“We want our students to be both academically and financially prepared when they graduate from college,” Sheila C. Bair, president of Washington College, said Monday. “And we are just getting started.”
The generous gift, totaling $313,933, is a part of the college’s Dam the Debt program. Bair, the former head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., launched the initiative shortly after taking the helm at the small private college on the Eastern Shore in September. Since then, she has secured donations from TD Bank, Santander Bank, BB&T bank and Blooom, a financial services firm.
The campaign has raised nearly $1 million to date, with a goal of raising at least $2 million more for future grants. Next year, the college plans to offer the grant to seniors with federal loans each semester as funding allows.
After taking grants, scholarships and tax credits into account, one year at Washington College, including tuition, fees, and room and board, costs an average $30,255 for a full-time student, according to the Obama administration’s College Scorecard. Families that earn $30,000 or less can expect to pay a little more than half that amount. To help those families, Bair started George’s Brigade, a scholarship that covers college expenses of high performing, high-need students.
“Washington College is a tight-knit community,” Bair said. “And this kind of targeted philanthropy will help ensure that this community lives on for years to come.”