Carleton Launches $50 Million Financial Aid Initiative in Partnership with the Schuler Education Foundation

Progress Update: September 2022

Launched in 2021, the Schuler Access Initiative’s goal is to provide financial aid to increase the number of Pell-eligible and undocumented students on campus by at least 20%. Thanks to funding from the Schuler Educational Foundation, secured through matching contributions by Carleton donors, the first step was made this month with the addition of 19 additional students. These students received financial aid to cover Carleton’s comprehensive fee, books, and living costs with an average grant of $75,486. The Schuler Initiative was designed so that each student will continue to receive full funding each year they are enrolled.

The college could secure a total of $50 million from Schuler provided an equal amount is donated by Carleton donors resulting in a total of $100 million. Carleton donors’ gifts fund an endowment to sustain the increase in students. To date, the college has received commitments of nearly $30 million from generous alumni, parents, and friends. 

When fully funded, this effort will increase the number of Pell-eligible and undocumented students at Carleton from an average of 301 last year to 370 by 2031.

The generosity of Carleton parent and trustee emeritus Jack Schuler will be transformational to Carleton. Jack has a long history of supporting Carleton, and for decades, he has inspired others to do the same. Thanks to his strategic and innovative thinking, the Schuler Access Initiative is positioning Carleton to better support students today and for generations to come.

Associate Vice President for Development Dan Rustad

About The Challenge

Carleton is pleased to announce a revolutionary funding partnership with the Schuler Education Foundation to dramatically increase access for low-income Pell-eligible and DACA students. Over the next 10 years, the Schuler Education Foundation will fund the financial need of each incremental low-income Pell-eligible and DACA student the college enrolls up to $50 million. Carleton’s policy for all students is to have their full demonstrated financial need met for all four years of college. To qualify for this generous funding, Carleton must raise a dollar-for-dollar match of the total amount expected from the Foundation within the next five years (by December 31, 2025).

Challenge Impact

This initiative recognizes and addresses the urgent need for financial aid dollars to ensure equal access for low-income and DACA students at Carleton. Successfully meeting the goals of the Schuler Access Initiative will result in $100 million in endowment, the payment from which will be distributed as scholarships for eligible students in perpetuity via increased need-based financial aid. This will ensure that Carleton can fulfill its goal of increasing enrollment of Pell-eligible and DACA students on campus to about 18 percent of the student body within 10 years.


1Incremental students are defined as any new students added *above* the average number of Pell-eligible and DACA students enrolled over the three academic years (2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21).