OP-EDS

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June 2, 2006

Pay it Forward

Four years at the University of Chicago come with a hefty price tag, and future graduates may be wondering why they should give even more money in addition to the tens of thousands they’ve already paid for tuition. These students will hopefully consider that the cost of a Chicago education is much higher than the cost of tuition and that contributions from alumni make up the difference.

While students at the U of C have a unique way of expressing their appreciation for the school “where fun comes to die,” their love doesn’t extend much past graduation. The U of C is well known for having the lowest giving rates among its peer institutions. This plays out in fewer campus amenities and an endowment that cowers in comparison to our intellectual prowess.

And it doesn’t take much to make a difference. Last fall’s “10 for 10” party helped show that even modest contributions add up to make a big difference for the University. By collecting contributions of $10 or more, the organizers raised nearly $3,000 for the University. And this is not even a matter of immediate returns. Developing a pool of donors has been shown to be the most effective way of collecting future funds.

Though one may argue the U of C is legendary for creating cynics of us all, you should care about the quality of life that the University can offer to students, and you should care about the academic and social opportunities that exist on campus—even on a campus you’re preparing to leave. These contributions can help shape and define the social fabric of this University in the long run.

The University has given a lot to all of us. Isn’t it time to give back?