National University in San Diego, the flagship campus of the private nonprofit National University System, has announced a $350 million commitment from T. Denny Sanford in support of efforts to address critical challenges in the education sector.
To be disbursed over a number of years, the funds will support efforts in several focus areas, including expanding access to a quality education, improving tuition affordability, boosting student success, advancing innovation, and providing educational pathways for working adults in key industries. Another priority will be the expansion of the Sanford Programs at National University — Sanford Inspire, which provides resources and on-demand online modules that support pre-K-12 teaching; Sanford Harmony, a pre-K-6 research-based social emotional learning (SEL) program; and the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy, which helps prepare nonprofit fundraiser leaders to contribute to positive societal change. In recognition of the gift, the university will be renamed Sanford National University, effective next summer.
National University, which currently enrolls about twenty-eight thousand students — 70 percent of whom take online classes — hopes to bolster enrollment over time by lowering annual tuition from between $12,000 and $15,000 to between $7,000 and $10,000, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Sanford's previous support for National University and the National University System totals $150 million.
"I am thrilled to be associated with such a world-class organization and am honored and humbled to have my name alongside National University," said Sanford, who signed the Giving Pledge in 2010. "I look forward to the positive impact Sanford National University will have on students and society at large and for the inspiration it will provide future generations to make a difference for their families, communities, and our nation."
(Photo credit: National University)