As calendar year 2015 is winding down with the exciting news that Oberlin College has exceeded our campaign goal of $250 million by $33 million, there were pockets where we exceeded our expectations and places where we haven’t yet made our target figures.

Most significant and important of these latter categories is scholarships.

With an ambitious goal of raising $90 million dollars by the end of Oberlin Illuminate, we are currently at $67 million with 6 months remaining in the campaign. The importance of scholarships cannot be understated. Financial aid makes up approximately one-third of Oberlin’s annual operating budget and accounts for over $61 million provided to students. This represents our significant and long-standing commitment to access, allowing us to continue to be a pioneer in making education available for deserving students.

The stellar growth of our endowment throughout the 1990s was greatly impacted by the financial crises of the 2000s. But while the endowment is back on track, the gap between what it pays out and the cost of student aid has remained significant. Oberlin College is dedicated to reinvigorating our endowment through additional charitable giving.

Having reached our campaign goals in other areas, we can now direct more of our focus toward bolstering scholarship fundraising. This will require unprecedented support from alumni and friends who believe in our mission, but we believe that with every single one of us pulling together, we can continue to invest long-term in the future of our students and our institutional mission.