Duke Gets Gigantic Financial Aid Gift


One Duke University alumnus has apparently given some $50 million in order to help poor students succeed at his alma mater. According to Duke:

Duke University trustee Bruce Karsh and his wife Martha have donated $50 million to Duke for a permanent endowment to support need-based financial aid for undergraduate students from the United States and other countries, President Richard H. Brodhead announced Monday.

This gift is the largest donation made by individuals to support financial aid in the university’s history. The gift includes $30 million for U.S. students and $20 million for international students. Including this new contribution, the Karshes have given $85 million for undergraduate financial aid at Duke. More than half of Duke’s undergraduates receive some form of financial assistance from the university.

Tuition at Duke is $40,665 a year.

Despite statistics about half of students getting “some form of financial assistance” there are, in fact, very few poor students at Duke. Only 9 percent of Duke students receive Pell grants (the number students receiving Pell Grants is generally taken as proxy for the amount of low-income students at a college), one of the lowest rates among selective colleges.

Karsh, a 1977 Duke graduate, is a founder of Oaktree Capital Management, a global investment company.

Forbes estimated Karsh’s personal fortune at $1.4 billion. [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer