Schuler Access Initiative

A unique and transformative partnership between Union College and the Schuler Education Foundation

Union is among the first five schools in the country selected to participate in the Schuler Access Initiative, a special fundraising challenge that aims to enroll more underserved students at the nation’s top liberal arts colleges.

How the challenge works

Union College is partnering with the Schuler Education Foundation to invest up to $42 million to enroll significantly more low-income students. Through the Schuler Access Initiative, Union will be positioned to enroll a greater number of exceptional students, regardless of their financial circumstances. This is the College’s latest effort to advance educational equity and opportunity.

For the next several years, the Schuler Education Foundation will match dollar-for-dollar — up to $20 million — all scholarship monies raised to support incoming first-year student recipients of federal Pell Grants, need-based grants for low-income students.

Through this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Union will increase the number of Pell Grant students at Union by 13 percent for a total of 40 additional students across all four years.

David Harris

“Union is one of fewer than 100 schools that meets the full demonstrated need of students. That means that we reach a point where we just don’t have any additional financial aid to offer new students. Each year, as a result, we are simply unable to admit all the exceptional students who need financial aid.

That’s why I’m so excited about the Schuler Access Initiative. As a Pell Grant recipient myself, I know firsthand what it’s like to think, ‘Can I attend this school? Can I afford it?’ That’s why I am so happy to be able to extend this opportunity to others.”

—David R. Harris, President of Union College

$20 Million from Union Donors + $20 Million Schuler Foundation Match = $42 Million TOTAL SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY.

Support for this project

The Schuler Access Initiative is an investment in Union College and in our nation's future. This partnership will move us closer to our goal of enrolling exceptionally talented students of all backgrounds, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Make a gift

Gifts at all levels are appreciated. Qualifying gifts to the Schuler Access Initiative must be new contributions restricted to financial aid for low-income Pell Grant-eligible students.

For additional information, please contact Scott Rava, assistant vice president for principal gifts and campaign director, at (518) 388-6481 or

"I benefited from a substantial scholarship to attend Union, and without that scholarship, my life could have been very different. I recall as a beneficiary of that philanthropy, that if ever I was in a position to give back to the school, it was going to be my mission to do so. The Schuler Access Initiative will bring to the College high-achieving individuals who just by virtue of birth were maybe not afforded the same opportunities that others were, and they’re highly motivated. When you look at the statistics, they perform exceptionally well at Union."

—David J. Breazzano ’78, P’07, P’11, Union College Life Trustee and Campaign Co-chair, Powering Union: The Campaign for Multiple Tomorrows

Schuler Access Initiative – a $42 Million Scholarship Opportunity
Your gift helps secure $22 million in matching funds from the Schuler Education Foundation.

Support the schuler Access initiative today

Campaign logo

To make a gift or learn more about Powering Union, please contact Scott Rava, assistant vice president for principal gifts and campaign director.

807 Union Street, Abbe Hall, Schenectady, NY 12308
(518) 388-6481 |