Right Idea, Wrong Donors
Published: Thursday, February 23, 2012
Updated: Friday, February 24, 2012 15:02
Think your last year as a student at Georgetown is the last time the university will ask you for money? Think again.
Even families burdened by growing tuition bills and alums paying off student loans are asked to donate to the university. These solicitations — accompanied by a projected 3.5 percent tuition increase each year through 2016 — are representative of Georgetown's indifference to current economic challenges.
The rapidly escalating cost of college in the United States is a serious problem. Georgetown's administration is quick to point out that the trend of increasing tuition applies to many elite universities, but that attitude misses the point.
Many current students and recently graduated alumni will remember their time at Georgetown fondly and one day will be financially situated to give back to the university, but these same students and alumni are committed to making sacrifices to foot hefty tuition bills and likely won't be able to do more than that while in school or starting a career. Asking current students or newly employed alumni to provide additional funds is unfair and may sallow their impressions of the institution they associate with the best years of their lives.
While we understand that the university seeks to further its national and international standings, requesting donations from recent graduates and the families of current students is not an acceptable way to do so. Many students depart from the Hilltop hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and a phone call asking for more money displays insensitivity on the university's part. Campaign administrators may think that it doesn't hurt to ask, but this callousness won't be forgotten when alumni do have the financial resources to potentially give back.
The current capital campaign features the slogan "for generations to come." While the university has a right to look toward the future and long-term ambitions, it cannot in the present blind itself to the current financial realities of tuition-paying families and recent graduates.