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$10 million gift from Martha and Bruce Karsh for Howard University
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$10 million gift from Martha and Bruce Karsh for Howard University

Howard University announced a $10 million gift from longtime Howard supporters Martha and Bruce Karsh to support the Graduation Retention Access to Continued Excellence (GRACE) Grant.

Through this generous gift from the Karsh Family Foundation, Howard’s GRACE Grant will expand its support to more students needing tuition assistance. More students who are Pell Grant-eligible and have an expected family contribution (EFC) of near zero will no longer have a financial barrier to a college degree.

“Bruce and I are excited to support Howard University’s GRACE Grant Endowed Fund, which offers an extraordinary opportunity to change the lives of incredibly talented students,” said Martha Karsh, co-founder of the Karsh Family Foundation. “We are investing in the next generation of great leaders.”

“I want to thank Martha and Bruce Karsh for their continuous support of Howard University,” said President Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA.

“Their heartfelt commitment and devotion to our students is commendable. Through their donation, students who never thought they could afford a college education can do so and with measurable success.”

Established as an unfunded mandate in 2014 by President Frederick, the GRACE Grant allows students with the greatest financial need to stay in school and graduate on time. Students with little to no EFC will no longer worry about the financial burden and will instead be able to focus on completing their studies.

Howard’s GRACE Grant provides additional funding for students who receive the maximum Federal Pell Grant. Distributed based on student need, the GRACE program offers a 100 percent match for Federal Pell Grant students and additional funding to fill the gap so they can continue their education.

Since its inception, GRACE Grant recipients saw an average 15 percent increase in retention and an average four-year graduation rate of 78 percent, a 32 percent increase compared to students who did not receive GRACE funds. The Karsh Family Foundation donation supports Howard’s vision of eliminating barriers to success for students.

Longtime supporters of education, the Karsh family also donated $10 million in 2020 to create the Karsh STEM Scholars Program at Howard to address the underrepresentation of minorities earning a Ph.D. or combined M.D./Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that comprises 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States.

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