The Science Learning Center opened in fall 2016 and provides world-class classroom and laboratory space designed to promote interactive learning techniques.

Expanding Opportunities

The first priority of the Commit to Georgia Campaign is to increase scholarship support for students. This priority reflects the University’s commitment to ensuring that all academically qualified students—regardless of financial background—have the opportunity to earn a degree from the University of Georgia.

Even with the support of Georgia’s generous HOPE Scholarship and federal and private grants, many current and prospective students face a financial gap to cover the full cost of attendance at UGA. This gap in unmet financial need can present considerable challenges to the institution and our students. It can undermine the University’s efforts to recruit the very best and brightest students, for example, pushing applicants to top institutions out of state, where merit-based scholarships are more competitive.

Unmet financial need also can diminish the academic experience of our students by closing doors to certain high-impact learning experiences, such as internships and study abroad opportunities. In some cases, a student’s progress toward graduation can be delayed.

Overcoming these obstacles is particularly difficult for students from low-income backgrounds who may be required to work additional jobs or take out multiple loans to pay for their education. To address these challenges, in January 2017 the University launched the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program—a landmark initiative to dramatically increase the number of need-based scholarships for UGA students.

Creating a Permanent Legacy of Support

Through the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program, the UGA Foundation will match—dollar for dollar—any donation of $50,000, $75,000, or $100,000 to create an endowed need-based scholarship. This program can create as many as 400 to 600 new scholarships, helping the University to take a giant step toward eliminating the financial burden for generations of talented students. The scholarships—which will live on forever—will be granted for four years, and scholarship awards will increase as the endowment grows over time.

The UGA family has embraced this inspiring new initiative. In the span of just five months, donors created 115 new need-based scholarships, and 85 of these scholarships were awarded to UGA students for the fall 2017 semester.

column graph — Soaring Support for Scholarships: $49.6M for FY17
Donors contributed $46.9M for student scholarships
Donors created 115 Georgia Commitment scholarships

Helping Students Achieve Their Dreams

Without question, scholarships are life-changing. They remove barriers and open doors. They create pathways for students and their families to futures that otherwise would be unreachable. Nowhere can the transformational power of scholarship support be seen more clearly than in the personal stories of some of UGA’s most talented students.

David Newton

Ash Service Award
David Newton
David Newton, Ash Service Award recipient

Originally from Augusta, Georgia, David Newton comes from a long line of Bulldogs. It was not just personal connections, however, that drew Newton to UGA. He saw the University’s many opportunities for hands-on learning as excellent preparation for medical school. Newton graduated in 2017 with dual degrees in biology and psychology and a minor in chemistry. He also participated in undergraduate research, internships, and service opportunities that matched his rigorous academic training. This comprehensive learning experience provided him with the foundation to excel at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, where he is pursuing his dream of becoming a physician.

In 2016, Newton received the Ash Service Award, a competitive award established by UGA alumna and Foundation trustee Kathryn Ash and her husband, alumnus Darren Ash, to support Honors Program students engaged in full-time summer service internships in Georgia. With this support, Newton served as a primary care research intern with UGA’s Economic Evaluation Research Group and Mercy Health Center, a free clinic in Athens.

These high-impact research and service activities provided Newton with invaluable experience and inspired him to become a physician who puts patients’ needs and concerns first.

Joy Peltier

Foundation Fellowship
Joy Peltier
Joy Peltier, Foundation Fellowship recipient

Scholarship support provided the necessary resources for recent graduate Joy Peltier to pursue her academic ambitions. She entered UGA with aspirations to conduct research, study abroad, and build meaningful relationships with faculty.

With the support of the University’s foremost undergraduate scholarship, the Foundation Fellowship, Peltier accomplished her goals.

While earning joint bachelor’s and master’s degrees in romance language linguistics, Peltier took advantage of many hands-on learning opportunities. She conducted research to help adults learn English as a second language—a project that inspired her master’s thesis. Peltier also studied abroad in France and was a live-in tutor for a host family near Paris. In addition, she completed an internship at a free clinic in her home of Douglas County, Georgia, where she served as a translator and helped recruit local medical providers to serve as clinic volunteers.

Because of the private support she received, Peltier was able to create lifelong relationships with peers and faculty, develop knowledge and skills to succeed in the future, and improve the lives of others.

Chloe Hamby

Georgia Access Scholarship
Chloe Hamby
Chloe Hamby, Georgia Access Scholarship recipient

Since she was six years old, Chloe Hamby has pursued two dreams: attending the University of Georgia and becoming a lawyer. Now in her third year at UGA, Hamby achieved the former and is making progress on the latter. It has not been an easy path for Hamby. Her family struggled with homelessness and medical issues—adversities that served only to increase Hamby’s desire to pursue her academic and professional ambitions. When Hamby was awarded the Georgia Access Scholarship—which removed financial barriers for her to attend UGA—she knew her hard work had paid off. Funded by private donations, the Georgia Access Scholarship provides aid to students unable to afford the full cost of attendance despite receiving other financial assistance, such as the HOPE Scholarship.

Hamby is benefiting from UGA’s wide array of learning opportunities. She is a political science major and philosophy minor, and her coursework has helped her to develop stronger communication and analytical skills, both of which will be vital to her success as an attorney. Outside of the classroom, Hamby participates in UGA Model UN, where she applies her coursework to some of the world’s most complex challenges. Hamby has overcome many obstacles to attend UGA, and thanks to the private support she has received, she is well on her way to a career devoted to helping others.