UC Santa Cruz raises more than $500,000 for student scholarships

Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood announced today (Friday, October 10) that proceeds from the Scholarships Benefit Dinner and associated activities have raised more than $500,000. That figure will increase at the October 11 event, when more than 300 attendees will vie for unique items offered in a silent auction. Proceeds will support scholarships, fellowships, internships, and service-learning opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students.

First annual benefit dinner gains broad support from private donors and foundations
"The timing for this stunning achievement couldn't be better," Greenwood noted. With the current difficult economy and the rising cost of student fees, many families could not afford to send their children to the university, without scholarships and other forms of financial aid."

Chancellor Greenwood is co-host of the benefit dinner with the UC Santa Cruz Foundation and the UCSC Alumni Council. "I'm very proud that so many alumni are supporting educational excellence, so that today's students can benefit as we did in our time at UC Santa Cruz," said Foundation president and alumnus Kenneth Feingold, a Los Angeles attorney. "And it is a pleasure to see our trustees stepping forward as well."

Among the table sponsors and major donors are numerous alumni, plus parents of current students and UCSC graduates, Foundation trustees, and other campus friends. Corporate and foundation sponsors include campus partners from Silicon Valley and beyond, including Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Korea Telecom, Microsoft, the Ford Foundation, the Koret Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Currently, approximately 60 per cent of UC Santa Cruz undergraduates receive a combination of scholarships, grants, loans, and part-time employment opportunities. In 2002-03, the campus provided financial support for more than 7,300 of its undergraduates, up from 5,700 five years earlier, and the need is growing. The UC Regents increased student fees last year and again this fall in the face of severe budget cuts; UC Santa Cruz is experiencing a 15 per cent increase in financial aid requests for 2003-04.

Private donors support more than 200 scholarship and fellowship funds at UC Santa Cruz. The largest funds include the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund and the Karl S. Pister Leadership Opportunity Awards. The latter, named after UCSC chancellor emeritus, the program's founder, supports $20,000 scholarships for students from the region's community colleges.

Nationally, tuition and fees at private and public universities have more than doubled over the past 20 years, even with inflation taken into account. With many states facing the worst budget crisis in 60 years, fees and tuition at four-year public institutions jumped almost 10 percent between 2002 and 2003, with more dramatic increases expected in the coming year. As a result, students graduate with more debt. At UC Santa Cruz, the average cumulative indebtedness of undergraduates is $13,282.