The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Campaign for Scholarships raised more than $10.2 million dollars, an amount more than double its initial goal of $4.5 million.
“It’s a testament to the university’s generous, devoted alumni and supporters,” said David Comeaux, interim director of the University’s Office of Development.
The campaign was UL’s first fund drive devoted solely to raising money for scholarships.
The public phase of the historic campaign began in April 2011. Fifteen months later, the initial goal was met, more than two years ahead of schedule. Based on that success, UL President Joseph Savoie adjusted the goal, to $6.5 million. The new goal was also reached. The campaign eventually surpassed $10 million.
As a result, more than 180 new scholarships have been created. Most are endowed. A minimum of $10,000 is required to establish an endowed scholarship. Endowments are perpetual sources of funding because the principal is invested; only a portion of the interest earned is spent.
Comeaux said a donor determines whether a gift will be allocated for an endowed or non-endowed scholarship.
During the campaign, some donors added to existing endowed scholarships or created non-endowed scholarships.
Tanya Yentzen, an alumna with a degree in education who participated in the Campaign for Scholarships, has helped to establish two endowed scholarships. One is for business students, the other for arts students.
“I just really believe in UL, and I think it’s important to provide opportunities to help students earn a college degree,” she said.
Scholarships are as important as ever. Higher education in Louisiana has sustained about $700 million in state funding reductions since fiscal year 2008-09. As a result, tuition has increased at most University of Louisiana System schools.
UL has been one of the most affordable universities in Louisiana for several years, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency List. The last list was released in 2014.