Current Open Doors, Graduate Scholarship matching programs to end June 30

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Since July 1, 2017, nearly 300 Penn State alumni and friends have partnered with the University to create scholarships through matching programs that reflect the top priorities of “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence.” Donors who wish to take advantage of two of these matching programs in their current form — the Open Doors Scholarship Program and the Graduate Scholarship Matching Program — can do so through June 30, 2018.

After this date, the Graduate Scholarship Matching Program will end, and the Open Doors Scholarship Program will change significantly.

The Open Doors Scholarship Program offers a 2:1 match from University funds for private gifts to endow scholarships for undergraduates with financial need who are enrolled in the University’s Open Doors programs, designed to help students overcome the obstacles they may face in earning a Penn State degree. To date, donors have created 163 Open Doors Scholarships with gifts totaling $8.9 million, for an overall impact of $26.8 million.

This 2:1 matching opportunity will remain in effect for commitments of at least $30,000 that are initiated by June 30, 2018.

The Open Doors Scholarship Program will continue after June 30, but in a modified form. The minimum gift level to establish an Open Doors Scholarship will increase from $30,000 to $50,000, and the match will be reduced from 2:1 to 1:1. Other aspects of the program will remain unchanged. This opportunity will continue until the end of the campaign on June 30, 2021, or until available matching funds are exhausted (whichever happens first).

The Graduate Scholarship Matching Program enables donors to leverage a 1:1 University match when they endow a graduate scholarship or fellowship at Penn State. Awarded to our most competitive graduate students, graduate scholarships and fellowships enhance the funding a graduate student receives or help to offset the cost of tuition. These funds are a critical tool to help Penn State recruit and retain top advanced-degree candidates from across the nation and around the world. Since the program began, donors have created 19 graduate scholarships or fellowships with gifts totaling more than $3.7 million, for a total impact of $7.5 million.

The Graduate Scholarship Matching Program will end after June 30, or when all available matching funds have been exhausted (whichever happens first). 

“We are deeply grateful to our alumni and friends for supporting these innovative matching programs with such generosity,” said Penn State President Eric Barron. “I am confident that even more supporters will step forward between now and June 30 to become our partners in supporting talented, hard-working students. While the Graduate Scholarship Matching Program and the Open Doors Scholarship Program, in its current form, will only last for a few more months, the impact of our donors’ gifts will benefit students for many, many years to come.”

After June 30, 2018, the University’s other campaign matching programs will remain unchanged. These include:

  • The First-Time Endowed Scholarship Donor Matching Program, which offers a 1:1 match to donors who endow their first undergraduate scholarship at Penn State;
  • The Leadership Endowed Scholarship Matching Program, which provides a 1:1 match to gifts of $1 million or more to create need-based scholarships;
  • The Economic Development Incentive Matching Program, which provides a 1:1 match for gifts to support select economic development initiatives across the University;
  • The LaunchBox Matching Program, which provides innovation hubs with $1 million in matching funds when their endowments reach $1 million;
  • and the Faculty Endowment Challenge, which enables donors to leverage $100,000 in matching funds when they commit $400,000 to create an Early Career Professorship.

For more information about these matching programs, or to make a gift, contact the director of development in the college, campus, or unit you wish to support.

Gifts from Penn State's alumni and friends have been essential to the success of the University's historic land-grant mission to serve the public good. To fulfill that mission for a new era of rapid change and global connections, the University has begun "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a fast-paced campaign focused on the three key imperatives of a public university: Private support will keep the doors to higher education open to hard-working students regardless of financial well-being; create transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impact the world by fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit

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Last Updated March 14, 2018