weGIVE Gets Students Involved in Supporting APU

by April Overholt '11

In fall 2010, the Office of University Advancement launched weGIVE, an initiative to educate students about what their tuition dollars do and to encourage them to donate in any way they can. In one campaign, representatives pass out cups for students to collect change in and later return on a specific date. The proceeds are then placed in the University Fund, which is designated to support current students, both graduate and undergraduate.

“The initiative has been really successful so far,” said Sharon Conklin, associate director of annual giving in the Office of University Advancement. “It’s not solely about raising money, but about students knowing why their support matters and what it will help APU accomplish."

According to Conklin, many students do not realize that their tuition dollars do not completely cover the cost of their education. Tuition covers approximately the first 80 percent of the academic year, and the last 20 percent is in part funded by donations from parents, alumni, and other supporters of the university.

To raise awareness about this fact, University Advancement will celebrate the second annual Tuition Freedom Day. Held on April 6 and 7, the event marks the point in which tuition no longer covers the cost of the academic year and donation dollars kick in. Students will have the chance to stop by a station on Cougar Walk to write a thank you note for an individual donor. This is one important way students can give back if they feel they do not have the means to contribute to the University Fund.

“Don’t let the matter of pocket change hold you back from getting involved if you can’t donate,” said Alisha Millard, senior communication major and University Advancement’s student manager of annual giving.

As both a student and a part of University Advancement, Millard has firsthand evidence of why students’ giving matters. “Through our APU education, we are able to receive the right kind of learning to make a difference,” she said. “We should get educated about how to change our community. You may feel like you want to give a large gift, but starting here and giving a small gift helps to make a difference.”

Although it may not seem like much, a few dollars can still go far. “If each undergraduate student were to give five dollars, it would add up to more than $25,000,” said Conklin. “That’s what’s exciting about weGIVE. Students make a big difference when they join together.”

University Advancement hopes to continue partnering with students to help cover the university’s expenses of granting scholarships to students, hiring skilled faculty, providing an active campus community, and supplying up-to-date technology. The University Fund helps support such investments, allowing students to get the most out of their private education.

“Our ultimate goal is to help fulfill APU's God First mission,” said Conklin. “We raise support so students can come to APU and be equipped with the tools they need to put the handprints of God on the world.”

For more information about getting involved or helping to form a weGIVE student committee, contact the Office of University Advancement.