In the past few weeks, at least nine universities have received donations of at least $1 million, with instructions that the money be used primarily to fund scholarship programs. The donations, which total at least $45 million, have been given to colleges across the country since March, according to the Associated Press.
While anonymous donations happen from time to time, this circumstance is still highly unusual, since no college officials know who provided the gifts. Typically, the college knows the donor's identity but agrees not to reveal it. However, schools benefiting from this wave of anonymous donations have been contacted by representatives of banks or law firms, rather than by the donors themselves, and have been asked not to attempt to ascertain the donor's identity.
The donations have largely been met with gratitude. They are well-timed, given the state of the economy and many colleges' current attempts to meet the increased financial need of students. Families are experiencing greater need for financial aid, and colleges' endowment funds, including endowed scholarships, have lost large amounts of money, giving them fewer resources to use.
For students at these colleges, as well as other schools that have recently benefited from generous donations, the scholarship opportunities they provide could mean the difference between attending college and staying home. However, these anonymous donors are not the only people out there dedicated to making a college education possible for students in tough times. You can do a free scholarship search for information on more scholarship awards.