Wentworth Institute of Technology President Announces $10M Scholarship Challenge

BOSTON, MA – For many students, tuition costs remain an insurmountable barrier to higher education. Wentworth Institute of Technology President Mark A. Thompson, Ph.D., says he wants to help those students with a $10-million scholarship matching challenge called ASAP—for Advancing Student Access and Potential. Thompson announced the initiative as part of his October 18 inauguration as Wentworth’s fifth president.

The first economist to serve as the university’s chief executive, Thompson left college as a young man and worked for four years as a police officer in Eastham, MA, before returning to school, earning three degrees and embarking on a career in higher education. “College was my ticket to a lifetime of security and success,” says Thompson. “It transformed me. I want everyone who has the interest and motivation to have the same opportunity as I did.”

With the ASAP challenge, Wentworth aims to increase the amount of permanent financial aid available to students. The university for the first time will be taking $5 million of unrestricted funds from its endowment to match dollar-for-dollar the creation of new endowed scholarships of $25,000 or more, thereby doubling their impact for students and expanding the school’s overall scholarship endowment to more than $35 million. Under ASAP, the university will also match gifts of $25,000 or more that are made to existing scholarship funds.

Endowed scholarships work like a savings account; the principal is invested, and students receive support from the income generated from that investment. Because the principal remains untouched, these gifts keep on giving for future generations of students.

This ASAP initiative will run through June of 2021, or until all $5 million in matching funds is expended. The funds will help to:

  • create high-school-to-college pathways for Boston youth;
  • attract more women and underrepresented populations to Wentworth’s engineering, science, design, and management programs;
  • fill gaps between federal and state grants, and merit-based funding;
  • support students who may need more time to complete their college degrees; and
  • help students from lower-income or working-class families reduce their debt level at graduation.

People looking to learn more about the challenge can contact Paula S. Sakey, vice president, Institutional Advancement, at 617/989-4219 or [email protected].