Last academic year, Taylor University's scholarship goal was $3 million, and they surpassed that goal by the end of the year after bringing in $4.1 million for scholarships.
Michael Mortensen ‘91, director of scholarships, gives all his thanks to God for the prosperous year.
“Thankfully, God provided $4.1 million, so he vastly outdid himself and we give him all the praise,” Mortensen said.
With such a successful year, the university has increased their goal from $3 million to $4 million.
Over the course of the last three years, the average amount the university has received annually is about $3.5 million.
This jump is substantial, as the annual average prior to 2016 was only about $1.6 million.
Before 2015, the way the scholarship department operated was not nearly as efficient. The office was reorganized in 2015 to improve the speed at which scholarships were received.
“We took a more strategic approach to allow the people that are on the road to not get bogged down in the paperwork, but to get out there and work with people — identifying what their greatest passions are and asking them to respond,” Mortensen said.
The job of the people on the road is to find individuals who are willing to give and donate resources that could maybe change a student’s life.
Scholarships can impact a student's ability to stay at Taylor, and can allow a student to gain a personal connection with their donor.
Scholarships can alleviate stress and financial concerns for students. Scholarships are often a weight off of their shoulders.
“I think that no matter what, you’re going to benefit from peace of mind, and it’s going to make the first few years of your life after graduating a lot better,” sophomore Erik Allen said.
To students, this is extremely rewarding, but what occasionally goes unnoticed is that the donor is sometimes just as blessed.
In one instance, a donor met their scholarship recipient over Taylor’s homecoming weekend. The donor called two weeks after and increased the scholarship from just one student to four different students, because they had such a good interaction.
Students who received scholarship awards are invited to come to the scholarship reception and will have a chance to meet their donors on Friday, April 28th.
The prosperity does not stop at just the scholarship department as the Taylor fund has also been successful. The Taylor fund is where previous graduates and friends of the university can donate money and it will go into the Taylor fund.
“Because tuition alone does not cover the entire cost of a Taylor education, gifts to the Taylor fund make Taylor more affordable for every student. In a more practical example, the Taylor fund lowers 100% of students’ tuition by approximately $2,000 each year,” Director of Digital Engagement and Annual Giving Mariana Pratas Palma said.
The Taylor fund’s goal last academic year was $3.15 million, and it was met exactly. This year, the goal has been raised up to $3.34 million.
A lot of people are working behind the scenes to ensure the wellbeing of the university and its students continue to prosper.
“It takes everyone in this department and our colleagues — including students — to continue to see these numbers increase so that we get closer to our goal of making Taylor affordable to all qualified students,” Mortensen said.