Beef With My Alma Mater

220px-Dalhousie_university_seal

Source: Wikipedia

I’m a proud university graduate. Yes, it cost me more than an arm and a leg, but it was worth it. I ‘get’ that university is expensive. I understand that it costs real money to employ good professors and offer quality education. What I have an issue with, is that after paying them over $100,000 in my six years there, they continue to call me asking for more money.

Don’t get me wrong, I also understand that they need to make money, but for the love of all that is holy, do they really need to prey on former students so actively? I’m not opposed to universities gaining funds through donations, big and small, but I do however have an issue with them mailing me beautifully printed postcards (which, in all likelihood cost thousands of dollars to print) asking for a monthly contribution to them. I have a problem with, each Christmas them calling me as asking me if I’d like to make a charitable donation to them. A charitable donation?!

Charity:
1 : benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity
2:a: generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering; also: aid given to those in need
b: an institution engaged in relief of the poor
c: public provision for the relief of the needy
source: m-w.com

No where does multi-million dollar grossing university fall into those categories. To call and list yourselves as a charity is an insult to the education your provided me. Not that I’m in any financial spot to be giving you more money, since it will take me probably another 10 years to repay what I’ve already given you; but when I am financially secure, I will not be donating if you call and ask for a charitable donation.

The fact remains that universities need financial endowment to thrive but please, don’t insult your alumni but calling as asking for money in such a way.

Rant Over.

Enjoy Plunged in Debt?

Pid

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Comments

  1. This is awesome Catherine. I hate when my school continues to send me postcards and call to get money. Yes, I am an alumni and I am proud of my school, but I don’t have money to waste for you. It is just not in the cards and probably will never be in the cards.

    PS. Congrats on being voted Top Finance Blog. Glad to see you in the list of winners.
    Grayson @ Debt Roundup recently posted..3 Effective Tips on Personal Financial ManagementMy Profile

    • Thanks so much! And like I said I know the rely on private donations but if they stopped wasting so much money on ways to ASK for said money they wouldn’t need so much…haha

  2. Love the rant Catherine! I feel the same ay about my school. They have a campaign every January where they call people over a two week span asking for donations. We’ve learned to just ignore the calls. I love my Alma Mater, but they got enough of my money.

    Congrats as well on winning, glad to see you on the list of winners!
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..The Risks and Rewards of Taking The Plunge – Part 2My Profile

    • Thanks John, you as well 🙂 And yes, they will probably never receive anymore from me! unless I win the lottery in which case I may consider a scholarship fund in my family’s name where I directly chose the applicant.

  3. Many times things like building upgrades, technology upgrades, equpment upgrades, and the such are all things that are funded with donations. This leaves tuition to cover the operational expenses involved with teaching, like paying the salaries, heating the buildings, etc. There’s an important mix here. I support my college, though it is a private institution so they don’t receive state funding.
    Michael @ So You Think You Can Save recently posted..Keep The Outside Air OutsideMy Profile

    • Yes I understand this…my university does receive provincial funding (to the tune of almost 30% of its gross monies) but 1) to say it’s a charitable donation is misleading and 2) they send out requests and phone calls WAY too often.

  4. Agree to disagree. Post secondary institutions are very expensive to run. That said, I wish they wouldn’t spend So Much Money on all of those printed mailings and stuff. I’ve had myself removed from most of the lists. Now I usually only receive the newsletter and funding request combos directly from my varsity team and my department, none of the other generic ones.
    Dalhousie’s endowment works out to 21,346.85 per student. At a 5% yield, that’s an additional ~$1000 per student, plus tuition and federal funding however it shows.
    A multitude of charities fall under the #1 definition, such as arts organizations, disease research, sports organizations, etc.

    Anyhoo, I’m quite passionate about the fact someone else did me a favour by subsidizing my costs and it being my responsibility to pay it forward. I can go on ad-infinum on this subject…!
    Anne @ Unique Gifter recently posted..Super Creative Gift Idea – One of a Kind!My Profile

    • I’m not saying I don’t appreciate the subsidization I received, my arguments were about the ways the continue to ask and how often they do. Once a year I could handle but they mail me stuff/call at least every 2 months. I respect that they rely on endowment to function but don’t undermine me by saying i’ll make a ”direct impact with my charitable donations”. Making a direct impact would be buying a needy family a hot meal, not having my monies lost in the university’s slush funds to be used for whatever they may need. Thanks for the comment Anne, always appreciated 🙂

  5. Loving the new look of the site! So pretty. Fortunately, my university doesn’t ask for donations, but they do push the “Alumni” society which costs an arm and a leg to join.

  6. This made me laugh because my husband and I feel the *exact* same way! We always say they should give us at least 10 years to get on our feet before they start asking for our money. Totally ridiculous. That said, I do hope to give back to our alma mater several years down the road… just not yet! 🙂
    Joanna @ Our Freaking Budget recently posted..He Says/She Says: Saving ReceiptsMy Profile

  7. Greg’s college asks us for donations ALL. THE. TIME. I always think, “do people really do that?” We paid for his schooling. I am not sending them anymore money. Period.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..The Difficulties of Shopping for My WifeMy Profile

  8. I hear ya mate as we get it all the time as well and don’t understand why they go to such lengths like that. Maybe they should cut back on the Uni budget so they can have enough money to do whatever the need or want to do instead of barking up the very people who are struggling to pay back the money they spent on their education. Ah well…..
    Canadianbudgetbinder recently posted..A Beginners Guide to Early RetirementMy Profile

  9. That does seem a bit rich… I never updated my address when I moved so they can’t contact me even if they want to.
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..30 Tips – How to Stay Safe on the InternetMy Profile

  10. Our universities and high schools have tiered giving suggestions. Recent grads are asked to give as little as $5 just to get in the “habit of giving”.

    From the university’s perspective, there are a lot of ranking algorithms that use % of alum providing financial support as one data point. So giving just a small amount is a way to help your university stay competitively ranked (we’ll leave the credibility of those rankings aside for the moment) and keep your own financial constraints in mind.
    Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies recently posted..He Said, She Said – Holiday Gifts For The Renters?My Profile

  11. I guess I feel the way that you do about my current university (which doesn’t yet ask me for money) but not my college (which does on a regular basis). I can really see how my donations are needed by my college as it has a small endowment, but my scale of donation would never matter to my current university as it has so much money coming in from other sources. I do think that a donation to a university can be a charitable donation – for instance, if it goes to a need- or merit-based scholarship, which is where our donations have gone in the past. I LOVE my college and I don’t mind giving them a bit of money, though I don’t think they will ever be close to our largest giving recipient.
    Emily @ evolvingPF recently posted..Zillions of Gifts, on a BudgetMy Profile

  12. That was a big reason we cancelled our landline. It was also to save money, but we were getting calls almost nightly. Between my husband and I we attended for different universities or colleges, and they were relentless. I understand funding cuts are hard, but they usually raise tuition. I would much rather give to my former high school that has to deal with cuts and can’t charge anyone.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..“Twas The Week Before Christmas”My Profile

  13. Right? My grad school has current students call to ask for donations. It got to a point where they were calling every night and every night I sent the call to voicemail. Boy are they persistent. Eventually I just picked up one night, told the student I was working my second job to pay off my student loans and that I had nothing to give them. That was about 2 years ago, haven’t gotten a call since.
    KK @ Student Debt Survivor recently posted..Have You Tried to Buy a Savings Bond Lately?My Profile

  14. It wouldn’t occur to me to give money to my school after paying tuition, but Europe is very different on that matter as there is a lot of public funding and graduates don’t usually send a check back to uni after graduating. If I did I would better do a scholarship for a brilliant kid or something, schools have enough and should try to be profitable on their own.
    Pauline recently posted..How much do you spend on gifts?My Profile

    • In the U.S.A., the money would go to a luxurious sports stadium for the semi-professional football team or a statue on campus of the dean or football coach. The universities are hooked on non-academic, profligate spending and it is a huge sham.

  15. I’ve made sure neither of my alma mater’s know where I live. I really don’t care about getting an Alumni magazine and could easily do without the calls. They do it because it works, when everyone says no, they’ll stop. SAY NO PEOPLE! (well maybe wait until my kids are through school, then SAY NO)
    Mandy @ MoneyMasterMom recently posted..My 26 Random Acts of Kindness in Honor of Sandy Hook ElementaryMy Profile

  16. Simple Moolah says:

    I agree with you 10,000%!! (And yes, that says 10,000% ) My university continues to call and send letters to my parents house where I no longer live asking for donations all the time. I honestly don’t feel like I owe them anything. I had to pay for my degree and it wasn’t cheap. Every year tuition goes up. When is it ever going to stop? How will anyone be able to afford an education in the future if every year it keeps increasing? Can you say Debt for Life! sorry….That’s my rant. :).

    Merry Christmas!

    • I accept that tuition- like the cost of everything else in life, has to increase because of inflation and the way the economy is but continuing to give money after graduation isn’t for me.

ps_menu_class_0

Beef With My Alma Mater

220px-Dalhousie_university_seal

Source: Wikipedia

I’m a proud university graduate. Yes, it cost me more than an arm and a leg, but it was worth it. I ‘get’ that university is expensive. I understand that it costs real money to employ good professors and offer quality education. What I have an issue with, is that after paying them over $100,000 in my six years there, they continue to call me asking for more money.

Don’t get me wrong, I also understand that they need to make money, but for the love of all that is holy, do they really need to prey on former students so actively? I’m not opposed to universities gaining funds through donations, big and small, but I do however have an issue with them mailing me beautifully printed postcards (which, in all likelihood cost thousands of dollars to print) asking for a monthly contribution to them. I have a problem with, each Christmas them calling me as asking me if I’d like to make a charitable donation to them. A charitable donation?!

Charity:
1 : benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity
2:a: generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering; also: aid given to those in need
b: an institution engaged in relief of the poor
c: public provision for the relief of the needy
source: m-w.com

No where does multi-million dollar grossing university fall into those categories. To call and list yourselves as a charity is an insult to the education your provided me. Not that I’m in any financial spot to be giving you more money, since it will take me probably another 10 years to repay what I’ve already given you; but when I am financially secure, I will not be donating if you call and ask for a charitable donation.

The fact remains that universities need financial endowment to thrive but please, don’t insult your alumni but calling as asking for money in such a way.

Rant Over.

Enjoy Plunged in Debt?

Pid

Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

Powered by ConvertKit

  1. This is awesome Catherine. I hate when my school continues to send me postcards and call to get money. Yes, I am an alumni and I am proud of my school, but I don’t have money to waste for you. It is just not in the cards and probably will never be in the cards.

    PS. Congrats on being voted Top Finance Blog. Glad to see you in the list of winners.

    1. Catherine says:

      Thanks so much! And like I said I know the rely on private donations but if they stopped wasting so much money on ways to ASK for said money they wouldn’t need so much…haha

  2. Love the rant Catherine! I feel the same ay about my school. They have a campaign every January where they call people over a two week span asking for donations. We’ve learned to just ignore the calls. I love my Alma Mater, but they got enough of my money.

    Congrats as well on winning, glad to see you on the list of winners!

    1. Catherine says:

      Thanks John, you as well 🙂 And yes, they will probably never receive anymore from me! unless I win the lottery in which case I may consider a scholarship fund in my family’s name where I directly chose the applicant.

  3. Many times things like building upgrades, technology upgrades, equpment upgrades, and the such are all things that are funded with donations. This leaves tuition to cover the operational expenses involved with teaching, like paying the salaries, heating the buildings, etc. There’s an important mix here. I support my college, though it is a private institution so they don’t receive state funding.

    1. Catherine says:

      Yes I understand this…my university does receive provincial funding (to the tune of almost 30% of its gross monies) but 1) to say it’s a charitable donation is misleading and 2) they send out requests and phone calls WAY too often.

  4. Agree to disagree. Post secondary institutions are very expensive to run. That said, I wish they wouldn’t spend So Much Money on all of those printed mailings and stuff. I’ve had myself removed from most of the lists. Now I usually only receive the newsletter and funding request combos directly from my varsity team and my department, none of the other generic ones.
    Dalhousie’s endowment works out to 21,346.85 per student. At a 5% yield, that’s an additional ~$1000 per student, plus tuition and federal funding however it shows.
    A multitude of charities fall under the #1 definition, such as arts organizations, disease research, sports organizations, etc.

    Anyhoo, I’m quite passionate about the fact someone else did me a favour by subsidizing my costs and it being my responsibility to pay it forward. I can go on ad-infinum on this subject…!

    1. Catherine says:

      I’m not saying I don’t appreciate the subsidization I received, my arguments were about the ways the continue to ask and how often they do. Once a year I could handle but they mail me stuff/call at least every 2 months. I respect that they rely on endowment to function but don’t undermine me by saying i’ll make a ”direct impact with my charitable donations”. Making a direct impact would be buying a needy family a hot meal, not having my monies lost in the university’s slush funds to be used for whatever they may need. Thanks for the comment Anne, always appreciated 🙂

  5. Loving the new look of the site! So pretty. Fortunately, my university doesn’t ask for donations, but they do push the “Alumni” society which costs an arm and a leg to join.

    1. Whoa – they charge you to join your alumni association?!

    2. Catherine says:

      That’s weird, that it cost money. Mine is free but they charge an arm and leg should you ever chose to actually do anything with them lol.

  6. This made me laugh because my husband and I feel the *exact* same way! We always say they should give us at least 10 years to get on our feet before they start asking for our money. Totally ridiculous. That said, I do hope to give back to our alma mater several years down the road… just not yet! 🙂

    1. Catherine says:

      Yeah exactly!

  7. Greg’s college asks us for donations ALL. THE. TIME. I always think, “do people really do that?” We paid for his schooling. I am not sending them anymore money. Period.

  8. I hear ya mate as we get it all the time as well and don’t understand why they go to such lengths like that. Maybe they should cut back on the Uni budget so they can have enough money to do whatever the need or want to do instead of barking up the very people who are struggling to pay back the money they spent on their education. Ah well…..

    1. Catherine says:

      That’s what I’m thinking!!

  9. That does seem a bit rich… I never updated my address when I moved so they can’t contact me even if they want to.

  10. Our universities and high schools have tiered giving suggestions. Recent grads are asked to give as little as $5 just to get in the “habit of giving”.

    From the university’s perspective, there are a lot of ranking algorithms that use % of alum providing financial support as one data point. So giving just a small amount is a way to help your university stay competitively ranked (we’ll leave the credibility of those rankings aside for the moment) and keep your own financial constraints in mind.

    1. Catherine says:

      High schools?! I guess it’s different in the states? We don’t pay for any education until university in Canada I didn’t realize you did?

      1. Nope, this is a public high school. But it’s in a state that has drastically cut education funding, so an alumni group has formed that is really picking up the slack in fundraising for library and lab expansions which the state hasn’t contributed to in a decade.

  11. I guess I feel the way that you do about my current university (which doesn’t yet ask me for money) but not my college (which does on a regular basis). I can really see how my donations are needed by my college as it has a small endowment, but my scale of donation would never matter to my current university as it has so much money coming in from other sources. I do think that a donation to a university can be a charitable donation – for instance, if it goes to a need- or merit-based scholarship, which is where our donations have gone in the past. I LOVE my college and I don’t mind giving them a bit of money, though I don’t think they will ever be close to our largest giving recipient.

    1. Catherine says:

      I totally agree Emily!

  12. That was a big reason we cancelled our landline. It was also to save money, but we were getting calls almost nightly. Between my husband and I we attended for different universities or colleges, and they were relentless. I understand funding cuts are hard, but they usually raise tuition. I would much rather give to my former high school that has to deal with cuts and can’t charge anyone.

  13. Right? My grad school has current students call to ask for donations. It got to a point where they were calling every night and every night I sent the call to voicemail. Boy are they persistent. Eventually I just picked up one night, told the student I was working my second job to pay off my student loans and that I had nothing to give them. That was about 2 years ago, haven’t gotten a call since.

    1. Catherine says:

      haha that’s pretty funny.

  14. Pauline says:

    It wouldn’t occur to me to give money to my school after paying tuition, but Europe is very different on that matter as there is a lot of public funding and graduates don’t usually send a check back to uni after graduating. If I did I would better do a scholarship for a brilliant kid or something, schools have enough and should try to be profitable on their own.

    1. Sean says:

      In the U.S.A., the money would go to a luxurious sports stadium for the semi-professional football team or a statue on campus of the dean or football coach. The universities are hooked on non-academic, profligate spending and it is a huge sham.

      1. Catherine says:

        Yeah the educational differences is pretty huge for sure!

  15. I’ve made sure neither of my alma mater’s know where I live. I really don’t care about getting an Alumni magazine and could easily do without the calls. They do it because it works, when everyone says no, they’ll stop. SAY NO PEOPLE! (well maybe wait until my kids are through school, then SAY NO)

    1. Catherine says:

      Yeah this is true…

  16. Simple Moolah says:

    I agree with you 10,000%!! (And yes, that says 10,000% ) My university continues to call and send letters to my parents house where I no longer live asking for donations all the time. I honestly don’t feel like I owe them anything. I had to pay for my degree and it wasn’t cheap. Every year tuition goes up. When is it ever going to stop? How will anyone be able to afford an education in the future if every year it keeps increasing? Can you say Debt for Life! sorry….That’s my rant. :).

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Catherine says:

      I accept that tuition- like the cost of everything else in life, has to increase because of inflation and the way the economy is but continuing to give money after graduation isn’t for me.

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