University of Chicago receives US$35 million donation specifically for international students
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Financial aid for international students in the US is typically known to be rare. Students are advised to have their own sponsors, or take private loans.

Scholarships for undergraduate international students do exist, but there aren’t that many out there.

However, the University of Chicago (commonly known as UChicago) recently received a gift of US$25 million from an anonymous donor to be channelled towards financial aid for undergraduate international students.

It adds on to a US$10 million donation from the same donor received in 2017, which brings the total to US$35 million.

President of UChicago, Robert J. Zimmer, said in a statement, “Welcoming international students and scholars enhances all of the university’s efforts in research and education, and enables us to reach our highest aspirations as an intellectual destination for people of all backgrounds.

“This generous gift will allow more international students to benefit from and contribute to the University of Chicago’s transformative educational environment, while advancing our commitment to foster a rich diversity of ideas and perspectives.”

John W. Boyer, Dean of the College, said, “We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to be able to provide support for more international students to our College community.

“International students contribute significantly to the diversity of perspectives that is essential to our unique style of learning. This generous gift will greatly enhance the accessibility of a University of Chicago education for student scholars around the world.”

The University of Chicago recently made headlines for becoming the most expensive university in the US, after they announced that tuition fees and housing costs for the 2019-20 school year will come up to approximately US$80,000.

The University has made efforts to make tuition more affordable for those from lower-income families. Free tuition is guaranteed for those from families with incomes less than US$125,000, and local students from families earning less than US$60,000 will have full tuition, fees, room and board covered by financial aid.

The donation will mainly go towards bolstering the Odyssey scholarship programme at UChicago so that more international students can benefit.

According to UChicago News, “Over the last decade the Odyssey program has built a record of success in providing comprehensive support for College students with the greatest financial need, helping them to thrive at UChicago and pursue rewarding careers after graduation.

“Beyond support for tuition, room and board, Odyssey students receive support for study abroad, academic enrichment, and career development through paid, substantive internships and research opportunities.

“By enabling a meaningful expansion of international financial aid, the gift will strengthen the University’s commitment to include more students of high academic ability from around the world regardless of financial means.”

Earlier this year, it was also reported by UChicago News that the university received a US$24.1 million gift from Nassef Sawiris, who is a University of Chicago trustee and College alumnus, meant to support Egyptian students via an expanded scholars programme, as well as an executive education programme that will serve government officials and business leaders in Egypt.

“In recent years, the University’s undergraduate College has strategically enhanced international financial aid and begun to move the international student body to a level of economic diversity more closely matching the domestic student body.”

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