Alumni donations help the School of Public Health provide students with financial support


A recent donation of $ 85,000 from Mary Gilbert Lawrence SPH ’98 and James A. Lawrence ’74 – along with an offer from two donors to a “Challenge Fund” – is helping the Yale School of Public Health raise a record number of students financial aid to support.

Brian Zhang

11.10 p.m., October 18, 2021

Contributing Reporter

Jessie Cheung, employed photographer

This year, the Yale School of Public Health is accepting a record number of students into scholarship assistance – a result of donations from alumni and school members.

The School of Public Health plans to raise $ 300,000 in alumni donations by the end of 2021 – the most ambitious goal in the school’s history. Mary Gilbert Lawrence MPH ’98, director of the School of Public Health, and James Lawrence ’74 made a donation in early October to help cover the remaining funds the school needed, which totaled approximately $ 85,000. Two other donors have also set up a Challenge Fund that raises donations of $ 25,000 or more to set up endowment scholarship funds at the School of Public Health.

“Scholarships make Yale possible,” said Swarali Atre MPH ’23. “When I thought about applying to Yale, I decided that I would only leave if I got a scholarship.”

According to School leaflet, The average student debt after graduation is currently $ 68,626, a statistic that reflects the school’s high tuition fees, Evans said. The total cost to attend 2021-22, which includes tuition, living expenses, and additional fees for the school’s most popular two-year Masters program, is $ 73,808, while that of the 11-month “Advanced Professional MPH” program, which includes an additional summer term, hovers at around $ 91,580.

These costs, combined with the roughly $ 50,000 to $ 75,000 salaries most students receive after graduation, make it a priority for the School of Public Health administration to provide financial assistance to their students, according to Cornelia Evans, Senior Director of Development and Alumni Affairs. There are currently 803 students enrolled in the School of Public Health and 595 in the Masters course, which is compared to the previous year. Given that 69.16 percent of students received grants in fiscal 2020, the School of Public Health had to increase its fundraising goal to support more students.

In addition to repaying loans and thinking about their professional future, the students also commented on the financial challenges that the course naturally entails.

“School alone is a lot,” said Jacob Chen SPH ’22, a graduate of the School of Public Health and Senator for Professional Students. “Dealing with five classes, doing research, doing other student organizations Just having grants is one less thing to worry about. “

Although the school will consider all eligible students without a separate performance application, Atre and Chen stated that their scholarship decisions are also based in part on their general admission application, which includes the GPA, a letter of intent, letters of recommendation and a résumé.

Chen spoke of a colleague who, after being admitted, considered reapplying with a stronger application in order to hopefully get more scholarships.

“Ideally, we’d love our students to get out of the School of Public Health debt-free,” said Evans. To do that, the School of Public Health needs $ 323 million in funding to meet an annual requirement of $ 16 million, a stark reality given that the school’s equipment is less than one percent of the university’s equipment, according to the datasheet amounts to.

Evans stressed that these recent alumni donations not only work towards the reality of a more affordable YSPH by encouraging others to support the future “front-line workers of the pandemic,” but they also help employees put their resources and attention in investing in other financial goals. like the university’s new $ 7 billion Capital campaign “For humanity” and programs to support alumni during the pandemic. Recent efforts have included creating an informative series of newsletters and Facebook livestreams on COVID-19 and reconnecting alumni with one another.

43 percent of the scholarships made available to students in the 2021 financial year came from foundation funds.


Brian Zhang is a freshman year at Davenport College.


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