2/05/2010 John Fry

Attracting the Most-Qualified Students

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Franklin & Marshall is an outstanding college with a storied past and incredible future. Once again, you are holding an issue of our magazine filled with stories about how students, alumni and faculty are shaping the world around them. Such engaged and enlightened citizenship is at the core of our institutional values, and highly talented applicants are taking notice. The Class of 2013—among the largest in our history and among the best qualified to be here—is flourishing as it demonstrates its excellence in arenas as diverse as athletics, Haiti earthquake relief, sustainability and, above all, academics.

The best students seek out the best colleges, and the best colleges admit the strongest applicants, regardless of economic status. Those colleges meet the financial needs of their students. They are need-blind. Many colleges to which we compare ourselves are need-blind in admissions or much closer to it than we are—Colby, Hamilton and Middlebury among them. Their endowments include significant investments from donors to help families pay for tuition, room and board. Their alumni give generously to financial aid annually. As a result, these are among the most-sought-after colleges in the country. Today, Franklin & Marshall is not need-blind, and we regularly lose applicants to places that are.

I look forward to a day when Franklin & Marshall joins the ranks of need-blind colleges and universities. This will require careful planning and hard work, as these facts about our budget suggest. For fiscal year 2010, the College is working with a budget of $132 million, where revenues and expenditures are balanced. Of revenues, $88.4 million (70 percent) are derived from tuition. Of expenditures, $29.6 million (22 percent) are directed to financial aid—our greatest expense after compensation. Over the next decade, we need to raise new funds supporting financial aid. In the shorter term, we are reallocating funds internally to financial aid, including a boost of almost $2.2 million this year. The journey toward being need-blind will take a long time and unprecedented generosity. But to get there, we must set out now. I know we can succeed.

You can play a part in this effort today. By June 30, 2010, we intend to raise $1 million in current-use financial aid. I ask you to consider a gift to the Franklin & Marshall Fund for this purpose. You can return your gift in the envelope in this magazine, with the space designating your gift for financial aid checked. You may also give online at www.fandm.edu/giving. When making a donation to the Franklin & Marshall Fund, designate your gift in support of Franklin & Marshall Fund (Financial Aid).

Every gift to financial aid will help us support a student right now and bring us a little closer to being among the nations most competitive institutions. From the perspective of a student, your decision has the potential to be life-changing.

Sincerely,

John A. Fry President
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