Dream On: Scholarships Make Princeton Possible

October 30th, 2014 / Development Com...

Princeton's Class of 2018

Soledad Mendoza ’16 is the first in her family to attend college. Jia Ning Cheng ’17 traveled halfway around the world to study here. Garrett Gosse ’16 has four college-bound siblings; his family’s resources must stretch to accommodate them all.

Mendoza, Cheng, and Gosse are talented, dedicated, and grateful. They are among the nearly 60 percent of undergraduates who are Princetonians today thanks to financial aid. They wouldn’t be here without it—and the University couldn’t have admitted many gifted undergraduates without the help of scholarships created by generous alumni, parents, and friends.

With this assistance, Princeton can widen its reach in offering an extraordinary education to students from all socioeconomic backgrounds, paving the way for undergraduates to reach their potential as scientists, artists, engineers, teachers, policy makers, executives, and community leaders. 

Many students write letters expressing their gratitude to the scholarship donors who are making their education possible. Below is a sampling of their heartfelt thank-yous.

Because of You

“Because of the generous award, the financial burden on my family has been lightened, which allows me to focus more on the most important aspect of my Princeton career: learning. As a first-generation college student, I am especially thankful for your generosity… I hope to one day be able to give back all that has been given to me.”

Soledad Mendoza ’16

Woman studying“I am truly grateful for your generosity that enabled my journey from somewhere across the globe to here, the college of my dreams, where I’m hoping to inspire, be inspired, and make a difference—in my life and the lives of others.”

Jia Ning Cheng ’17 

“I am only able to attend Princeton because of this scholarship. In fact, the aid allotted by schools was very influential when deciding where I would attend college, and … Princeton had the best financial aid program. This is a direct result of generous donors like you. For that, I would like to give you my sincerest thank-you.”

Garrett Gosse ’16

“This past fall I directed Arthur Miller’s American classic All My Sons for Theatre Intime and it was such a transformative experience. I loved being able to break down such a complicated play with a cast and crew I trusted so dearly as we created a project we were truly proud of. … I have come to a place where I feel I can thrive. I am forever grateful for the opportunities that this scholarship has given me, and the opportunities it will continue to offer students like me coming to Princeton.”

Ogemdi Ude ’16 

“Without your generosity I would never have discovered all the wonderful things the University has to offer. My passion for mathematics could have never developed as it has, my initiation into the world of French theater could not have happened, and I would have never had the opportunity to travel to Peru as a member of Engineers Without Borders, hopefully faithfully embodying our motto, ‘Princeton in the nation’s service and in the service of all nations.’ I have found a community that I am proud to be part of.”

Chamsi Hssaine ’16

Students walking“Taking demanding courses during my first semester introduced me immediately to the level of academic rigor at Princeton and taught me valuable skills such as allocating my newfound free time between classes. … The memories I have formed during my freshman year are some of the most vivid in my life and I want to thank you again for giving me the opportunity to study at this amazing university.”

Peter Du ’17 

Scholarships build on a long tradition of giving back that links all generations of Princetonians—from James Leslie, Class of 1759, whose bequest continues to support students in 2014, to those endowed by forward-thinking donors today. They provide the tiger’s share of the University’s financial aid assistance, and allow Princeton to create a diverse community of learners poised to become tomorrow’s leaders.


For more information on how you can support scholarships at Princeton, contact Jim O'Boyle, associate director for leadership gifts, at 609.258.1782.