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An Open Door:

Financial Aid at
The Harvard Crimson
The Harvard Crimson
14 Plympton Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Financial Aid at The Harvard Crimson

I n 1998, The Crimson started off a financial aid program to support edi-
tors who would have been forced to limit their time at the paper to
take up a campus job. In just six years, it has proven an outstanding suc-
cess, expanding from three initial participants to include 44 students last
semester.

One of the core goals of the ongoing capital campaign is to fund a per-
manent endowment to ensure the program can comfortably meet the
needs of all eligible students in future years. Expanding this program will
demonstrate our commitment to all enthusiastic Crimeds who devote
themselves to the paper and affirm our dedication to recruiting the most
qualified editors regardless of socioeconomic background.

Through these efforts, we will strengthen both the paper and the in-
stitution that supports it, drawing a larger staff culled from more diverse
backgrounds, and thereby ensuring that The Crimson’s growth remains in
step with Harvard’s.

Our goal is a stronger and more diverse Crimson, a newspaper that is


open to all who are passionate about that which we do—regardless of
other factors. We hope it is one that you share and that you will join us in
making this program a success.

Over the years we have received many questions about The Crimson’s
financial aid program, as this is one of the more significant changes at the
paper in recent years. The purpose of this brochure is to share with you—
the alumni community—why this program was started, how it works, and
the results we’ve seen.

“Our goal is a stronger


and more diverse Crimson”
The Concern

T he Crimsons seeks to represent within its walls and within its pages
the diversity of the Harvard community. The challenge of doing so
has never been greater, as the makeup of the undergraduate population has
undergone unprecedented changes in the past several decades. The Crim-
son’s financial aid program is designed to address but one of these changes:
the dramatic increase in the number of students on financial aid.

In 1996, The Crimson conducted a comprehensive survey on diversity at


the paper. One of the more troubling findings was this: Though nearly three
quarters of undergraduate students were on financial aid, only 10 to 15 per-
cent of Crimson executives were on financial aid. Upon further study, the
root cause of the problem was discovered: editors on financial aid found it
difficult to balance the demands of working at The Crimson, studying for
school, and keeping a part-time job, a requirement both of the University
and the federal government (which funds most financial aid). The Crimson
was organized in an era when financial aid—not to mention term-time work
requirements—were non-existent. A change was clearly required to keep
the paper’s door open to everyone.

Fast Fact:
In 1996...

75% 15%
compared to less than...

of the student body was on financial aid of Crimson Executives


The Solution

I n 1998, The Crimson implemented a financial aid program to address


these concerns. The program’s goal is to help students on financial aid
participate in The Crimson by providing hard-working editors on financial
aid with a scholarship to cover their term-time earning requirement. Here’s
how it works:

1. Annually Crimson editors interested in joining the


program complete a short application and submit
it to a Graduate Board member who oversees the
program, currently Julian E. Barnes ‘93.

2. Based on criteria set by The Crimson, Harvard’s


Financial Aid Office culls the applicant list to de-
termine who is eligible for the program. All editors
eligible for Federal Work Study will be able to par-
ticipate in the aid program. In addition, we provide
a limited number of scholarships to editors who
are not work-study eligible but have an equivalent
level of need.

3. Students on the program work a maximum of


100 paid hours per semester at The Crimson. Most
work many more. These students receive regular
aid checks to cover their term-time earning re-
quirement, freeing them from having to work an on
campus job.

4. The President and Board Heads supervise the


students on the program to ensure their on-going
participation.

5. Each scholarship costs The Crimson approxi-


mately $538 a year, while the Federal Government
picks up the remainder of the cost. The Crimson
covers the full cost of some students who are not
eligible for federal aid. In 2003, 44 students were
enrolled in the program, costing the paper $23,670
annually.
The Results
B y nearly any measure, the program has been
a success. Editors who participate in the
program say it allows them to get more involved in
the paper. Crimson editors on the program would
work at the paper regardless, and do not view it The Crimson’s financial
as a job. According to a survey conducted in June
2004, 84 percent of program participants said the aid program made it
program allows them to spend more time at The possible for me to be fully
Crimson. The average program participant spends involved in what is, I think,
35 hours per week at The Crimson, far more than
the required 10 hours per week. the most incredible student
organizationn on campus.
The program has also markedly improved the Without the financial aid
socioeconomic diversity of the paper’s ranks. Be-
fore the program, about 15 percent of editors in a program, the need to hold a
given class received financial aid from the univer-
sity. That number now stands at 39 percent.

Moreover, most Crimson editors view the pro-


gram favorably. In the same survey, 74 percent of
editors said the program improves the perception
of The Crimson on campus.

“If this isn’t incentive enough to people who


cannot afford to participate in non-paying
extracurricular activities, I don’t know
what is.” -Crimson Editor

84%
participating say
74%
of editors say it
it allows them to improves perception
spend more time at of The Crimson on
The Crimson. campus.

�������
Michael Nitsch ’03,
ASSOCIATE ARTS CHAIR

term time job simply would financial situation, have the


have made it impossible opportunity to participate
for me to devote myself fully, and I am so thankful
to the newspaper. I am to have been among those
eternally impressed that who, as a result of the
The Crimson commits program, were allowed to
itself to ensuring that all make the most out of the
students, regardless of their Crimson experience.

“The program is really accessible and


helpful.”
- Participant in Financial Aid Program
The Crimson’s financial aid program has been extremely beneficial
to me in two ways. First it allowed me to take my involvement with the
organization to another level by giving me the ability to donate serious
time to creating more efficient solutions to operational problems, instead
of being time-pressured for quick fixes. Second, it helped me prioritize
my level of commitment by making job offers from
similar organizations less attractive. The freedom to
pursue extracurricular interests without care for the
financial security of a term-time job is a privilege of
which I am deeply grateful to both The Harvard Crim
son and its Graduate Board for providing.
Chioma Duru ’03,
OPERATIONS MANAGER
“Were it not for The Crimson’s financial aid program, I would
never have had the time to devote to being an executive--an experi-
ence which, three years later, I can say with certainty has profoundly
and truly altered my college experience and the course of my life.”
Benjamin Toff ’05,
EDITORIAL CO-CHAIR

“I think it’s an excellent idea and I definitely


hope it continues. The Crimson is such a huge
time commitment, so it’s great to help make it fi-
nancially feasible for anyone who wants to do it.”
- Current Crimson Editor
Participating in The Crimson pro-
vided me with experiences and oppor-
tunities that I will cherish for the rest
of my life. The Crimson’s financial aid
program helped make those opportuni-
ties possible, allowing me to fully com-
mit myself to the organization, and en-
suring that my journey there was never
a financial burden. I strongly believe
that The Crimson should never be open
only to those who have the luxuries of
Imtiyaz Delawala ’03, time and money. Only through expand-
FORMER ing and strengthening the financial aid
PRESIDENT
program through the support of alumni
will there be fewer limits on who gains
the experiences and training that The
Crimson provides.
The Capital Campaign

I n May of 2003, The Crimson announced a $1 million capital campaign to


fund two major priorities: the purchase and installation of color press-
es and the partial endowment of the financial aid program. Thanks to the
generosity of Crimson alumni across several generations, the campaign has
been a phenomenal success. To date, it has raised nearly $850,000.

In December 2003, new color presses were installed at 14 Plympton


Street, and today The Crimson is printed in full color five days a week. This
color capability has allowed us to expand both our design and publishing
capabilities. In total, the project cost
$450,000.

The campaign’s other goal is to


expand an endowment for the pa-
per’s financial aid program. Given
the program’s design and the unique
educational mission of The Crimson,
the Graduate Board felt endowing
the program would be an ideal way
to reduce the strain on the paper’s
operating budget while ensuring the
program’s stability. Crimson alumni
have charitably agreed, donating
hundreds of thousands of dollars
towards this goal. Our aspiration
is to raise a $500,000 endowment,
which will fully cover the cost of 44
scholarships each year.

“Today The Crimson is printed in


full color five days a week.”
The Bottom Line:

$500
endows the average Crimed
on financial aid for one week

Help Us Reach Our Goal:

$10,000
�������

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endows the average Crimed on ������

financial aid for one year ������

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$850,000 $1 mill GOAL
The Harvard Crimson Campaign
Thank you for your generous contribution to The Harvard Crimson Campaign.
Please contact President Erica K. Jalli at (617) 576-7861 to donate stock or with any other questions.
Name: Class Year:
Address: Email:
Donation: $
Levels
Crimson Circle $5,000 or more Franklin D. Roosevelt Circle $1,000 to $2,499 Executives $250 to $499
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