Trinity DARE Goal Two:
Broadening Access and Ensuring Success
Trinity DARE will promote expansion of Trinity recruitment of students of color with strong potential to succeed as leaders in under-represented professions by seeking the comprehensive financial resources necessary to ensure the success of these future leaders. The median family income for Trinity’s full-time undergraduates is just about $25,000 annually; 80% of full-time undergraduates qualify for Pell Grants. These students face acute poverty; they desire to attend Trinity to get on the pathway to economic security, but the cost and likely debt burden often proves prohibitive. But even with a low tuition price, generous discounts and grants, student financial needs far outstrip Trinity’s ability to mitigate the debt burden on low income students. Hence, the need for significantly greater scholarship resources is imperative to ensure racial and social equity for Trinity students so that they can enter their chosen professions in a timely way and unhampered by extreme debt.
Women hold two-thirds of the student loan debt in the nation, and according to a report from the AAUW (American Association of University Women), Black Women have the highest student debt levels of any group in the country. Rather than being able to reduce this debt burden over time, the interest compounds and the debt burden grows because many Black women also suffer employment and wage discrimination as well as a lack of familial wealth to offset debts. For too many women of color, the problem of unsustainable debt burden diminishes considerably the value of earning a college degree.
True support for racial equity in college and beyond means expanding grants and scholarships while reducing or even eliminating student debt burdens. At Trinity’s current expense level in 2020 (full-time Tuition at $24,700 and total cost of attendance at $36,000) a $10,000 scholarship, combined with other grant aid, can reduce or eliminate the need for a student to take out loans, thus reducing or eliminating debt burdens upon graduation.
Trinity seeks partners to fund the “Trinity DARE Scholars Program.” Trinity will need $1,000,000 annually to be able to support 100 students per year in the reduction or elimination of student loans with grants of up to $10,000 over and above other grants.