Do you receive financial aid? Do you use the peer-tutoring program? As students, we benefit from Reed’s Annual Fund, which supports financial aid, academic programs, campus facilities, and more. In early August, a headline splashed in Reed Magazine announced a record $5.5 million in donations during the 2020-2021 year amid the COVID-19 crisis. With the help of over 5,000 donors, Reed will be able to maintain and improve these student services.
One such important service is financial aid which currently supports more than 50% of students, and to some it’s a major factor in their decision to enroll at Reed. With these donations, the financial aid budget was able to increase from $28 million to $30 million, according to the Reed Magazine article. Currently, the Reed grant fund is at $38.2 million. The Quest reached out to relevant department heads in relation to financial aid for further information on the Annual Fund’s impact on the average student.
In a collective statement, the department heads said, “Financial aid is awarded on the basis of financial need of individual students. Students and families who experienced job loss, income reductions, increased medical expenses, etc. demonstrated greater financial need and thus received higher grant amounts. The average grant awarded this year is approximately $44,000 compared to $40,000 last year. In addition, this year more students qualified for financial aid (58% compared to 53% last year).”
Over this past year, it is no surprise that more Reedies were in need of higher financial aid. The increase in money, however, did not impact the incoming class size, which is the largest Reed has ever had.
“There is no correlation between money raised through the Annual Fund and the size of any incoming class. Admissions decisions are made independently of fund raising activity,” said department heads.
Other resources available for students — like the Multicultural Resource Center, the library, and the peer tutoring program — make up a significant part of students’ lives and are funded in part by the Annual Fund. Over half the student population utilizes peer-tutoring services.
Last year, the donations to the Annual Fund helped support COVID safety precautions like classroom tents, single rooms for all, and increased cleaning measures. Additionally, this increase in donations seems to be part of an upward trend.
“We certainly hope it is a trend,” said the department heads. “The Annual Fund is one important funding source that helps ensure the long-term financial stability of Reed including its ability to meet its financial aid commitments.”
Campaigns like Remarkable Reedies provided opportunities for people to support the college. Donations are a critical component of the budget: about 60% comes from tuition with the other 40% coming from philanthropy like endowments and the Annual Fund. In other words, Reed relies on this type of support to operate the school, and there are ways that students can get involved.
“Alumni, parents, and friends aren’t the only ones who make gifts to support Reed. Reedies 4 Reedies is a student-run group who raise money to support financial aid for one incoming student each year.”