• Investing in Financial Aid is a Continuing Priority

    Wednesday, December 20, 2023
    News Type

Dartmouth community members have pledged $20 million to expand access and affordability in the six months since The Call to Lead campaign ended.

As a leading university seeking to attract promising students from all backgrounds, Dartmouth is dedicated to making sure its best-in-class financial aid program remains robust. Ongoing investment is essential to Dartmouth’s commitment to need-blind admissions and its guarantee to meet all students’ financial needs for four years.

The Call to Lead campaign, which closed on June 30, expanded both principal sources of financial aid: annual giving, such as through the Dartmouth College Fund, which is spent each academic year; and endowed funds, which continue in perpetuity.

Growing the financial aid endowment remains a top institutional priority— and the Dartmouth community continues to give generously, committing $20 million to endowed scholarships since the campaign’s close.

During The Call to Lead campaign, alumni, families, and friends established 407 endowed scholarships during the campaign, totaling $529 million, and another 101 existing endowed scholarships received an addition of at least $100,000.

With this historic investment, Dartmouth is in a stronger position than ever to compete for exceptional undergraduate and graduate students.

However, the need for more financial aid is pressing. Millions of middle-income families continue to struggle to meet the cost of higher education. In addition, because talent is distributed across all socioeconomic sectors, Dartmouth is increasing its efforts to connect with prospective students in less-wealthy communities in the U.S. and abroad; these efforts are bringing talented students to Hanover but also increasing the need for more financial aid.

“A Dartmouth education is not only one of the best in the world, but also increasingly attainable for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds,” says President Sian Leah Beilock. “At a time when higher education must demonstrate its value, we are doubling down on academic excellence while dramatically increasing financial support for our students.”


CNN anchor and Dartmouth Trustee Jake Tapper ’91 has produced a series of videos exploring the life-changing power of financial aid. Each video profiles a Dartmouth student whose future has been transformed by the generosity of financial aid donors.


A financial aid program transformed by generous giving
Thanks to the exceptional generosity of Dartmouth community members, the average first-year undergraduate financial aid award has grown from $47,000 in fiscal year 2015, the first year of The Call to Lead campaign, to $68,490 for a member of the Class of 2027. During the current academic year, 57 percent of first-year undergraduates are receiving need-based aid.

Dartmouth garnered national and international recognition for several financial aid achievements during the campaign. They include:

  • Becoming just one of seven U.S. institutions of higher education to offer need-blind admissions to all undergraduate applicants, including non-U.S. citizens, while meeting 100 percent of demonstrated need regardless of citizenship
  • Eliminating required undergraduate student loans by replacing them with expanded scholarship grants
  • Eliminating the parental contribution for families with annual incomes of $65,000 or less and typical assets
  • Extending financial aid support to undergraduates studying off campus, including terms abroad
  • Expanding support for students in Dartmouth’s professional and graduate schools