Cost of College: Donors Help Cover Costs With Endowments & Scholarships

More than 85 percent of Pacific University’s revenue comes from tuition and fees, which in turn pay for faculty and staff salaries, student services, buildings and maintenance, and a host of other expenses.

drawing of two figures high-fivingEven as tuition rates rise at a pace that is alarming for students and families, colleges around the country are closing up shop for financial reasons. Those that remain are competing for a limited number of qualified students.

At the same time, schools like Pacific seek to fulfill their mission of providing education and opportunity for all students.

That’s where donors become especially important. Donor-supported funds augment the revenue from tuition, allowing the university to provide more discounts and scholarships for students. Unrestricted funds, like the Pacific Excellence Fund, provide dollars that the university can use to offset tuition discounts or provide direct support to students, like those who may have an immediate or unexpected need. Endowments, on the other hand, are invested funds that provide earnings in perpetuity, often specifically for scholarships.

In its current comprehensive fundraising campaign, Lead On: The Campaign for Tomorrow, Pacific’s goal is to bring its endowment to $100 million, with a focus especially on scholarships for students at both the undergraduate and graduate level. 

This story was part of a feature on The Cost and Value of College that first appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Pacific magazine. For more stories, visit

Tuesday, May 21, 2019