Mount Holyoke gets $10 million gift to support financial aid

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SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (AP) — Mount Holyoke College has received a $10 million gift to support scholarships and financial aid.

The donation, the largest in support of financial aid in school history, comes from Liz Cochary Gross, a 1979 graduate and member of the school’s board of trustees, and her husband, Philip Gross, the school announced Thursday.

Cochary Gross said she hopes the gift inspires others to invest in the college. “We need to ensure students with diverse backgrounds and from a wide variety of economic circumstances have the opportunity to join the Mount Holyoke community and thrive as student scholars and change agents,” she said in a statement.

Mount Holyoke is using the donation to start a $20 million fundraising effort called the Meet the Moment Scholarship Challenge.

President Sonya Stephens in a statement called it an investment in “the future of Mount Holyoke College and the futures of the talented students who will benefit from the education and the financial support that these endowed scholarships make possible.”

The effort aims to attract top students regardless of their economic background. The private women’s college in South Hadley says 73% of its students received financial aid in the 2019-20 academic year. The school’s advertised tuition and fees are about $70,000 a year.

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