One of my favorite personal finance blogs that I read, Free Money Finance, recently got it all wrong when it discussed not giving back to the college you attended.
Here were his reasons for not giving….
1. I paid/worked to go to school, didn’t I? So to ask me to now give is like asking me to donate to Walmart after I just purchased something there, isn’t it?
2. Aren’t I already giving by supporting schools in my state? Don’t public universities get money from the state government? Part of that is my money, FYI.
3. Don’t colleges ask current students to pay tuition? So why do they need money from me?
4. Aren’t there lots of other/better/more needy charities out there?
5. Aren’t many colleges simply building up bigger and bigger endowments with the funds donated? Do I really want to give so a college can have a bigger nest egg?
And, here is why I think the comments above are out to lunch….
The money our tax dollars and college students’ tuitions provide colleges is still not enough to cover all the costs for a college’s materials, education, and research expenses. Colleges need donations from its alumni to supplement its funding needs (see the funding equation below). College students gave their time and money when they were undergrads, but they also reaped more than they put into the system as well, whether they had to take out loans or not.
|Tuition + State/Federal Tax Revenue + Endowment Interest Earned + Alumni Donations||= ANNUAL Operating Expenses|
Alumni should be ashamed not to give back when they are able to help a new generation of classmates earn a college diploma. Why did you go to your college if you did not like the actual university? Don’t you want to see it continue to thrive? Don’t you want its reputation and esteem to continue to grow?
Your college diploma on your wall is like a stock certificate. It gains in value you’re your college excels and it depreciates when a drunken frat boy kills himself with booze. The more that you can give back to your college invest in its future, its students’ futures, and the increasing value of your diploma. You should give back monetarily, with your time through volunteerism, and any other way you can as soon as you can.