The UCM Alumni Foundation broke another record—increasing the payout from its endowments in support of students and academic programs to an all-time high. The Foundation Board of Directors authorized a payout of $1.3 million for fiscal year 2017, which is a 9.72-percent increase from FY16 and nearly triple the payout since FY12. This is the fifth consecutive year the payout increased.
“At a time when access and completion of college is a national priority for students and their families, the support of our alumni and friends providing scholarship assistance in a way that makes a historic difference at the University of Central Missouri is deeply appreciated,” said Charles Ambrose, UCM president.
While UCM’s average student debt load continues to be lower than most due to the University’s commitment to keeping tuition affordable, the national student debt load surpassed a record $1 trillion in 2013, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
“This increasing level of scholarship directly reflects our donors’ compassion for giving. It also makes it possible for the University to serve the largest enrollment in our history, hold our cost increases below inflation, help more students complete their degrees on time, and produce a record number of graduates, all while reducing the debt burden of our students by nearly $10 million over the last two years,” said Ambrose. “This outstanding stewardship by the UCM Foundation accounts for nearly 25 percent of this debt reduction, and these gifts will provide a lifetime of significance to future alumni. We thank you on their behalf.”
Jason Drummond, vice president for university advancement and UCM Foundation executive director, credited donors and the Foundation Board for the consistent increase in the payout rate: “This is a testament to our generous donors who believe in our mission, as well as our Foundation Board of Directors who are fully committed to supporting the great work of UCM students, faculty and staff.”
Drummond noted that several years of astute financial planning by the Foundation Board contributed to the consistent payout rate increases, which are calculated from the earnings on the nearly 500 endowments managed by the Foundation.
“The Foundation has the power to alleviate some of the financial burden that often serves as a barrier for students trying to fulfill their college aspirations,” said Drummond. “In many cases, a few hundred dollars stands between a student’s ability to continue their college experience and dropping out for financial reasons. I am fortunate to work with a Board who understands their role in helping as many students possible continue their experience.”