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The Stanford Fund 2020-21 Impact Report

Every student, every year

The support you provide through The Stanford Fund affects every undergraduate, year after year. That’s more than 7,500 students impacted by your generosity.

Thanks for giving them the gift of Stanford.

Together, you made a difference

21,300 donors: 64% Alumni, 18% Alumni in Reunion, 13% Parents, 5% Friends

Three ways you helped: 90% to Undergraduate Financial Aid, 6% to Academic Programs, and 4% to Student Life & Organizations

You rose to the challenge

Graduating seniors and young alumni came together to support Stanford students and causes in their own communities. Thanks to the generosity of five alumni sponsors, seniors and recent graduates were able to unlock challenge dollars by volunteering with local organizations. They then donated these funds to give back in a way that was most meaningful to them.





More on Dollars for Doers

You expanded access and provided opportunity

46% of undergraduates receive financial aid directly from Stanford

Nearly half of all undergraduates receive financial aid directly from Stanford, and the need for financial aid continues to increase. Your gifts make it possible for Stanford to maintain its need-blind admission policy, ensuring that qualified U.S. students are admitted based solely on their talents and potential—not on their ability to pay tuition.


1 in 4 undergrads pays zero tuition

Scholarship support from Stanford fully covers tuition for families with incomes below $150,000. For families with incomes below $75,000, Stanford also covers room and board.


Stanford’s financial aid budget has more than tripled since 2006

Stanford’s robust financial aid program—one of the most comprehensive in the country—is central to the university’s mission and a testament to the dedication of our community.


Your gifts through The Stanford Fund provided life-changing scholarship support to an additional 410 students this past year.

Your commitment means that Stanford is able to provide scholarships—not loans—to meet the financial need of every U.S. student.


As a first-generation/low-income student, financial aid provides me with the incredible opportunity to come to Stanford each year. Financial aid helps us to feel seen, provides us with a sense of security and the freedom that comes with financial stability, and serves as a reminder that we are believed in and cared for. 

Shaleen Theingmany, ’23

Shaleen Thiengmany

You helped educate leaders and global citizens

Undergraduate Schools

Stanford Fund donors supported innovative and engaging courses across campus, from the arts and humanities to engineering and the sciences, within all undergraduate schools. You provided funding for faculty start-up packages, lecturers for art practice courses, instructors for classics and sociology courses, and the Stanford Language Center.

Cardinal Courses

Cardinal Courses integrate rigorous academic learning and research with real-world community projects that address social and environmental challenges. Last year, students participating in Cardinal Courses developed solutions for sustainable farming practices, designed web applications to assist with humanitarian issues and reduce unconscious bias, and so much more. With your support, students gain the creativity, skills, and values they need to build a better world.

Cardinal Service

You helped students build skills and networks while making meaningful contributions to communities across the globe. Stanford Fund donors help sustain Cardinal Service programs offered through the Haas Center, including Cardinal Quarter. Cardinal Quarter is a full-time, public service experience that allows students to integrate academic learning with field-based experience. With campus partners, more than 300 Cardinal Quarter undergraduate opportunities were awarded during the spring and summer. This map shows the locations and organizations associated with each of the fellowships.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

You gave students the opportunity to perform cutting-edge graduate-level research and create partnerships with faculty mentors. Your gift supported undergraduate research programs through Stanford Engineering, Stanford Earth, and the Physics Department. These programs allowed students to conduct summer research, remotely if needed, and participate in professional development workshops and research symposiums.

Undergraduate working at a lab bench

Engineering in the Arts

The Engineering in the Arts program encourages engineering students to continue their music studies while at Stanford. Because of donors like you, more than two dozen engineering students received need-based scholarships to pursue music lessons. The program nurtures student interests outside the classroom and creates dynamic, well-rounded engineers.

Only at Stanford am I able to lead Stanford XR, a virtual reality organization, and co-found the Stanford Alt. Protein Project, an initiative seeking to foster alternative protein education, research, and awareness to address the global issues of climate change and zoonotic pandemic risk. Only at Stanford can I conduct research for the Virtual Human Interaction Lab and analyze ways to prevent deforestation in the Amazon alongside PhDs through CS+Social Good. And only at Stanford can I receive enough financial aid to make a world-class liberal arts education accessible to my family and me.

Gabe Mukobi, ’22

Gabe Mukobi

You equipped students to thrive

Opportunity Fund

The Opportunity Fund is a resource made possible by donor support through the First-Gen and/or Low-Income Office (FLI). With your help, the FLI Office was able to assist students with expenses that are not covered through traditional financial aid. These included fees associated with summer internships, graduate school preparations, and travel for family attendance at major campus events.

Student Groups

More than 110 student-led organizations—including performing arts clubs, public service groups, and club sports teams—received support through The Stanford Fund last year. Participation in student groups creates a crucial sense of belonging and facilitates personal growth for students. Your gift helped student groups create content, purchase essential equipment, host competitions, and attend virtual conferences. With the return of students to the Farm, connections created virtually last year have blossomed into in-person relationships and a vibrant campus community.

Video: "Happiness Does Not Wait" video by the Cardinal Ballet Company

Solidarity Fund

Your commitment contributed to a sense of belonging, equity and access, integrity, learning, and well-being among undergraduates. With your gift, you supported the Solidarity Fund, a pilot program started by the Office of Student Engagement in response to racial injustice and inequity in our communities. Your support enhanced an understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the individual and organizational levels. With funding through this program, students were able to form book clubs focused on racial justice, host events featuring Black artists, and organize discussions promoting anti-racist practices.

Mental Health Resources

Stanford Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is dedicated to student mental health and well-being. Your support through The Stanford Fund helped expand appointment capacity and enabled the hire of a counselor with expertise in the mental health needs of first generation and/or low-income students. Throughout the past year, CAPS continued to offer support and visits to students on and off campus.

As a recipient of financial aid and member of many student organizations, your gift has a tangible impact on me and the communities that make up so much of what I love about Stanford. In 2020, figure skating won recognition as a club sport, which meant we could access more funding and resources. I had to quit figure skating in high school because of its prohibitive cost. Your support not only allows me to pursue skating in college, it also makes this recreational and competitive activity accessible for anyone willing to learn it.

Luci Bressete, ’23

Luci Bressete

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Why I Give

I reflect on my Stanford experience with immense gratitude for the opportunities to think deeply, explore broadly, and cultivate lifelong friendships. I am committed to supporting Stanford’s efforts to educate students of all backgrounds, promote interdisciplinary research, and address the challenges of our time through creativity and innovation.

Matthew Tsang, ’01

Matthew Tsang

We believe supporting The Stanford Fund has a particularly high ‘return on investment,’ and Stanford's steady navigation through uncharted waters this past year only strengthened our conviction. We are grateful our daughter has joined a community pursuing the improvement of society through the power of human reason, scientific method, freedom of expression, respectful discourse and disagreement, and fellowship. We are proud to support the university at this critical time so all students can benefit from such a special environment.

Beth and Jason Glen Cahilly, Parents ’24

Beth and Jason Glen Cahilly

Being able to attend Stanford was such good fortune. My family couldn't afford to send me, and the financial aid Stanford gave me meant I was able to go. I feel like I will never be able to fully repay Stanford for the generosity, the education, the environment they created for me, and the person that I became while there. On top of that, Stanford is taking the unique path of helping to solve important world problems. It feels good to give back both for personal reasons and to support the greater good.

Gabriela Bockhaus, ’96

Gabriela Bockhaus

I decided to join this challenge because I am thankful for my experiences at Stanford and the opportunities that were presented to me. I am excited to be a part of a thoughtful initiative that helps to connect Stanford with recent grads in a way that will be incredibly impactful to a wide range of deserving causes.

Vince Gonzales, ’06
Dollars for Doers Alumni Challenger

Vince Gonzales, '06