of individuals whose support allows Mount Holyoke to thrive.
“This is kind of corny, but when I came to Mount Holyoke, I couldn’t have imagined who I would become. I had a lot of ideas but I didn’t know how to make space for them. I do here. At Mount Holyoke, I have become a more genuine version of myself.”
“Mount Holyoke has changed me. I am from Turkey and my calculus professor, Lidia Mran, is from Lebanon and she is so inspiring. For women from the Middle East, it’s not always easy to study at a university and to be a STEM major. She’s a role model for me because she’s really strong. She shows me how to do what you believe is important.”
Noel Robbins Congdon Scholarship
“Before Mount Holyoke, I could not imagine being a religion major — and now I am applying to seminary for religious leadership. What’s great is the diverse environment, the fact that 30% of our students are international. I take pride in knowing that I go to a diverse college. Mount Holyoke is truly unique, the only place in the world of its kind. I feel so blessed and lucky that I get to spend four years here.”