Northwestern alumni and friends who want to make a lasting impact on students for years to come direct their philanthropy toward endowed scholarships.
Financial aid remains a crucial component of the University’s commitment to making a Northwestern education accessible to highly qualified students. During the 2022–23 academic year, the University distributed more than $272 million in undergraduate financial aid, a nearly 40% increase since 2018, with more than 60% of undergraduates receiving scholarships. Generous donors advance the institution’s mission by establishing endowed scholarships — named funds that directly benefit students in need.
University Trustee Valerie Friedman ’85 wanted to create pathways for students to realize their passions and explore diverse academic pursuits, which led her and her husband to establish the Valerie and Mark Friedman and Family Scholarship in 2012.
“Mark and I wanted to help students from a variety of backgrounds to attend Northwestern so the world can benefit from the beautiful art they’ll create, the innovative companies they’ll build and the scientific discoveries they’ll make,” Friedman says.
Over the last 10 years, eight students have been impacted by the Friedmans’ gift — including McCormick School of Engineering student Madeline Farr ’24. The Friedman Family Scholarship provides Farr with the financial flexibility to explore interests outside of her chemical engineering studies. Between completing a prestigious research internship in Germany, serving on the American Institute of Chemical Engineers executive board and performing at open mic nights with the Songwriters Association of Northwestern, Farr says financial aid has helped her fully engage with the University.
“The freedom to do all these things is possible only because of my scholarship,” says Farr, who hopes to focus on sustainable research and development after graduation.
School of Communication student Morgan Frost ’24 also knows how it feels to benefit from philanthropy. Her scholarship is the result of a gift that was made more than 80 years ago by a retired Chicago Public Schools teacher. Rachel A. Hargrove, who died in February 1940, left estate gifts to four Illinois universities, including Northwestern. Her unrestricted bequest to Northwestern was used to create the Rachel A. Hargrove Scholarship, which has been awarded to 16 recipients, including Frost.
A theater major, Frost always knew she wanted to work in live entertainment. A class taught by School of Communication associate professor of instruction Barbara Butts inspired Frost to chase her dream career in stage management. In the future, she hopes to foster a safe environment for people of all ages to create art.
“I could not attend Northwestern without scholarships,” Frost says. “I knew the University would provide experiences I couldn’t find anywhere else — and I was right.”