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Tufts Student Fund begins spring campaign

Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 07:04

As many Tufts students are painfully aware, tuition is a heavy and growing burden to bear in exchange for a college education. Over half of our student body receives some sort of financial aid, and President Anthony Monaco has mentioned numerous times how important the issue is to him, personally and professionally. When working on the budget for 2012-2013, he cited financial aid as a critical area of investment and speaks often of his gratitude towards Princeton for their help. “Without that help, I probably never would have become a scientist,” he stated, “and I certainly would not be standing before you today.” 

The Tufts Student Fund (TSF) was established in 2008 for two primary purposes: to educate Tufts students about the importance of philanthropy and to raise money for financial aid in the face of a recession. 

“The overarching goal of the Student Fund is to get students involved with and educated about the funding side of the university,” senior Alyse Vinoski, the director of philanthropy education, said. “I joined because my student worker position in the Annual Fund has shown me just how much giving back matters, and I want others to know what their contribution means.” 

Indeed, TSF often values participation over amount, emphasizing that every gift counts. They are assisted in this endeavor every year by generous and often anonymous alumni, who challenge and match student contributions. This year, every dollar donated by a student will be matched with $25, so a $1 contribution is actually $26, a $2 gift is actually $52, and so forth, up to the donor’s limit of $50,000. Last year, TSF saw a 23% participation rate, which this year it hopes to increase to 25 percent, a quarter of the student body. This is steady growth from TSF’s first campaign, which raised $7,605 from 21 percent of the student body.

Aside from raising money, TSF believes in the importance of philanthropy and hopes to instill this belief in students. All too often, students are unaware of how directly their lives are impacted by alumni donations, which go towards everything from Safe Rides to financial aid. “It’s true that Tufts has an endowment, and that our tuition goes towards everyday matters of the school,” Vinoski says, “but the help from donors is really what makes this university run.” 

To that end, TSF hosts several awareness events through the month of April. Tuition Runs Out Day marks approximately how much education one year of tuition pays for; every day afterwards is funded by alumni contributions. There is also a “thank-a-thon,” giving students the opportunity to personalize a thank-you to alumni for their donation, and a campaign focusing on the “human” side of giving. 

TSF is also hoping to encourage donations by increasing the ease of giving. Volunteers will be tabling at the Meyer Campus Center, Tisch patio and various major events throughout the month of April, accepting donations in the form of cash or JumboCash (donations can also be given online).

Tufts Student Fund kicked off its 2012 campaign on Monday, tabling on Tisch patio, and will continue to collect donations and educate students until the campaign closes on April 27. Stop by to learn more about the Student Fund, have your donation matched and give back to your school!

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Alec Schilling is a senior majoring in English. She is the co-chair of the Tufts Student Fund.

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