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News, University News

University reaches $30 million fundraising goal for Brown Promise

2,087 donors contributed to program, with gifts ranging from $1 to millions of dollars

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, December 7, 2017

The University has reached its $30 million fundraising goal to carry out “The Brown Promise: The Future of Financial Aid at Brown” — an initiative to eliminate all loans from undergraduate financial aid packages, according to a University press release.

Now that the University has achieved this milestone, it will follow through with its plans to replace all packaged loans with grants for both incoming and current students for the 2018-19 academic year. A total of 2,087 donors — including alums, students, parents and friends of the University — pledged gifts ranging from $1 to millions of dollars, according to the press release.

The $30 million is part of a larger $120 million campaign meant specifically for the Brown Promise, The Herald previously reported. The University still needs to raise $90 million for the sustainability of the initiative, according to the press release. The financial aid budget will require an additional $4.5 million each year to fully fund the initiative.

Brown Promise will have an immediate and long term impact, said Dean of Admission Logan Powell. “The real impact will be felt next year and the years to come,” Powell said. “But certainly there will be students — prospective applicants — who see this news and see Brown’s commitment to affordability who now may be inspired to apply knowing that they can graduate potentially debt free.”

The plan targets the challenges faced by middle-income students who do not qualify for no-loan financial aid, but still require some form of aid.

“This is the next step in what is a long-time commitment to access and affordability,” Powell said.

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  1. What kind of a success is this, really? Cynical observers might interpret this as a marketing gimmick devised to obscure the colossal miscalculation of the Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP). Interestingly, it’s almost impossible to find any mention of the DIAP on the Brunonia / BrownTogether campaign website anymore.

    Some back of envelope work about Brown Promise:

    October 23, 2015 – BrownTogether is officially launched with a goal of raising $3B, of which $950M had already been raised during the campaign’s quiet phase.

    September 18, 2017 – A progress report announced $1.39B had been raised, or $440M over the 23 months since BrownTogether was launched. In other words, the campaign raises ~$19M per month.

    September 20, 2017 – Brown Promise is announced. It is not a stand alone campaign. According to the Brown News Service, the $120M goal is “part of [Brown’s] $3 billion BrownTogether campaign launched in 2015.”

    Raising $30M by December was a foregone conclusion when nearly $20M is raised on average each month.

    Remember, DIAP is promised $165M to advance the cause of diversity at Brown – a cause that is increasingly revealing itself to be incoherent and underpinned by bogus and shoddy scholarship.

    Current students and recent grads should ask hard questions about why they are carrying debt and why they weren’t made a fundraising priority a long time ago.

    • So, what’s your point? You don’t think Harvard or Yale pull these same shenanigans? Harvard had a “quiet phase” for four years and raised half the money before they announced their latest campaign. The only point is Brown should keep up its fundraising at this pace like all the other ivies do.

      • No. The point is Brown Promise is nothing much to celebrate, and the DIAP was a mistake. Students and alumni should be aware of marketing shenanigans when they make donations, (and when they participate in YouTube videos pleading for alumni donations).

        And, no. Brown obviously uses the same techniques as other schools. But, Brown shouldn’t expect the same financial support from benefactors when it tries to obscure an institutional mission that was hastily devised, and that many observers and alumni understand to be fundamentally misguided.

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