$150 million bequest expands financial aid for Dartmouth’s middle class students

Glenn and Barbara Britt, shown on a cruise in Europe in 2012, left a bequest that will fund Dartmouth College undergraduate financial aid awards and scholarship support for Tuck students. (Courtesy photograph)

Glenn and Barbara Britt, shown on a cruise in Europe in 2012, left a bequest that will fund Dartmouth College undergraduate financial aid awards and scholarship support for Tuck students. (Courtesy photograph) Courtesy photo

By CHRISTINA DOLAN

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 03-25-2024 6:07 PM

HANOVER — Dartmouth College has received a $150 million bequest from the estate of Glenn and Barbara Britt that will fund financial aid awards for undergraduates and scholarships for students in the Tuck School of Business Administration.

It is the largest scholarship gift in the history of the college, Dartmouth President Sian Leah Beilock said in a news release Monday.

The newly-created Britt Scholarships will support undergraduates from middle-income households by raising the family contribution threshold from $65,000 per year to $125,000, meaning that families earning up to $125,000, with typical assets, will incur no costs for an undergraduate education, the college said.

The cost for an undergraduate to attend Dartmouth this year is almost $90,000.

Glenn Britt, who died in 2014 at age 65, was a longtime chief executive officer of Time Warner Cable. He served as chairman and CEO of what was then the second largest cable company in the U.S. from 2001 until his retirement in 2013. He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth in 1971, and a master’s in business administration from Tuck in 1972.

Barbara Britt, a graduate of Douglass College in New Brunswick, N.J., died last August. She was 79.

The Britt’s estate is not yet settled, and the gift to Dartmouth may ultimately exceed the $150 million, the college said in its news release.

In providing the additional assistance to students from moderate-income families, “we will not only be saying to them that a Dartmouth education is within reach; we will also be adding to the diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints of our students, an educational plus for everyone on campus,” Beilock said in a statement Monday.

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The financial assistance will, however, come with a work requirement.

“Students from families making less than $125,000 will be expected to contribute funds from summer jobs and on-campus employment, amounting to no more than $5,000 a year,” according to Monday’s news release.

The college has been leveraging major gifts to make its costs more accessible to families of moderate incomes, announcing in 2021 that full tuition scholarships would be available to families with annual incomes below $125,000. In 2022, it announced that it would eliminate student loans from the financial aid packages of all undergraduates.

The bequest will help Dartmouth attract students from a wider socioeconomic range, Beilock said.

“Coupled with our recent decision to reactivate the standardized testing requirement for undergraduate admissions, which will benefit the most promising students regardless of their background, the generosity of the Britts is enabling us to take some major steps forward,” she said in Monday’s news release.

Along with the other Ivy League schools, Dartmouth suspended the standardized test requirement for admissions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dartmouth maintains standardized tests are a useful tool in identifying high-achieving students from diverse backgrounds, Beilock said in February when the college announced it would resume the requirement for all applicants.

The new financial assistance structure made possible by the Britt’s bequest will take effect at the beginning of the 2024-25 academic year, and is expected to benefit estimated 350 undergraduates out of a total undergraduate enrollment of approximately 4,200 students, the college said.

Christina Dolan can be reached at cdolan@vnews.com or 603-727-3208.