How Can Alumni Impact Student Success?

An alumni association is a network of individuals who have at least one thing in common: attendance at the same educational institution. They may have enrolled and graduated at drastically different times, but they all have passed through the same halls and experienced the same socio-academic culture that energizes the school.

On one level, the purpose of an alumni association is to formalize the link that ties together an institution’s historical graduates as well as the bond they share with the school they once attended. On another level, the association helps to realize real and noticeable benefits to the school and its present enrollees. Let’s examine some of those benefits to help you understand how alumni can impact student success. 

Alumni Impact Student Success

Image via Unsplash by MD Duran

A given alumni association is likely to include a significant population of well-earning members who provide financial support in various ways, such as:

  • Donations: Many academic facilities are made possible through the generosity of past graduates, who regularly contribute money to their school or outright fund construction and beautification projects.
  • Fundraisers: Alumni associations often organize events such as dinners and galas to raise money for their alma mater. The money they raise can indirectly support student success by going toward improved facilities and learning initiatives.
  • Financial aid: Alumni can support students in need via scholarships and other forms of financial aid. Indeed, according to the 2022 State of Alumni Giving Report by Hanover Research, almost half of all alumni say they give money to their alma mater to make it more affordable to present and future students.

Every successful alumnus has the potential to be a role model. Students can look to them as proof that a person from a similar background can achieve their goals as well as an example of how to realize their ambitions. Current enrollees might gain exposure to such success stories through school-hosted events in which alumni speak directly to students and share their stories.

Student Success

One of the principal roles of a school’s alumni is to mentor current students. Mentorship can promote positive attitudes toward learning, elevate students’ aspirations, and boost self-esteem, to name just a few. Research has shown, too, that these benefits often extend beyond one’s school years. In fact, the American Psychological Association reports that mentees tend to ” be more satisfied with their programs, be more involved in professional organizations, and have a stronger sense of professional identity” after they graduate. 

Knowing this, many schools make a point of connecting students with alumni early on. For example, the alumni association at a Catholic college school based in Toronto, Ontario, organizes regular mentoring events, including a Career Day in which alumni guide enrollees through the different career paths that are available to them. This can be especially valuable to young people who are preparing for the changes and demands of young adulthood, 

As a parent, you want to do everything you can to ensure your child has the support they need. The efforts you put in at home are just one part of the success equation, while their academic resources are another. Seeking out a learning environment bolstered by an alumni association can give you much-needed peace of mind by ensuring your young one is equipped with the means to succeed.

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