Margellos Scholarship Fund supports Ukrainian students at Yale

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Christina Figlus was attracted to Yale because of its strength in the liberal arts and interdisciplinary study. (Photo by Michael Marsland)

Freshman Christina Figlus came to Yale in pursuit of a well-rounded education that would allow her the flexibility to explore a range of subjects. Born in Chicago, she was raised in Ukraine, living most of her life just outside Kyiv. When she graduated from the Pechersk School International, she set her sights on attending college in the United States.

“In many European universities,” she explained, “you have to choose what you want to do at the beginning of your program, and you can’t change your mind.”

Yale in particular caught her interest because of its strengths in the liberal arts and interdisciplinary studies. With support from the Cecile and Theodore Margellos Scholarship Fund, Figlus matriculated with the Yale College Class of 2020 this fall. She is the sixth student to be named a Margellos Scholar since the fund was established in 2004 by Theodore and Cecile Margellos P’06. With a specific preference for students from the Ukraine, the Margellos Fund plays an important role in the university’s goal of attracting a diverse body of the brightest scholars from around the world.

“A strong foundation in the liberal arts is essential for those who will go on to become our next generation of global leaders. I am proud to help ensure that talented students from Ukraine are able to come to Yale to take advantage of a world-class education and the many opportunities it offers,” said Theodore Margellos.

Figlus joins more than 2,500 international students on the Yale campus. These men and women come from 118 countries, and together, they make up 20% of the student body, spanning the undergraduate program and the graduate and professional schools. For many undergraduates, the cost of a Yale education would be prohibitive if it were not for the policy of need-blind admissions in Yale College — extended to international students since 2001 — paired with a comprehensive financial aid program. Resources such as the Margellos Scholarship Fund help make Yale accessible to outstanding students from across the globe.

The budget for undergraduate financial aid is $128.2 million for the academic year 2016–2017. The cost for a student to attend Yale College is $68,950, including tuition, room, board, and expenses. Fifty percent of students receive aid from Yale, with an average award of $47,080. For international students, the average scholarship award of $58,150 also offsets the additional costs of travel and other expenses. According to Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan, Yale’s need-blind admissions policy and the university’s commitment to diversity have helped make Yale “a leading university nationally and internationally and the school of choice for a culturally and economically diverse set of the top students in the world.”

Figlus’ long-term plans include a possible a career in human rights law or constitutional law. For now, though, she is enjoying getting to know Yale. She is taking courses in history, political science, economics, and French, and she recently participated in the Political Union’s Freshman Prize Debate. She can often be found in various cafés around town, in a quest to find the best New Haven coffee shop for studying.

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