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Why you should Donate to your College

18 November 2020 110 views No Comment

My freshman year of college, I was determined not to work for food services. I knew I needed to get a job, but washing dishes? That wasn’t for me. So instead, I went to a local chain grocery store and got a job in the deli department. Because that’s a lot better, right?

Just before starting my sophomore year, something horrible and amazing happened to me. I totaled my car. While the experience was terrifying, it forced me to get a job on campus, since my parents got the insurance money from the first vehicle and they weren’t about to purchase a new car for me. I was just about to succumb to the dish room when I saw an opening in my campus’ Development Office for a research assistant. The job required good Internet skills, clerical experience, and an ability to learn. Hey, I could do that.

I admit it - before that point, I had no idea what the Development Office was. Apparently, it was a part of the Institutional Advancement Department. Insert blank stare here.

“We raise money for the college.”

Oooooooooooh. My heart sank. I was going to have to run a phone, asking alumni for donations. I was just about to excuse myself from the interview and head to dining services when my boss-to-be explained my job duties - researching prominent alumni and new parents to help determine who would be nominated for leadership awards, who they should visit and solicit (ie, who could afford to give thousands of dollars), and who would really want to get involved with their children’s on-campus life.

I blew the door off of that interview and ended up getting the job (later, my boss told me that she didn’t even consider anyone else). The job was fun. It was truly a pleasure working there, and to this day, I still miss it. But what does all of this have to do with you?

Right here, right now, I want to encourage you to donate to your college.

Yes. I know. You’re still paying off loans in the first place. Did you know, though, that at most private colleges tuition only covers 75% (ish) of a student’s education. Where does the rest of that money come from? Donations. Alumni, parents, and community members giving back to the campus! Without donations, yes, there would still be colleges, but there wouldn’t be state-of-the-art lab equipment or new dorm furniture or sports arena or large libraries. Colleges couldn’t afford to run student groups, participate in study abroad programs, or offer career or health services to students. All the things that made your college experience great would be gone, and in general, fewer people would be able to afford school.

With the economy in the tubes, colleges got hit just as hard as individuals and businesses. Most colleges had their money in savings accounts, bonds, and low-risk financial portfolios. Unfortunately, that has all taken a hit. Many colleges were operating on loans, and are now paying off-the-charts interest rates. Colleges have had to cut back on everything from the number of professors they employ (which leads to large class sizes) to the amount of special events they hold for students.

Even if it is just $10 or $20, consider giving some money to your college. If every alumnus/ea in your class gave just $10, think of how much money you’d raise for the school!

They gave you a great education and wonderful memories. I know it is hard not to be bitter about paying off those loans, but a small gift is definitely worth it. Every little bit helps!

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