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An Investment in Opportunity

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Major gift for financial aid targets students from Texas

Dartmouth has received a major gift to support financial aid-a top priority for the College. Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones '73, of Dallas, have committed $10 million for need-based scholarships, with first preference given to students from their home state of Texas.

Dartmouth enrolls the third-most economically diverse student body in the Ivy League; nearly half of students receive financial aid from the College. This map shows the number of undergraduate students who hail from each state and abroad. The dollar figures represent the additional amount needed, by region, to fully fund financial aid. Currently, about half of all scholarships are funded through endowments created by donors; the other half by College resources and gifts made to the Dartmouth College Fund. To learn more about endowed scholarships click here. (Source: Dartmouth College Development. Data as of 2008/09 academic year.)

"Financial accessibility is one of Dartmouth's most dearly held values, and has been since our earliest days," says President James Wright. "We are so grateful for Jan and Trevor's vision and support."

"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," says Trevor Rees-Jones. Texas ranks seventh among the 50 states that send students to Dartmouth, with 161 undergraduates.

Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones '73 have committed $10 million for need-based scholarships, with first preference for students from Texas. (Photo by Danny Turner)

"In the past 20 years, Dartmouth has consistently increased the amount of its scholarship program that is funded through endowments, yet we still lag behind our key competitors in this regard," says Carolyn Pelzel, vice president for Development. "Jan and Trevor's exemplary gift is a call to Dartmouth supporters around the world to participate in providing scholarships with a preference for those regions of the world that are especially meaningful to them."

"Regional scholarships raise Dartmouth's profile in the communities that they target," explains Maria Laskaris '84, dean of admissions and financial aid. "They underscore our commitment to meeting full demonstrated need-something prospective students may not be aware of-which helps attract a talented and diverse group of applicants."

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 half of all students receive some sort of aid. The College will spend more than $67 million on aid next year, up from $24.5 million 10 years ago.

Last January, President Wright announced a number of financial aid enhancements that take effect this academic year (2008-09). These include free tuition for students from families with annual incomes below $75,000, as well as 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 extended to international students. Previously, the admissions process was need-blind for residents of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

The impact of need-blind admissions for international students is already apparent, according to Laskaris: "The initiative has resulted in greater diversity within the Class of 2012's international student body by allowing us to offer admission to those who demonstrated exceptional talent and potential, regardless of their families' ability to pay."

Dartmouth is among the top three Ivy League schools in enrolling the most economically diverse student body. Thirteen percent of Dartmouth students are the first in their families to attend college, and 14 percent are recipients of Pell Grants, federal aid for students from low-income families.

Trevor Rees-Jones is the founder of Chief Oil & Gas, one of the largest producers of natural gas from Texas's Barnett Shale. He sold the company to Devon Energy Corporation in 2006. He remains active in the oil and gas business.

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.

As 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. Trevor has been a co-chair of his class's Reunion Giving Committee.

Key Features of Dartmouth's Financial Aid Initiative

Announced January 2008

  • Free tuition for students who come from families with annual incomes below $75,000
  • Replacing loans with scholarships
  • Need-blind admissions extended to international students
  • Junior leave term with no earnings expectation


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Last Updated: 7/24/18