By Rachel Leininger
Colleges and universities are seeing a 3.2% decline in enrollment from a year ago and only 73% of students returned for their second year in 2020—down 2% from 2019 (Source: Forbes). While there has been a steady decline in enrollment since 2012, the pandemic has added numerous challenges. Many families are feeling constrained financially, so starting or returning to school may not feel attainable.
To relieve these burdens, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy offers numerous undergraduate and graduate scholarships, in addition to funds available through IUPUI. One recipient of financial support is freshman Emily Eshbach, who received a full scholarship to attend our school and pursue a degree in philanthropic studies and marketing.
A native of Waterloo, Indiana, Emily found her passion through her deep engagement with nonprofits and volunteer organizations in her community. Her past experiences include the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Student of the Year Campaign, United Way of Allen County, Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana, Miss America Organization, and many more. She is excited to one day be a leader in the nonprofit sector.
“Being a double major, I’m excited for both critical thinking and hands-on experiences I’ll learn from the nonprofit sector,” she said. “I’m especially looking forward to our study away program in Sarasota, Florida.”
She says her move from home to school has been seamless because there are always things going on and numerous ways to get involved on campus.
“I love that Indianapolis always has something going on,” she said. “I’m always reading restaurant reviews and finding the best events and athletic events to attend. It’s been a great transition to campus and the city.”
Inside Higher Ed reports that in a Student Voice survey conducted last fall showed 34% of students said the semester was going better than expected. Respondents said there were more in-person classes, social gatherings, and professors’ understanding of challenges facing students.
“While things on campus are not back to pre-pandemic standards, they have been slowly improving. Students do still experience challenges due to the pandemic, but also seem very happy to be back on campus with their peers,” said Pamela Clark, assistant dean of enrollment management and student success at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “Our school is small enough that we can provide personal attention and support to our students and our faculty remain committed to allowing the flexibility that they need in these times. We are doing our best to get through this together and are hopeful for a new normal that will serve our students well.”
In addition to her studies, Emily is the Vice President of Philanthropy and Service for Zeta Tau Alpha, and a member of the Philanthropy Ambassadors and Marketing clubs. She also got a job as a student services assistant at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
“I have to remain organized to get all my classes in, but the organization and planning is always exciting for me,” she said. “I enjoy the ability to make my own schedule and have the independence—I get to choose my priorities.”
Rachel Leininger is the public relations manager at Well Done Marketing, a full-service marketing and PR agency. She works on strategic public relations and social media communications for clients in a variety of industries, including the nonprofit sector, education, healthcare, legal services, energy, and more. Previous experience includes communication efforts for the Columbus Area Arts Council and the IUPUI School of Nursing. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in civic leadership from Indiana State University.