Scholarships at Teachers College:
Published in TC Today - Volume 26, No. 2
Jan Valle, Doctoral Student and Diana Brewster Clarke Fellowship Recipient.
Interim Dean Ruth Vinz.
Everyone connected with Teachers College agrees on the primary importance of scholarships. Many alumni tell us that without a scholarship or fellowship, they would not have been able to attend Teachers College. More than 1,000 students currently receive scholarship support from the College that makes it possible for them to pursue graduate and professional work in education and related fields.
One of them is Jan Valle, a doctoral student in learning disabilities and recipient of the Diana Brewster Clarke Fellowship. "My education at Teachers College continues to be so much more than I ever anticipated. I am passionately committed to my work and have changed in ways I could never have foreseen. I thank you profoundly for the scholarship that has made this life-altering opportunity possible for me."
Faculty members from all departments have expressed the need for increased scholarships to help attract outstanding students to their programs and support them throughout their course of study. "We need to make it possible for the best people, no matter their personal resources, to come here," said President Arthur Levine. "Our future is quality, getting the best people in the world to join education. And once they are here, we must support them to the best of our ability."
A Teachers College education is costly, and scholarship funds are extremely limited. Of the roughly 5,000 students enrolled at TC, only 20 percent receive scholarship aid, and the average award is enough to cover only one course per semester. Unfortunately, many of the fellowships that supported TC students in previous decades were programs of the federal government that no longer exist. Today, most students must assume hefty loans, work extra hours, and/or take fewer classes in order to finance their education. On average, Teachers College students graduate with a loan debt of between $40,000 and $80,000-an especially heavy burden for our many graduates who are teachers or human service professionals.
Interim Dean Ruth Vinz addressed this issue in a recent interview. "We can no longer expect to attract outstanding and diverse students without providing them with scholarship packages that are competitive with other universities. Financial awards are easier to come by at most other colleges, so we are at a disadvantage when we try to recruit top students at all degree levels. Often students decline our modest scholarship awards that fund less than a quarter of the total costs of their tuition at Teachers College. We lose students to universities that provide more robust packages that include full tuition costs and a stipend for living expenses. More scholarship and fellowship packages will provide us with the opportunity to choose students whom we believe will shape the future of the educational enterprise both nationally and internationally," Vinz said.
Interview with Jan Valle
A major fundraising effort is currently underway to secure $28.5 million for scholarships. This initiative is a central part of the ongoing Campaign for Teachers College, which seeks to address critical College-wide priorities. It is imperative that the College develop a scholarship endowment that is commensurate with the needs of our students. To date, over $16 million has been raised for scholarships from Trustees, alumni, faculty, and friends.
Vinz added, "For each scholarship dollar that helps educate a future teacher or school counselor, that brings a student to the College to learn about teaching math, science, social studies, music, art, or technology, that provides persons of color and international students with the opportunities of a TC education-each person educated here will influence the shape and direction of education in the communities in which they choose to work and will continue to shape our community."
Now, we are turning to all alumni and friends of the College to help support our students. A gift of scholarship support is one of the most important contributions you can make to Teachers College, and your participation is greatly needed. By supporting the next generations of teachers, administrators, counselors, nurses, and other professionals who study at TC, you empower those who carry the core values of knowledge, compassion, and opportunity that are at the heart of our mission.
"Possibly one way to fuel the democratic impulse in education is to provide those who might not otherwise come to TC with scholarships that make it possible for them to study here and to help shape and imagine how education might meet the demands of the ever present future," Vinz said.previous page