The Plan at Five Years: Returning to Full-Tuition Scholarships


We are delighted to share this incredible update from Laura Sparks, President, The Cooper Union; Malcolm King EE’97, Chair, Board of Trustees; and Carol Wolf A’84, Chair, Free Education Committee, on the Plan to Return to Full-Tuition Scholarships. A new report, The Plan at Five Years, highlights the positive trajectory we are on thanks to the collective efforts of our community.

Please read the full report here.

A few highlights:

We are pleased to report a genuine transformation in the making. We met the Plan’s cumulative financial targets over the first five years and made overwhelmingly positive progress on multiple fronts, including:

  • Achieving steady financial gains, despite the challenges of the pandemic and the economic uncertainties that followed.
  • Investing in and advancing our academic programs.
  • Increasing scholarship levels according to the Plan.
  • Making capital improvements to our facilities, including the opening of new, interdisciplinary student spaces and critical maintenance on our historic campus buildings.

* * * * *

Considered in total, this effort has generated the momentum and positive trajectory required to deliver on a bold, ambitious future for The Cooper Union. Moreover, our work together has established a national model for addressing the college affordability crisis in the US and equalizing access to higher education. And that is perhaps the most significant outcome of all.

* * * * *

When the Board approved the Plan to Return to Full-Tuition Scholarships, we knew it was ambitious. Some said it was unachievable. Now, 165 years after Peter Cooper embarked on his own plan for The Cooper Union, we can see that achieving this Plan is within our reach.

To continue this momentum and ensure the success of this ambitious goal, we need your support. Your generous donations are crucial in helping us achieve the vision of full-tuition scholarships for all students, reinforcing our commitment to educational accessibility and excellence.

Please donate here today.

Thank you for your unwavering support and commitment. Together, we are building a brighter future for Cooper.


Your Support Matters! All Gifts Matched!


Thanks to the generosity of Edward Durbin EE’48, your gifts will be matched up to $4 million. In other words, all donations will now have more impact for our incredible students.

Edward Durbin graduated from The Cooper Union School of Engineering in 1948. Born in New York City and the son of immigrants, Edward was an executive in the aerospace industry and an accomplished sailor.

Throughout his career successes, Ed was keenly aware of how much he benefitted from a superb, free education and decided to support student scholarships at The Cooper Union. Will you do the same?

Don’t wait! Give now and your donation will be matched today!

Give Now


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.