Activity 4: Graduate Student Scholarships
Charles Drew University is currently in a phase of rapid growth, moving from an enrollment level where tuition revenue was insufficient to cover basic infrastructure needs, to a self-sustaining enrollment level where tuition revenue is sufficient to support strategic investments in student aid and services. Over the next two years, we propose providing $100,000 in annual scholarships for academically qualified graduate students with unmet financial need, and an additional investment in building an endowment to support graduate education (see activity 5). Expansion of enrollment, increased retention of enrolled students, and increased emphasis on enrolling students in more advanced degree programs are all strategies CDU is using that can sufficiently increase tuition revenue and allow reinvestment into student financial aid and student support services. An investment in institutional scholarships for student financial support will contribute to the success of all three strategies. Scholarships will be designed to bridge the gap between cost of attendance and awards from Federal student aid programs and outside scholarships. Bridging this gap will allow students to study rather than work, reduce student loan debt burden, and provide for their financial commitments to family while in school. Providing scholarships will improve retention and graduation rates, and enlarge the applicant pool for our growing graduate and health professions programs.
The availability of institutional scholarship aid at CDU will significantly increase access to advanced health professions degree programs for students from lower income families, for students from racial/ethnic groups that are underrepresented in health professions and for students from medically underserved communities. Equally important, it will greatly increase the probability of successful graduation for these students. Given the mission and history of CDU, this investment and subsequent expansion in number of CDU graduates will directly contribute to the much needed expansion of diversity in the health professions workforce in medically underserved communities.
Rita Sawyer, Ph.D.
Chief Student Services Officer