A Commitment to Access

Davidson College

The cost of obtaining a four-year degree from a high-quality, accredited college is daunting for many students and their families. Studies show that students from the lowest income bracket in the United States would need to contribute 150 percent of their household income to meet the costs of attending a four-year college, even after grants and scholarships are made available (source: Institute for Higher Education Policy, 8-16-23, Vargas and Dancy).

These financial pressures affect some families more than others. Among students who do enroll in four-year colleges, Black students face the highest average unmet need among all racial and ethnic groups (source: Institute for Higher Education Policy, 8-16-23, Vargas and Dancy).

In Davidson, N.C., Davidson College has responded to these challenges, with leadership moving forward on strategic priorities to expand access and increase diversity, equity and inclusion across campus.

“We have found affordability and accessibility to be a fundamental part of our commitments to building public good, and to educating students for lives of leadership and service.”

Dr. Douglas A. Hicks, President, Davidson College

Davidson Douglas Hicks 1 1

This commitment led to the creation of The Davidson Trust, a pioneering initiative launched in 2007 to meet the financial needs of all admitted students. The Davidson Trust was created with, and has been supported by, a total of $22 million in gifts from The Duke Endowment.

Today, just over 50 percent of Davidson College students receive need-based aid through The Davidson Trust.

This historic commitment not only helps open the door to college for Davidson admittees, it also helps ensure they can remain enrolled over four years, complete academic requirements for a degree, and graduate.

Nationally, first-year college students facing unmet financial needs are far less likely to return and obtain a college degree. The Davidson Trust helps 95 percent of students return to Davidson College after their first year, graduate, and go on to serve and lead in their communities.

For Jalyssa Hobbs, Class of 2025 and a junior from Clinton, N.C., the financial aid package offered through The Davidson Trust was a big draw in her decision to attend Davidson. “As a first-year college student, I cannot reiterate enough how blessed I am to be here, and have the resources that Davidson is not only equipped in having, but also very forthcoming in wanting you to utilize those resources,” says Hobbs, a James B. Duke Scholar.

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Davidson College Chambers Building