By Farwah Rizvi
No Benches, no Trees, no Amenities. Signs like these were posted all over the quad to commemorate Tuition Free Day. This day symbolizes the day tuition is no longer sufficient to pay for the cost of attendance at Benedictine University and donors cover the rest. This idea was created by Jessica Gissal in 2009, who attended a conference that detailed different ways colleges & universities are engaging their students to give back and generating awareness on educational financing.
Donors cover about 1/3 of students’ tuition. During Tuition Freedom Day, students are given the opportunity to thank donors for all that they give to the university by signing the Donor Awareness canvas. At about this point in the academic year, tuition symbolically becomes free until the end of the academic year. This day is funded by alumni, students and community members. Their generosity is an asset to Benedictine community and campus.
“The donations are reflected in student scholarships, campus improvements, and various other initiatives,” said Steven Hermann. This day, which was sponsored by the Stewardship Development, is charged with thanking donors, spreading awareness of the impact of donors, and managing the endowed scholarships and awards.