Each year at the Hearts and Scholars Dinner, we come together to recognize the profound ways scholarship philanthropy transforms lives. We celebrate our students and their determination to make the most of their UC San Diego experience. And we provide them with an opportunity to say thank you to the individuals and families who have helped make their education possible.
Of all our shared goals as a campus community, there is none more important to me than helping students succeed. The Campaign for UC San Diego is making this possible. One of the highest priorities of the Campaign is to enhance the student experience. What does that mean?
It means ensuring academic success through specialized support programs and services. It means increasing affordable housing options on campus to provide a four-year housing guarantee to every student who wants it. It means improving infrastructure and our campus culture. And, of course, it means increasing support for scholarships.
We are already seeing tremendous outcomes from the Campaign and our shared efforts. Today, more than one-third of our new matriculants identify as first-generation college students. Partly responsible for driving that growth is the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program. CASP, which caters to first-generation students, has grown exponentially since its creation in 2012 and now provides more than 800 low-income students loan-free financial aid and proven student support programs every year.
CASP is growing because of donors like Karen and Jeff Silberman. In 2017, they established the Silberman Inspiration Challenge by pledging a $1-million-match of eligible contributions to the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program—the largest gift to the program to date.
UC San Diego is among 30 universities in the nation that have teamed up with the American Talent Initiative to expand opportunity for low-income students. Over the past three years, UC San Diego added 1,642 Pell Grant students, more than any other ATI-member institution.
And finally, UC San Diego students from underrepresented communities have grown from 16% in 2012 to 27% in 2019. Latinx students have increased from 14% in 2012 to 23% in 2019. Diversity has increased, our graduation rates are up, and our time-to-degree is down. Our students are graduating in less time, which means less debt overall.
What we’re doing is working, and UC San Diego is consistently being recognized as a nationwide leader. For nine of the past 10 years, Washington Monthly named UC San Diego the #1 public university in the country for contributions to social mobility, research and public service.
With nearly $29 million awarded in scholarships each year, we are very proud to fuel successful outcomes for dedicated students. We can continue to build on this success with help from our community. Scholarships change lives. It only takes one to launch a student’s journey to become a positive, powerful force for change in their local and global communities.