Recently, government support for higher education has sharply declined. In Michigan, a state at the epicenter of the recent recession, funding for higher education has not kept pace with tuition. Out-of-pocket costs for students, who must make up the difference, have risen dramatically. Graduates from Michigan public universities rank 12th nationally in total student debt.
This reality affects all students but hits those with the least financial means hardest. On average, 40 percent of Ferris students qualify for federal Pell Grants and state Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) assistance, coming from very-low-income families. These students are often the first in their families to attend college, and their families are typically able to offer little or no financial support. As a result, our students borrow heavily, work part-time jobs, incur credit-card debt and extend their time to a degree. Graduating with a large debt load, these young people often delay things like buying a house, starting a family and saving for retirement.
Ferris State University has always been an institution of opportunity, meeting challenges head on. Ferris has been working diligently to develop practical solutions for current and future students. Not content to simply hold the line on student debt, we have made an unqualified commitment to reversing the trend. While the University has held tuition increases to an average 2.51 percent annually and has increased financial aid, more must be done to help these hard-working students.
Through cost containment, philanthropy and other sources, Ferris has already increased its level of financial aid. One of the goals of this campaign is to grow scholarships, and to double our scholarship endowment.
The beauty of an endowment is its permanence: The principal is never spent. Rather, a small percentage of the interest on your investment goes directly to students year after year. This is why endowments are a key strategy for future scholarship funding at Ferris. Increasing our scholarship endowment will provide future students with permanent, reliable and predictable support.
The Ferris Futures Scholarship Challenge
Through an extraordinary convergence of vision and resources. The Ferris Foundation is able to offer an exceptional opportunity to take your support even further. The Ferris Futures Scholarship Challenge provides $18 million in matching funds. Through June 30, 2023, The Ferris Foundation will match up to $3 million in gifts per year toward new or existing endowments. In turn, all of these endowed funds will be put to work for the financial support of students. Here are just a few ways your support can be directed. You can:
- Start a new endowed fund.
- Give to an existing endowment, supporting the area of your choice.
- Bring your existing endowment to the minimum threshold to start awarding.
Click here for more information on The Ferris Futures Scholarship Challenge.