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Alumni Merit Scholarship Fund

Raised toward our $40,000 Goal
194 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on June 30, at 11:59 PM EDT
Project Owners

Alumni Merit Scholarship Fund

Alumni Merit Scholarship Fund Goal:  

We recently established a new Alumni Merit Scholarship Fund with the objective of reducing, if not someday eliminating, the amount of debt a student graduates with from Olin. 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 $200million 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!

The Alumni Merit Scholarship Fund was created 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 new fund, the Alumni Merit Scholarship Fund, will help us move forward towards that objective again. 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. Thank you to those who have already shown your 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. 


Olin students: Once the $125,000 goal is met, and the Fund will be endowed. At that time, it will first benefit Olin students in their eighth semester with an additional merit scholarship of $75. As the Fund grows larger, there will be additional conversations between alumni and Olin’s administration as to when other classes will be given this Scholarship and the amount to be received by each class.


Donations to this Fund will initially be collected into a temporarily restricted fund, but not spent, until the minimum of $125,000 is reached in order to endow the Fund. To read more, here is a link to the Memorandum of Understanding with Olin College that outlines all the details of the Fund.  


  • We must raise $125,000 by June 30, 2018 in order to create the endowment fund.
  • Once endowed, the Fund will distribute a scholarship from the endowment’s earnings (in accordance with the college's policies) such that every student in their eighth semester would receive a scholarship of equal value. These distributions will start small, with a minimum of $75 distributed per student.
  • In future years, once the distribution exceeds the cost of the eighth semester's tuition, the Fund would then start distributing money to the preceding semesters (seventh semester, followed by sixth, etc.) until the entire four year tuition of each student is covered. 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 eighth semester students.
  • If any distribution would fall below $75 in a year, no distribution would be made.
  • If $125,000 is not raised by June 30, 2018, all collected funds will be marked unrestricted and the fund will dissolve.
  • It is agreed that these funds in the Alumni Merit Scholarship Fund will be incremental to the college’s scholarship budget.



Today's American college tuition system is complicated and difficult to navigate. As a new parent, I already see conflicting advice regarding where I should save money for my baby’s college education. I love that Olin's merit scholarship treats all admitted students equally, regardless of what financial choices their parents have made. It emphasizes the value of the student's accomplishments and post-graduation potential over their parents’ finances. It enables all Olin graduates to pursue great opportunities that might otherwise have been unaffordable. And it encourages us to donate back to the school and make the same possible for future students! -- Susan Fredholm Murphy ’06

Stan Antol

My parents emigrated from rural Poland without knowing any English. Through lots of hard work and sacrifices (and eventually good investments in property), my family was able to do ok, though money was always a concern--we definitely couldn’t have afforded what the FAFSA claimed. Olin provided the opportunity to attend a small school with an awesome and diverse community, which let me develop emotionally and intellectually to an extent that would not have been possible at a good, but large, state university. Without debt, I am free to pursue a PhD in AI, which will hopefully and eventually improve the world. -Stan Antol '11

Sarah Oliver

Graduating from college debt-free allowed me the luxury of several years of exploring my interests through interesting but low-paying apprenticeships before finding the perfect job that combines my technical skills and interest in farming. -Sarah Oliver '06


The scholarship was a big factor in my decision to attend Olin instead of some Ivy league. I am sure that if I hadn't attended Olin, I would not have become an engineer. Being an engineer has increased my confidence, given me amazing career opportunities, introduced me to fantastic friends, and is the reason I met my fiancé. I think having the scholarship helps people who would not have otherwise studied engineering take the leap to attend engineering school and fall in love with an amazing profession. -- Rachel Nancollas ‘11

Olin's full tuition scholarship is a promise. It tells us that we are all equals with one another, and all worthy to be voices in the continuous experiment that is an Olin education. It gives us ownership- it makes us want to give back and keep building what we've started. I am proud of Olin's community for understanding how powerful a promise the scholarship is. The money is for the first four years. The merit of the community is for life. -Kelsey Breseman '13

The Olin Scholarship let me go to an amazing school with others from a wide variety of backgrounds. There aren't many scholarships for middle-class white males such as myself, and the exposure to that diversity and the influence of those relationships marks me to this day. The full scholarship made Olin accessible to people who couldn't have afforded college at all. We could focus on learning rather than trying to pay for classes while we were taking them. When we graduated free from student debt, we were able to pursue what mattered rather than what paid. - Andrew Bouchard '07


Sean McBride 07

The impact of the original full-ride merit scholarship should be apparent. A high quality college education continues to get more expensive while post-college job prospects become more uncertain. Everyone should have access to high quality education without spending the rest of their life working to get out of debt. The original merit scholarship was an amazing commitment to the goal of eliminating financial concerns from the equation. Leaving school debt-free has been an immense privilege, and has allowed me to take financial risks in my career when I otherwise would have had to stick to the safe path. - Sean McBride '07

Choose a giving level


Participation Matters

Thank you for your support! You are helping Olin students graduate with less debt.


Support 1 Olin Student

Your gift reduces the cost of education for a soon-to-be Olin graduate.


Support 2 Olin Students

Thank you for reducing the cost of education for Olin students.


Support 3 Olin Students

Thank you for reducing the cost of education for Olin students.


Support 6 Olin Students

Thank you for reducing the cost of education for Olin students.


Support 10 Olin Students

Your gift helps build a fund toward endowment so more students can feel less of a financial burden.


Olin Influencer

By giving $1,000 you move the needle considerably on reducing student debt after graduation.


Phoenix Society (Advocate)

As a result of your generous donation, many Olin students will have access to greater scholarships.


Phoenix Society (Oval Society)

Your leadership level gift will be recognized at the Oval Society and will provide future scholarships to Olin students.


Phoenix Society (1997 Society)

Leadership gifts of $5,000 will be recognized at the 1997 Society level and will be acknowledged and stewarded accordingly.

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