Endowments Support the College’s Mission

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Financial Aid Giving

Creating an endowed scholarship—or joining with others to do so—makes a strong statement for the College’s mission and values. 

Most donors begin their philanthropic journey by giving each year to the annual fund. As their capacity to give increases, inspired donors may decide to add an endowed fund to their giving portfolio. This holistic approach to giving ensures that Dartmouth students—and the College itself—are supported in the ways that meet the broadest need. 

All endowed scholarships are restricted, which means they can only be used for the express financial aid purposes stipulated when they are established. Dartmouth College Fund gifts, on the other hand, are unrestricted, which provides much more financial aid flexibility. As a current use fund, the DCF uses all gifts within the fiscal year they are given.

Sustainable strength to support our mission

The endowment provides maximum sustainable financial support to Dartmouth to serve its mission in perpetuity. In this sense, every endowment is a “forever” gift to support students today and into the future. 

One of the larger challenges facing higher education is its rapidly rising cost—and we need to do more than just stay ahead of the curve. In the past 15 years, Dartmouth has significantly increased the total share of scholarships it provides each year to students—from 51 percent to 73 percent. It takes a robust endowment to make this possible. 

A strong endowment allows Dartmouth to respond decisively to economic hardships and provide the very best liberal arts education to all qualified students. 

Balancing the interests of current and future generations of Dartmouth students is a core value of a successful endowment. Think of it as intergenerational equity: we’re preserving the best of Dartmouth for every succeeding class. 

Through the endowment, Dartmouth will continue to invest in key long-term initiatives, such as creating a more welcoming and inclusive community; ensuring the mental and physical health of students, faculty, and staff; and positioning the institution for continued success in a rapidly changing higher-education landscape. These initiatives, as well as Dartmouth’s unwavering commitment to undergraduate financial aid, are supported by the current fiscal year’s approved endowment distribution.

Think of it as intergenerational equity: we’re preserving the best of Dartmouth for every succeeding class.