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    As a Rutgers graduate, you have probably received numerous fundraising appeals from the university. But you may wonder how much your contribution really matters.

    In asking alumni why they have not yet made a gift to Rutgers, we have learned that there are some common misconceptions about how the university is funded and how important alumni support really is.

    Here are some of the most common myths about giving to Rutgers—and the facts that debunk them.

    Myth #1: Rutgers is taxpayer supported, so it doesn’t need my donation.
    Myth #2: Rutgers will have all the money it needs once it joins the Big Ten.
    Myth #3: My gift would be too small to make a difference.

    The facts:
    Nationwide, state budget shortfalls have led to a decline in public funding for higher education. New Jersey is no exception. In 1990, state appropriations covered 67 percent of the cost of a Rutgers education; today, they cover only 32 percent. Rutgers students are paying a steadily increasing share of the cost of their education as the state’s share decreases.

    To reduce the tuition burden and maintain its standard of excellence, Rutgers—like all public colleges and universities—must rely on alumni and other supporters to make a philanthropic investment in education.

    The bottom line:
    More than ever, Rutgers needs your support to maintain its standard of excellence while remaining accessible for students.

    “The difference between what the state appropriates to Rutgers and what tuition dollars cover has to be made up by private support to Rutgers. And that is a big gap which continues to grow. I urge all of us to do what we can to keep a Rutgers education affordable for this generation of students and their families. We live in a world where students already carry a heavy burden when they graduate. Let’s try to alleviate that burden while also maintaining our commitment to excellence in classes, services, and programs for all our students.”  
    —Brian Perkins RC’76, chair, Rutgers University Foundation Board of Overseers

    How you can help:
    There are two easy ways to support Rutgers students online:

    • Designate your gift for universitywide student support. This allows the funds to be used wherever they are needed most.
    • On the online giving form, locate your preferred school or program, and choose that school’s scholarship or fellowship fund from the dropdown menu.
    Can’t find the fund you’re looking for? Just call 732-839-2006 for assistance.

    The facts:
    Entry into the Big Ten brings unparalleled opportunities for Rutgers’ student-athletes to compete against the best in the nation, dramatically increasing the university’s national exposure. The potential for Rutgers students and faculty to collaborate as members of the distinguished Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) is unprecedented and immeasurable. Rutgers’ new peers are some of the country’s most highly regarded public and private research institutions.

    Along with these opportunities comes the need for more investment in recruitment and in training and competition facilities.

    Although Rutgers joins the Big Ten in 2014, the university will not receive the full financial benefit until 2021. To compete, Rutgers athletics will need resources—and that means private support.

    The bottom line:
    Your contribution matters and is needed today to lift our student-athletes and help them compete with their new peers.

    How you can help:
    By giving to the Big Ten Champions Fund, you can support Rutgers Athletics’ greatest needs, including:

    • Student-athlete scholarships
    • Student-athlete recruitment
    • Academic support, sports medicine, and leadership development for student-athletes
    Gifts to the Big Ten Build Fund will go toward critical improvements to training and competition facilities.

    The facts:

    In fiscal year 2013, contributions of $10 to $300 totaled more than $2.4 million. That is the equivalent of a full year of in-state tuition for 225 undergraduate students who might not otherwise have had the resources to attend college.

    The percentage of alumni who give, regardless of amount, helps determine Rutgers’ ranking in U.S. News and World Report—a key deciding factor for prospective students. Compared with other public Big Ten universities, Rutgers is dead last in alumni giving. Alumni can help move Rutgers up in the rankings by making a gift.

    The bottom line:
    Every gift makes a difference, and alumni support helps enhance the university’s prestige.

     “Not only am I a Rutgers student, but I have worked at the Rutgers Telefund for four years. I feel a special connection with those alumni who contribute gifts of all sizes. I know I will be one of them after I graduate. These donors ensure that all Rutgers students will have the enduring benefits of a research university education.”
    —Tara Barry SAS’14

    How you can help:
    Whether it’s the student organization that helped you find your voice, a passion you’ve discovered later in life, or a cause close to your heart, you can make a meaningful impact by giving to Rutgers. Here are just a few examples:

    The online giving form provides many options to explore. Can’t find the fund you are looking for? Just call 732-839-2006 for assistance.

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