Naropa University
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Why Give?

Naropa University’s mission and practice of Contemplative Education fosters in its students qualities such as openness, self-awareness, sharpened insight, and an appreciation of the world’s diversity and richness. From self-understanding comes an ability to appreciate the value of another’s experience. This powerful blend of academic study and interior exploration prepares students for compassionate and transformative work in the world. In our troubled times, could there be any better preparation for those who will take on the world’s challenges?

Providing such an exceptional education is expensive. Yet think of the great loss—to Naropa, to the student, and to the very future of our world—if the only students who enrolled were those who could afford to pay.

Evidence of Support

Naropa University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has been a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1986. In recent surveys, 90% of our students said that Naropa was their first choice school.

Statement of Need

Given our strong commitment to diversity, Naropa University is mindful of fulfilling its mission to be inclusive, including economic inclusiveness. We strive to make it possible for a diverse range of students to attend Naropa, within the limited resources we have. In the most recent fiscal year, 32% of total tuition revenue was returned to students in the form of financial aid. More than 79% of our graduate students and 70% of our undergraduates receive some financial assistance. Almost all of our financial aid is awarded based on need.

Naropa University is committed to using its resources to make our degree programs as accessible as possible through need-based scholarships. However, we face a great challenge; more than 50% of our undergraduates come from households with incomes low enough to qualify for Pell Grants. As a young university with a relatively small alumni base, we have limited resources to provide the additional support needed by income-eligible, academically worthy students. Naropa also has a high percentage of adult students, and these students tend to have a higher degree of financial need than their younger peers; 73% of our undergraduate students ages 25 and over are eligible for Pell Grants, compared to 36% of students under 25.

Pell Grants Fall 20091
Institution % of undergrads receiving Pell Grants
Harvard University 10%
Princeton University 11%
University of Colorado at Boulder 16%
University of Denver 16%
Regis University 24%
Colorado College 9%
Warren Wilson College 27%
The Evergreen State College 40%
Naropa University 44%
1 All data from IPEDS, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, a project of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Statistics reported for Fall 2009, the most recent available.

Grants and scholarships make up 50.4 % of our need-based aid to undergraduates, while 41.3% is in the form of loans, with the remaining 8.3% coming from work-study. This frequently leaves a gap that students fill by working while in school. Financial hardship and concern about mounting debt are among the primary reasons that students leave Naropa before completing their degrees. This is a great loss for the students and the university. When one considers that many Naropa graduates enter careers in service fields with low starting salaries, it is not surprising that many find the prospect of paying back their student loan debt daunting.


Why Naropa? 

"Your contribution makes it possible for me and many others to attend Naropa. Help make this education available to more students who are called and drawn into service for the Earth, humanity, and all of creation. This is needed, and the time is now!"


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