A few decades ago the state budget had allocated over 42% of funding to the University of California. Currently, only a meager 18% of the budget is direct toward the ten UC campuses. The AASF was established for several reasons. First, it fits in perfectly with the overall movement of the UCSB Alumni Association toward an emphasis on engagement and philanthropy. There are many ways for alumni to 'give back' to our school. None are more clearly defined and important than helping meritorious students afford to continue their educations at UCSB.
Secondly, the current economic situation makes it increasingly important for UCSB to find ways to increase the level of financial aid available to students. As the cost of a UC education continues to climb, families of UCSB students are facing increasing costs for basic necessities, dwindling savings accounts and investment resources, and decreasing opportunities for securing student loans. Last year, over 2,000 UCSB students who qualified for financial aid received no scholarship help!
Third, levels of alumni giving are one of the primary tools used to evaluate and rank both our Alumni Association and UCSB. For example, U.S. News and World Report lists 'alumni giving' as one of the seven major criteria used to evaluate universities in its prestigious annual listing of the 'Top 50 Public National Universities' in the country. It is clear that a great alumni association and a great university will generate and benefit from, high levels of alumni giving.
Lastly, UCSB should be much more competitive within the ranks of the UC system when it comes to endowed funding for alumni student scholarships.
The following is a ranking of the ten UC campuses based on their Alumni Association scholarship endowments (from the 2007 AAUC Alumni Survey):