See stories and progress from The CENTENNIAL Campaign for
Providing support for middle-income students answers a vital need.
Kazi Mahmud ’18 grew up in Moreno Valley, California, in a middle-income family. When it came time for him to choose a college, he was looking to expand his horizons in a couple of ways: He wanted to major in geography —a major not offered at other universities he considered—and he wanted to experience life beyond his hometown.
It’s fair to say Mahmud’s acceptance to UCLA meant the world to him. “I was pretty isolated growing up,” he says. “Coming to a diverse campus like UCLA’s was a chance for me to grow and see the world.” Although attending one of the most globally competitive universities was a thrilling opportunity, Mahmud knew his middle-income family could not pay the full price of a UCLA education. He was concerned about accruing debt or having to work full time and neglect his studies. Receiving the Shirley and Walter Wang Endowed Scholarship took away those worries.
“I’m very thankful,” says Mahmud. “I’m learning so much and am thinking of doing graduate work, but only after I take a year off to work and volunteer.”
Middle income scholarships like Mahmud received help bridge the gap between rising costs in higher education and the means of middle-income families — who do not qualify for other forms of need-based aid.
First-generation college student Jone Bacinskaite ’19 needed that bridge, too. “Receiving scholarships is the only reason I will be able to graduate UCLA without a large debt burden,” she says. “I want to become a neuroscientist, so I need to be able to really focus on my studies to get into graduate school. Scholarships are enabling me to do that.”
Your support for scholarships enables middle-income families to stretch their dollars so their ambitious students can stretch their imaginations at UCLA.
Middle-income scholarships can reduce the debt load for students.
Scholarships can bridge the gap between the costs of college and family resources.
UCLA students have average student loan debt that is 47% below the national average.
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