Access to an exceptional student experience and top-notch education shouldn’t depend on your financial circumstances.

In 2021–22, Washington University provided more than $334 million in financial aid to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Donors like you provide essential student support for students that allows WashU to attract the brightest students from around the country and the world. Scholarship gifts of all sizes help ensure that our student body more accurately reflects the world at large—and that every student benefits from an environment rich with diverse perspectives.

Lt. James Berry

School of Medicine, MD Class of 2025

James Berry, a third-year student in the School of Medicine, is kept busy by his rigorous medical school curriculum and his responsibilities as a husband and father of two. “I have different obligations than many of my classmates as a father in my 30s,” James acknowledges. “That’s a huge part of why I chose WashU.” Proximity to his family, the school’s world-class education and research opportunities, and a generous financial aid package combined to make WashU, according to James, “the perfect fit.”

James knew WashU’s reputation and loved the thought of his children growing up near his parents. His financial aid package sealed the deal. “Originally, WashU offered me need-based scholarships, and I planned to use my G.I. Bill funding to cover the remaining costs of medical school. Then, Dean Kratz called me personally and shared that they could offer me a merit-based scholarship as well. Now I can transfer my G.I. Bill to my daughter for her college education in the future.”

Educational debt is daunting for all medical students, but especially for students like James who are supporting their families. “I won’t be coming out of school with crushing debt. My scholarship support has really alleviated a lot of burdens and stress, and allowed me to focus on school and my family instead of finances,” he says.

Chiby Onyeador

McKelvey School of Engineering, Class of 2025

Chiby Onyeadorm McKelvey Class of 2025

As Chiby Onyeador tells it, he was sitting in his bedroom when his mom called him into the kitchen to take the phone. It was mid-February 2021, an unremarkable, sunny Los Angeles morning. All she said as she handed over the receiver was, “WashU’s calling.”  Chiby recalls being a bit bewildered, “Why the heck is WashU calling?”

On the other end of the line, a man introduced himself and Chiby barely caught the name, “Bobick.”  He listened in growing disbelief. At first, Chiby thought it was a WashU Admissions officer updating him on his application. By the end of the initial exchange, however, he learned that it was not merely an admission officer on the line. It was the dean of McKelvey School of Engineering calling directly to let Chiby know that he’d been selected as a Langsdorf Scholar. Chiby had just been awarded a full scholarship, should he decide to attend WashU, and Dean Bobick certainly hoped he would. As Chiby repeated the offer aloud, his mother broke out into raucous applause.

Since his arrival in the fall of 2021, Chiby has been on fire. He is pursuing a double major in electrical engineering and systems engineering, as well as two minors in computer science and quantum engineering. He has pursued interdisciplinary skillsets beyond engineering too, taking advantage of the diverse opportunities that define WashU’s campus culture. For example, he joined Alpha Kappa Psi, a business fraternity, and formed some of his closest friendships. The group supports Chiby’s professional development beyond engineering skills and offers another avenue for collaboration outside the classroom.

Samara Wilson

Arts & Sciences, Class of 2025

Samara Wilson

Samara Wilson is a junior in Arts & Sciences, majoring in economics and American culture studies with a minor in business of entertainment. She’s also a Bear Ambassador and tour guide for admissions. She spent summer 2023 in St. Louis as an intern in University Advancement and as a residential program assistant for pre-college programs at WashU. A native of rural Trinidad and Tobago, she hopes to work in economics after graduation.

“Last semester I was part of a program called the Chancellor Career Fellows. It’s a one-credit class for lower and limited-income students, and we discussed things like how to use LinkedIn and how to look for internships. We attended a career fair together. And having that opportunity with a small class size was really helpful. At the end of the semester, we all received a stipend to cover summer expenses so we could afford to do internships. That’s just one example of many programs that WashU has. I feel like they care about all students and want to make sure that students have access to opportunities that are not dependent on their income.”

I’m also in the Beyond Boundaries program. I appreciate having a cohort of other students who have that interdisciplinary mindset, even if they aren’t studying the same things as me. Also, I remember even before I committed to WashU, the program’s director, Rob Morgan, called me personally to welcome me into the program. That was one of the initial times I thought: Wow. WashU’s motto of knowing students by name and by story isn’t just words, it’s actually put into practice.”

Did you know?

  • WashU students were awarded $334.8 million in financial assistance during fiscal year 2022.
  • In 2021-22, 41% of undergraduates received scholarship support.
  • 32% of undergraduate scholarship recipients received significant assistance—50% or more of tuition.
  • In 2021-22, the average scholarship award per undergraduate student was $52,967.
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