As part of our 25th Reunion Class Gift, our classmates created the Class of 1971 Scholarship to be awarded annually to a female and a male student. As of the end of fiscal 2019, our scholarship fund was valued at over $2.0 million, and just over $100,000 was available to support Class of 1971 Scholars. It is our hope that many in our class will make significant additional contributions to the Scholarship Fund in connection with the 50th Reunion Class Gift.
Today, the annual cost of a Williams education approaches $68,000. For many years, the cost of higher education has outpaced the rate of inflation and, even in the current low inflation environment, it is likely that the cost of a college education will continue to strain the resources of most families.
In 1967, approximately 30% of our class benefitted from financial aid. For the newly arrived class of 2021, around 52% of the class receives aid with an average grant of $55,000.
Over the next several years, Williams will be faced with the costly challenge of replacing a substantial number of retiring faculty members. The costs of building and maintaining critical physical facilities, such as the new science center, are significant and will not decrease over time. Even with efforts to control costs and to be more efficient, the total cost of educating Williams students will almost inevitably exceed the posted tuition rate.
The challenge for Williams is to remain affordable for the diverse student body that it seeks to attract. As stated by the College, the goal is to admit students on the basis of “who they might become rather than on what they can afford to pay”.
In the words of one of our scholars : “ Without financial aid or the scholarship from the Class of 1971 , it would be 100% impossible for me to even get to Williamstown from Arizona , much less pay the tuition to come here. Even though being here can be very difficult at times , I am so grateful for the opportunity to thrive here.” A copy of the student’s full letter is attached (Click here).