5 charts breaking down MacKenzie Scott’s $1.5B in donations to colleges

Billionaire philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott has now given more than $1.5 billion to around six dozen colleges and universities. She announced her latest giving spree this week in a blog post on Medium, noting that she was donating to 31 more colleges with students from “chronically underserved” communities. 

Scott began her funding blitz last summer, when she announced her first round of gifts. She followed up with more donations in December and then again this week. Her gifts have been unrestricted, giving schools freedom over how they use the funds. 

Giving to minority-serving institutions has been a priority in all three rounds of donations. So far, Scott has given $702 million to Hispanic-serving institutions, $560 million to historically Black colleges and $26 million to tribal colleges and universities, based on Higher Ed Dive’s analysis. Five of the 73 schools to receive gifts have not publicly shared their donation amounts as of press time.

Natalie Schwartz/Higher Ed Dive


Though Scott gave a nearly equal number of donations to four- and two-year schools, the former group tended to receive bigger amounts. Even so, the donations have been a boon to community colleges, which rarely see even seven-figure gifts. 

Indian River State College, in Florida, said it received $45 million from Scott last year — her largest gift to a two-year school. And in her third round of donations, Scott gave 13 two-year schools amounts of $15 million or more, based on gifts reported so far.

Natalie Schwartz/Higher Ed Dive


Schools that serve large shares of low-income students also have taken priority, according to a Higher Ed Dive analysis of federal data. In 2018-19, around 34% of undergraduates nationwide received Pell Grants, an indicator of financial need. But Scott’s gifts tended to focus on schools where larger shares of learners receive the awards.

Natalie Schwartz/Higher Ed Dive


In her first round, Scott donated to just six higher education institutions, all of which were HBCUs. Her second and third rounds each included about three dozen colleges. However, in her final round, she focused on HSIs instead of HBCUs and tribal colleges.

Higher Ed Dive


Higher Ed Dive’s analysis is based on college announcements, local media reports and government data. Because several colleges did not disclose their amounts, the overall donation amounts are greater than what has been reported. See below for a full list of institutions that received gifts and their amounts.

How much MacKenzie Scott donated to each college

Name Donation Amount  
Alcorn State University $25 Million
Amarillo College $15 Million
Blackfeet Community College Unknown
Bowie State University $25 Million
Brazosport College $3 Million
Broward College $30 Million
Cal Poly Pomona $40 Million
California State University Channel Islands $15 Million
California State University, Fullerton $40 Million
California State University, Northridge $40 Million
Chaffey College $25 Million
Chief Dull Knife College $1 Million
City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College $5 Million
Claflin University $20 Million
Clark Atlanta University $15 Million
College of the Desert $18 Million
Borough of Manhattan Community College $30 Million
Hostos Community College $15 Million
Lehman College $30 Million
Delaware State University $20 Million
Dillard University $5 Million
El Paso Community College $30 Million
Elizabeth City State University $15 Million
Florida International University $40 Million
Hampton University $30 Million
Howard University $40 Million
Indian River State College Foundation $45 Million
Institute of American Indian Arts $5 Million
Lake Area Technical College $10 Million
Lee College $5 Million
Lincoln University $20 Million
Long Beach City College $30 Million
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College $20 Million
Mitchell Technical College Unknown
Morehouse College $20 Million
Morgan State University $40 Million
Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles $15 Million
Navajo Technical University $12 Million
Norfolk State University $40 Million
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University $45 Million
Northeast Community College $15 Million
Odessa College $7 Million
Palo Alto College $20 Million
Pasadena City College $30 Million
Porterville College $7 Million
Prarie View A&M University $50 Million
Renton Technical College $5 Million
Salish Kootenai College Unknown
San Antonio College $15 Million
San Jacinto College $30 Million
Santa Barbara City College $20 Million
Santa Fe College $40 Million
Southwest Texas Junior College Unknown
Spelman College $20 Million
Texas A&M International University $40 Million
The University of Texas at San Antonio $40 Million
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley $40 Million
Tougaloo College $6 Million
Turtle Mountain Community College $8 Million
Tuskegee University $20 Million
University of California, Merced $20 Million
University of Central Florida $40 Million
University of Illinois Chicago $40 Million
University of Maryland Eastern Shore $20 Million
Virginia State University $30 Million
Voorhees College $4 Million
Walla Walla Community College $15 Million
West Hills College Lemoore Unknown
West Kentucky Community and Technical College $15 Million
Whittier College $12 Million
Harper College $18 Million
Winston-Salem State University $30 Million
Xavier University of Louisiana $20 Million

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