Carleton announces $20 million gift for financial aid

October 14, 2016

Northfield, Minn.—Carleton College has announced Barbara ’70 and Wally ’70 Weitz and family—including children Katie ’96, Roger ’99, and Drew ’02 and their spouses—have made a $20 million gift for matching new need based scholarship endowment gifts on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

The Weitz family is encouraging other Carleton donors to commit new financial aid gifts by matching their contributions.  The income from this new need-based scholarship endowment initiative—dubbed the 1866 Scholarship Match in honor of the College’s 150th anniversary currently being celebrated—will fund $2 million in expanded financial aid grants every year or roughly equivalent to the financial aid needs of an additional 40-45 students.

“We continue to be humbled and inspired by the Weitz’s generosity and vision for Carleton,” Carleton President Steve Poskanzer said. “This gift and the 1866 Scholarship Match will help keep Carleton accessible to talented students with financial need—for both low-income and middle-income families—for generations to come.”

Wally Weitz has served as a member of Carleton’s board since 2000, currently serving as chair, and he and Barbara co-chaired Carleton’s previous capital campaign, Breaking Barriers, Creating Connections, which concluded June 2010.

Wally said, on behalf of the family, “Each of us feels grateful for having had the opportunity to get a Carleton education.  We hope other donors will join us in helping to pass that opportunity on to other students.”

Carleton remains committed to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of all admitted students for all four years. About58 percent of Carleton’s Class of 2020 received need-based grants and scholarships, which do not need to be repaid. The average financial aid award was $45,597.

“Expanding the permanent endowed funding for scholarships and grants will strengthen our capacity to fulfill our promise to meet the full financial need of all admitted students, while balancing funding needs for other campus priorities,” Poskanzer added. “The 1866 Scholarship Match will help secure our ability to enroll the very best students across the socioeconomic spectrum.”

The Weitz family financial aid gift is in addition to $20 million given in 2015 by the Weitz family towards the music and performance addition to the Weitz Center for Creativity, currently under construction and on schedule for fall 2017 opening.

Ranked among the nation’s top liberal arts institutions, Carleton is a private, co-educational college of 1,900 students located 40 miles south of Minneapolis and St. Paul. High academic standards, an excellent teaching faculty and a diverse student body contribute to Carleton’s outstanding reputation.