Helping Colleges Provide Scholarships and Financial Aid


Our support to make education more affordable for qualifying students is driven by the following key findings.

  • For many families, cost is the single largest barrier to post-secondary education.  In 2015-2015, the average annual cost of attending a private, four-year institution (including tuition, room and board) was more than $45,700.
  • Nationwide, almost all students (97 percent) attending private, four-year institutions borrowed to pay for school. The average cumulative debt was $32,700.
  • Many students drop out of school within the first year or two, leaving them with thousands of dollars in debt and decreased earning potential.


Grants and scholarships from The Duke Endowment have made it possible for thousands of deserving students to graduate with significantly less debt than would have been possible without financial aid. In many cases, students who received financial aid funded by The Duke Endowment graduated with no debt at all.


Area of Work

  • Educational access and success

Program Area

  • Higher Education

Grantmaking Status

The Endowment is continuing to work through current grantees and is not accepting new applications.

Areas of Work

  • Prevention and early intervention for at-risk children

    To equip children and families with skills to ensure that children reach developmental milestones to lead successful lives.

  • Out-of-home care for youth

    To drive child welfare systems toward greater accountability for child well-being.

  • Quality and safety of health care

    Improving the quality and safety of health care delivery

  • Access to health care

    Improving health by increasing access to comprehensive care

  • Prevention

    Expanding programs to promote health and prevent disease

  • Academic excellence

    Enhancing academic excellence through program and campus development

  • Educational access and success

    Increasing educational access and supporting a learning environment that promotes achievement

  • Campus and community engagement

    Promoting a culture of service, collaboration and engagement among schools and communities

  • Rural church development

    Building the infrastructure and capacity of United Methodist churches to enhance ministry and mission

  • Clergy leadership

    Strengthening United Methodist churches by improving the quality and effectiveness of church leadership

  • Congregational outreach

    Engaging United Methodist congregations in programs that serve their communities