“Momentum” Campaign to Build Endowment and Raise Current Funds
NYU President John Sexton today officially kicked off NYU’s Momentum Campaign, NYU’s effort to raise $1 billion to expand and improve scholarship aid at NYU. The focused, six-year campaign will raise both current funds and gifts for the endowment to provide financial aid assistance in perpetuity.
The campaign will be led by Evan Chesler, the chairman of Cravath, Swaine, and Moore and an NYU Trustee who credits the financial aid he received as both an NYU undergraduate and an NYU law school student as crucial to his success.
The campaign has already raised more than $200 million, including more than $75 million in a collective lead gift from a group of “partner” Trustees -- Marge and William R. Berkley, Barbara and Evan R. Chesler, Jay M. Furman, Susan and Martin Lipton, Klara and Larry Silverstein, Judy and Michael H. Steinhardt, Bea and Anthony Welters, Leonard A. Wilf, and The Starr Foundation.
John Sexton said, “We’ve had an ambitious agenda at NYU during my 11 years as president, and the NYU community has had many successes of which it can be proud. But when I am asked what I think is NYU’s most persistent and pressing challenge, and what our most important fundraising priority is, the answer is: financial aid. In spite of spending over $195 million annually in grant aid, and in spite of significant improvements over the past decade, we are still not where we want to be or need to be, largely owing to our low per- student endowment. And that’s why I consider the Momentum Campaign so important – a focused and high-profile effort to increase NYU’s ability to award scholarships.”
Evan Chesler said, “I attended NYU at a time when it was going through an existential financial crisis. But in spite of how short money was then, the University remained so focused on its mission that it was willing to extend a generous scholarship to a young man who it felt showed promise, and I became the first in my family to go to college and to law school. So I consider it a great honor to be the chair of the Momentum Campaign, in hopes that when we are done, NYU will be able to extend to even more young people the chance to have an education they might otherwise not be able to afford.”
Two New Scholarship Programs Begin Right Away
NYU is starting two new scholarship programs as outgrowths of Momentum Campaign: the Finish Line Grant program, and the Global Pathways Scholarship (GPS) program.
The Finish Line Grant program, which will begin next semester, provides scholarship assistance to undergraduates receiving financial aid as they approach their final semester, lowering their debt upon graduation. NYU will provide grant aid equal to 10% of a student’s cumulative need-based federal loan amount, thereby reducing the total amount owed. This represents a permanent reduction in a student’s debt of not only the grant amount, but the compound interest that would have been paid on it.
The Global Pathways Scholarship program, which will start next fall, will review each student who has expressed an interest in studying abroad at one of NYU’s global sites, and – depending on his or her financial need – add to their financial aid package a grant (up to a maximum of $4,000) to cover the additional costs of studying abroad. The GPS program will enable this distinctive and integral NYU experience to be made available to students who otherwise might have been precluded because of financial constraints, such as lost wages or the added expenses of travel.
New York University, founded in 1831, is one of the world’s foremost research universities and a member of the selective Association of American Universities. The first Global Network University, it has degree-granting university campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai; has a dozen other global academic sites; and sends more students to study abroad than any other U.S. college or university. Through its 18 schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and performing arts, music and studio arts, public administration, social work, engineering, and continuing and professional studies, among other areas.