Students gathering in the OWHL
June 23, 2021

Financial Aid + The Student Experience

Creating Opportunity at Andover

Tuition. Room and board. It’s the standard formula for financial aid. This equation opens the doors, but it doesn’t create equity once inside. Opportunity isn’t for all unless it’s deliberately and thoughtfully made so.

This is the unique core of financial aid at Andover—ensuring the most talented students from around the world are admitted on merit alone and then given every chance to appreciate the fullness of scholastic life on campus and off.

It’s why financial aid extends to the entire student experience at Andover, and why specific Student Experience Funds have been established to help underwrite this unparalleled commitment. The Lupoli Family Foundation is an investor in one such fund, which helps provide essentials like health insurance, books, laptops, and warm clothing during the winter months.

“We felt it was important to contribute in a distinctive way to Andover’s inclusive mission and provide equal opportunities to all students,” says foundation head Mary Lupoli, sister of Sal ’19. “Every option should be available to them in a community as special as Andover.”

Student Experience Funds also help students purchase athletic equipment and musical instruments, attend prom and other events, and afford SAT testing and travel—anything that ensures their full participation in the Academy’s scholastic and social life.

Says Sal Lupoli, “Andover was one of the best times of my life. It helped me come out of my shell and find out who I am. In this way, our gift is about ensuring that all students have the chance to make their own memories and friendships.”

More and more alumni and parents see the value of this robust approach to student assistance. For instance, 45 families and counting have contributed to the Andover Financial Aid Challenge in an effort to help students in all aspects of their education.

The challenge offers a 3:1 dollar match for gifts that bolster existing scholarships or start new ones. “The challenge enabled me to participate before I necessarily would on my own,” says Meg McClellan ’96, who made her gift to celebrate her 25th reunion. “It catalyzed me to do it now, and I’m so glad it did.”

McClellan is a volunteer with Opening Blue Channels, which provides comprehensive financial aid to students with the greatest need, and she welcomed several students to her office at J.P. Morgan in New York. “It was eye-opening for me,” says McClellan, “to hear their stories and their aspirations. It made me want to help make their lights shine all the more brightly.

“I realized financial aid goes far beyond tuition and academics. It’s about access and experiences. We strive to treat students equally at Andover so they can enter the world in an open and positive way—without fear. Our goal is to set them up to make great contributions and be leaders in their fields.”

Jeff Thermond ’71 knows exactly what financial aid means. “I could not have attended Andover without the generous support of those who went before me,” he says. “So doing for future students what was done for me just seems right.”

Thermond, in honor of his 50th reunion, decided to significantly strengthen his family’s endowed scholarship through a bequest intention. It was an easy decision: the more funds available, the greater assurance their scholars will have all their needs met. “There is demonstrable evidence in every single class that lives can be changed for the better,” emphasizes Thermond. “We’re happy to be part of that tradition.”

Says McClellan, “We don’t want Andover students to have any barriers—socially, culturally, or academically. Funding every aspect of a student’s experience breaks those barriers down.”

To learn more about Student Experience Funds or the Andover Financial Aid Challenge, please contact Nicole Cherubini, director of development, at [email protected].

Originally printed in The Vista: Views from the Knowledge & Goodness Campaign, spring 2021

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