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Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Dartmouth has received a major gift to support financial aid, a top priority for the College and a program that was recently restructured to offer more generous assistance to a wider range of incoming students. Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Class of 1973, of Dallas have committed $10 million for need-based scholarships, with first preference given to students with demonstrated need from Texas to attend the College.
"Financial accessibility is one of Dartmouth's most dearly held values, and has been since our earliest days," said Dartmouth President James Wright. "This generous gift from Jan and Trevor will enable us to offer one of the most competitive aid packages in the country, and to enroll talented students without regard for their ability to pay. Their emphasis on regional scholarships will also help us maintain a diverse student body, an essential aspect of the learning environment. We are so grateful for their vision and support."
Texas ranks seventh among the fifty states that send students to Dartmouth, with 161 students from Texas currently enrolled. Demographic trends project an increase in the near term in high school graduates from the Sunbelt states. The Rees-Jones Family Scholarships will help support the significant number of students from Texas who choose Dartmouth for their undergraduate education.
"Jan and I feel so fortunate to be able to support Dartmouth and provide additional educational opportunities for young students from Texas to experience what I did during my years here," said Trevor Rees-Jones.
Trevor is the founder and president of Chief Oil & Gas, one of the largest producers of natural gas from Texas's Barnett Shale before he sold the company to Devon Energy Corporation in 2006. Trevor remains active in the oil and gas business, and he and Jan have also established The Rees-Jones Foundation, which addresses issues in medical care, housing, hunger, education and basic human services for poor and underserved people in North Texas. Members of the President's Leadership Council at Dartmouth, they have given generously to the Dartmouth College Fund, established the Trevor D. Rees-Jones Scholarship Fund, and named a conference room in Kemeny Hall, home of the math department. Trevor has been a co-chair of his class's Reunion Giving Committee.
Dartmouth is need-blind in its undergraduate admissions process, which means that admissions applications are reviewed without any knowledge of a prospective student's ability to pay for a Dartmouth education. Approximately 50 percent of Dartmouth's students receive some sort of aid. The College will spend more than $67 million on aid next year, up from $24.5 million ten years ago.
In January President Wright announced a number of enhancements to the College's financial aid packages for undergraduates that take effect beginning the 2008-2009 academic year. These include free tuition for students who come from families with annual incomes below $75,000 (including scholarships for other expenses), replacing loans with scholarships, a junior leave term with no earnings expectation (so students can pursue research projects or internships), and need-blind admissions for international students. Previously, the admissions process was need-blind only for residents of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
According to U.S. Census data, 70 percent of American households earn less than $70,000 a year. Dartmouth's new financial aid program will enable it to continue to enroll one of the most economically diverse groups of students in the Ivy League. Thirteen percent of Dartmouth students are the first in their families to attend college, and 14 percent are recipients of Pell Grants, the federal aid for students from low-income families.
The Rees-Jones gift to support scholarships is part of the College's Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience, the most ambitious fund-raising initiative in Dartmouth's history. With a $1.3 billion goal, the campaign is seeking investment in four initiatives: to advance leading-edge teaching and scholarship; to enhance residential and campus life; to honor its commitment to making education accessible in the undergraduate college; and to raise unrestricted dollars. The campaign is institution wide, embracing its undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts and sciences and its three professional schools, Tuck School of Business, Thayer School of Engineering, and Dartmouth Medical School.
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