For Caltech Scholarship Recipients, Opportunities Abound

Scholarships can change students’ lives, and they play an essential role in Caltech’s ability to attract talented, creative undergraduates.

At the Institute’s annual scholarship reception on May 19, Caltech President Thomas F. Rosenbaum, Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair and professor of physics, introduced a panel of four students who reflected on the difference this support has made in their lives.

 

2019 Scholarship Brunch (Slideshow)

 

Meaningful Research

“I am conducting research in theoretical computer science: What can algorithms do, and what will they never be able to do within a reasonable period of time? As part of that research, I meet with the professor for about an hour a week. I think it’s fantastic to get that amount of individual attention from a faculty member.”
—Vivek Bharadwaj

“I was a systems engineering intern at a company started by a Caltech alumnus. Everyone there knew that I came from Caltech, and they were willing to throw pretty cool responsibilities at me. For example, I did some of the final acceptance testing on an electronics board that I found out may be going into space one day. I was like, ‘Wow.’”
—Alex Wuschner

With Experience Comes Confidence

“I’ll never forget that during my SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship), the professor said to me, ‘If you cured cancer, I wouldn’t be surprised.’ Knowing that someone has so much confidence in my potential is very empowering.”
—Isabella Camplisson

“When first I went into the lab as a freshman bio major, the grad student I was to work with had zero expectations of me. But she had unbelievable expectations of my potential. It blew my mind. From the beginning, she expected—she knew—that eventually I would take on the project by myself.”
—Catherine Day

“When people hear you’re a Caltech student, they often have more faith in you than you have in yourself. It makes you realize how far you can stretch yourself.”
—Alex Wuschner

What Next?

“I would like to get a PhD in computer science and I would really like to pursue a career in academia, but barring that I also would like to take a research position at company.”
—Vivek Bharadwaj

“I have wanted to be a neurosurgeon since I was eight years old, which is pretty funny considering that neither of my parents went to college or has anything to do with medicine. Caltech is insanely rigorous, and I know if I can get through this, I can do anything.”
—Isabella Camplisson

“I am going to grad school at Princeton to study molecular biology, and I am very excited about that. I know it’s going to be really cold, but it’s going to be really cool, too.”
—Catherine Day

“I will definitely be leaving Caltech with a greater sense of tenacity, grit, and perseverance. For now, I am keeping my options open. I plan to apply to grad school and for different jobs. Then I will see what I like best and what will suit me.”
—Alex Wuschner


To hear from more scholarship recipients, watch the video Scholarships at Caltech: Four Stories of Impact.

Raising Funds for Scholarships

Raising funds so that Caltech can sustain its need-blind admissions policy is a top priority of Break Through: The Caltech Campaign. The Institute has set a long-term goal of raising $120 million in endowed funds to support the undergraduates of tomorrow and an immediate goal of securing $5 million in current-use funds to provide scholarships for students today.

To help Caltech foster intellectual equity and an academic community that is enriched by a diversity of perspectives and passions, in 2017 an anonymous alumnus set forth a scholarship fundraising challenge that matches all scholarship gifts or pledges of $75,000 with an additional $50,000. As of May 31, 2019, donors established 32 named scholarship funds through the challenge.