Ignat Challenge

27 April 2021

The Ignat Challenge

David Ignat ’63 and Eleanor Ignat helped make a Carleton education possible for first-generation and low-income students.

Announced fall 2019, a $5 million gift from David Ignat ’63 and Eleanor Ignat helped incentivize giving to financial aid to make a Carleton education possible for first-generation and low-income students.

The Ignat Challenge matched outright commitments of $50,000 to $2.5 million that created or added to an existing endowed scholarship fund at Carleton that gave preference to first-generation, Pell Grant-eligible or low-income students. The successful challenge ran for just one year; motivated 27 parents, alumni, and friends to make gifts; and resulted in $10 million of new financial aid endowment for Carleton students in perpetuity.

“The Ignat Challenge ensured our continued commitment to keeping a Carleton education accessible to first-generation students and students from low-income families,” said President Steve Poskanzer. “Carleton is so fortunate to be the beneficiary of David and Eleanor’s generosity, and we are grateful for the opportunities their gift has made possible for generations of students to come.”

Access is a crucial priority in the college’s Every Carl for Carleton campaign. Currently, 11.7 percent of Carleton students are among the first in their families to attend college, and 13.9 percent qualify for Pell Grants. Roughly eight percent of Carleton students come from homes where the family income is less than $42,000; they receive an average Carleton financial aid package of $67,381. Carleton is committed to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of all enrolled students.

“I have experienced the life-changing power of a Carleton education, and I believe every student should have access to the extraordinary liberal arts experience the college provides,” said David Ignat.

“Every student adds to the richness of the Carleton community, which only benefits from a student body that reflects the diverse perspectives of all socioeconomic backgrounds,” Eleanor Ignat added. “We were inspired to play a role in the college’s continued success in enrolling the most talented and deserving students.”

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