Alumni Merit Scholarship Endowment Fund
Continue the Impact of AMSF!
Last year Olin alumni established the Alumni Merit Scholarship Fund with the objective of reducing, if not someday eliminating, the amount of debt a student graduates with from Olin College. We received an outstanding amount of support from alumni, parents and other friends of Olin, raising over $131,000 between February and December of 2015, allowing us to endow the gift on December 31, 2015 (well ahead of the original June 2018 goal). Thanks to your generosity thus far, we were able to award $75 to each 8th semester Olin senior for the Spring 2016 semester.
It is great that we have been able to have a small yet immediate impact on the cost of an Olin education, but our long-term goal is to eventually restore the Olin Scholarship to the value of full tuition. (At this point in time it would take more than $200 million in addition to the current endowment.) While the college does not have any current plans to restore the Olin Scholarship back to covering the full cost of tuition, together we can show our support for doing so and our appreciation for what we have received by giving to this fund now. We hope you will join us in continuing to send this important message to the college!
The Alumni Merit Scholarship Fund was created from the leadership of Matt Colyer ('07) and Yrinee Michaelidis ('07) and in cooperation with the class of 2014, many other passionate alumni, and the staff of Olin. We believe that the original Olin Merit Scholarship enabled students to graduate with little or no debt, allowing them to pursue unique opportunities soon after graduation for making positive change in the world. This Fund, the Alumni Merit (Endowed) Scholarship Fund, will help us move forward towards that objective again and we cannot stop supporting the fund now; we must continue to grow the endowment to ensure we can award more and more Olin seniors in the future. The original Olin Merit Scholarship was also created to reward students for their high school work; to reward them for deciding to study engineering; and to make an investment in them that will help each student and society in the future. We want to ensure that students continue to feel valued in these ways as we provide inch our way from an extraordinary half tuition to more merit support.
By reducing the cost of Olin, we make Olin’s world class education available to the widest variety of students possible. Graduating with less debt enables alumni to pursue their passions and concentrate on career and life advancement. Your gift will make a difference in Olin students’ lives.
Who will benefit?
Olin students. Now that the Fund has been endowed, the alumni representatives of this Fund will review the fund balance with College administration periodically to determine whether the fund has grown to the level where the scholarships can be expanded beyond just the 8th semester students. To read more, visit this page set up for the fund or read the Memorandum of Understanding with Olin College that outlines all the details of the Fund.
What was the inspiration for this fund?
Matt Colyer '07 and Yrinee Michaelidis '07 lead the effort to develop this fund and during its development the Class of 2014 (lead by class representatives Larissa Little and Brendan Quinlivan) joined to support the effort. Here are some quotes from them about their motivation for the fund.
Simply said, without the full tuition scholarship I would not have attended Olin. I’ll always be grateful for those whose vision and commitment to changing engineering education made that possible. Having benefited so much from the scholarship, I felt a duty to help restore it. I couldn’t be more excited to have this fund, as it enables everyone to express their gratitude and support of the scholarship which has shaped so many of our lives for the better. - Matt Colyer '07
I believe in free higher education, an education where students can choose a college based not on cost and can graduate debt free. I want to enable as many students as possible to make life/career/personal decisions without the significant burden of loans to pay off. I hear countless stories from fellow alumni describing experiences they had and opportunities they could pursue after graduation which would not have been possible with a loan payment every month. And personally, I would not have been able to attend Olin without the scholarship and am so thankful to have benefited from it. After graduation, without the pressure of loan payments, I was able to work for startups, consult independently and travel around the world. I believe that making Olin tuition free was the wisest decision they made, especially in a landscape of ever increasing student debt, and have been working towards that goal ever since my class endowed its gift. - Yrinee Michaelidis '07
As the first class without the Full Tuition Scholarship, restoring the scholarship is something my classmates and I have been talking about since my Candidates Weekend back in 2010. It is something I'm very passionate about as I hope to both (1) enable prospective students to attend Olin and not be deterred by the prohibited cost of higher education and (2) graduate debt free (or with little student debt) in order to enable them to pursue their passion without the burden of thousands of dollars in student loans. Now, six years after the scholarship was reduced I hope that by supporting this fund myself and my fellow classmates continue to show that the passion to #restorethescholarship is still there! -Brendan Quinlivan ‘14