UCSB’s Financial Aid Office has received $750,000 in memory of alumnus Kevin Christensen.
Kevin’s late mother, Carolyn Christensen, donated the money to the university to establish an endowment for current students. This gift established the Kevin Christensen Memorial Scholarship Fund, which seeks to make college education more affordable for low-income students.
Because the Memorial Scholarship Fund is an endowment, the university will be investing the donation and using its revenue to provide students with scholarships.
Mike Miller, UCSB’s Office of Financial Aid Director, said this award comes during an ideal time, as many students are struggling to pay rising tuition fees.
“I think obviously that the Christensen family was extremely generous for giving us the funds and it comes at a time when students really need the financial aid,” Miller said. “It’s a wonderful gesture by the Christensen family and UCSB is really blessed to have the award.”
Instead of applying for the scholarship, students will be nominated for the award, Miller said.
“The way that the fund will work is that students won’t actually have to apply for it,” Miller said. “We’ll determine who is needy and who is doing well academically, and award them the funds.”
The Christensen endowment coincides with UC President Mark G. Yudof’s new “Project You Can” program. The UC systemwide program seeks to raise $1 billion in private funding to help qualified students afford a UC education. About 70 percent of all undergraduates at UCSB currently receive some type of financial aid.