Frequently Asked Questions


Why are unrestricted dollars so critical to Mars Hill’s success?
Where does my contribution to the Annual Fund go?
How can I make a pledge to the Annual Fund?
Does Mars Hill offer a matching gift program?
Don’t student fees cover the college’s financial needs for the year?

Why are unrestricted dollars so critical to Mars Hill's success?

The simple answer is that without unrestricted dollars some students who want to attend Mars Hill University can't. Every university has a natural constituency. For us that constituency includes a number of first generation college students. These students more often than not come to us with limited family resources to meet the cost of tuition. Our Annual Fund dollars are spent to help the families of such students meet the cost of a Mars Hill education.

Where does my contribution to the Annual Fund go?

The Annual Fund is also known on campus as the Annual Scholarship Fund. Every dollar given to the Annual Fund is used to provide student scholarship aid for tuition.

How can I make a pledge to the Annual Fund?

Making a pledge to the annual fund is simple. You can respond by filling out a pledge card provided in many of the college direct mail pieces sent to alumni and friends annually; or you can click here to give online and complete the form electronically. Or if you prefer to talk to someone about your pledge, call Jimmy Knight, Director of Annual Giving, at (828) 689-1122.

Does Mars Hill offer a matching gift program?

Yes; if you would like to know if your company has a matching gift program check our online database.

Don't student fees cover the university's financial needs for the year?

No; Mars Hill, like many small liberal arts colleges, is dependent on the support of its alumni, friends, corporate and foundation supporters to help underwrite the cost of the education provided to our students.

Many students who are accepted to Mars Hill come from families who are not financially able to meet the cost of tuition, room and board. The next step in this process is to apply for financial aid (more than 95% of our students receive financial aid).

In some cases once all the options for federal, state and private scholarship, grants or loans have been exhausted families still find they are unable to meet the cost of tuition. At this point the university must decide weather to give the student what is referred to as "unfunded aid" to complete their financial package or refuse their admission due to the lack of financial viability.

This "unfunded aid," also known as the "discount rate," is the difference between what the family can afford and the cost of tuition. It is not surprising that this number is usually the annual fund goal of the university each year. The bottom line is that the Annual Fund directly pays for this gap between what parents can afford and the college is willing to risk to admit some students.