Campaign Priority: Scholarship Support

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The American dream: nowhere has it been more consistently realized than through access to a great education.

Why Scholarships Matter at Gettysburg

Today, on grounds where the nation’s fate once hung in the balance, Gettysburg College can—and should—be within the reach of every qualified student. We must not deny deserving students the benefit of a Gettysburg education simply because they cannot afford it.

The foundation of financial aid at Gettysburg has helped us create a strong academic tradition and achieve the national reputation we enjoy today. Our scholarships bring students of all backgrounds to Gettysburg. They broaden the pool of students from which the College can choose, allowing us to make Gettysburgians of some of the most talented students anywhere. These students graduate prepared to ascend to the top of their fields; they contribute to the world in significant ways and make the most of the opportunity that Gettysburg provides. The value of their Gettysburg education is beyond question.

And yet, the question of whether the College can remain available to such students has never been more pressing. Without a substantial increase in funding for scholarships, the unfortunate reality is that we will have to turn away deserving students. To maintain and increase the quality of student intellect, ambition, and interaction on our campus—to compete with better-endowed peer institutions for high-achieving students—to preserve and strengthen the very character of the College—we must increase scholarship support.

Scholarship support not only makes attending Gettysburg possible— it also helps to spare graduates from excessive and debilitating debt. According to the Wall Street Journal, student debt surpassed $1 trillion nationally in 2011. Student-debt loads of Gettysburg graduates are currently below the national average, and it is vitally important that we keep them there—and continue to decrease the financial burden our future alumni carry. We want Gettysburgians to do the great work that excites them, rather than choosing a career path for economic reasons alone. By keeping student loans to a minimum, we free our graduates to go on to graduate and professional schools, engage in public service, and pursue their professional passions, all of which will maximize their ability to contribute significantly to their communities and to the world.

Greater Inclusiveness

The essence of learning involves making sense of the new, confronting and understanding the different. What better way to learn than from those who bring different experiences and perspectives to campus? When students of various backgrounds come together in a college community, opportunities for learning multiply—in and out of the classroom. A more inclusive community also prepares students for effective engagement in today’s multicultural world. Yet achieving greater inclusiveness requires more resources. With increased financial aid, Gettysburg could enroll more students from a wider range of socioeconomic, ethnic, racial, and geographic backgrounds—improving the intellectual vibrancy of the learning environment for everyone at the College.

The future of Gettysburg

Currently, only 7 percent of the College’s financial support for students comes from endowed scholarships; the rest— 93 percent—comes from the annual operating budget. In a changing world with which we must keep pace, this is no longer sustainable. But the good news is this: every gift to the endowment for scholarships frees funds for necessary expenditures. Moreover, every gift to that endowment instills deep and lasting gratitude in those who receive financial assistance, creating alumni more likely to give back to the College, to keep Gettysburg strong for future generations, and to transform other lives in turn. Of course, annual gifts may also be designated specifically for scholarships

Scholarship Giving Options

  • Endowed Named Preferential Scholarship:  Donor may name this scholarship and indicate eligible recipients such as students with a particular major or from a particular geographic location. The scholarship provides a perpetual source of aid for students and a permanent honor for the individual named in the fund. $100,000
  • Endowed Named General Scholarship: Donor may name this unrestricted scholarship, awarded on the basis of financial need. The scholarship provides a perpetual source of aid for students and a permanent honor for the individual named in the fund. $50,000
  • Named Gettysburg Fund Scholarship (non-endowed): Donor may name this scholarship, which commits at least $10,000 to provide an annual gift of $2,500 or more over a four-year period. $10,000
  • Gettysburg Fund annual gifts designated for scholarships: Any amount


For more information about how to support scholarships at Gettysburg, please contact Ashlyn W. Sowell, Campaign Director, at 717-337-6503 or asowell@gettysburg.edu.