GRAIN (GRoton Affordability and INclusion) solidified the school's commitment to an open Circle. It ensured that all deserving applicants, regardless of background or financial standing, have equal access to a Groton education. GRAIN also froze tuition for three years and kicked off deep determination by the Board of Trustees to keep costs under control.

The Talented Missing Middle

GRAIN also placed special emphasis on the group Mr. Maqubela often calls “the talented missing middle.” Often assuming that they will not qualify for aid, these families are squeezed by burdensome loans at the college level and rarely think of independent schools like Groton. “How can independent school students have a real-world experience,” asks Mr. Maqubela, “if we omit the talent from an enormous socioeconomic group?”

A Network of Giving

GRAIN struck a chord with members of the extended Groton family, who stepped up quickly and generously. But it also resonated with non-Grotonians: heads of some other institutions began discussing GRAIN-inspired changes at their own schools, and a few leadership gifts came in from parents whose children were admitted but chose not to attend Groton.

Exemplifying Inclusion

GRAIN appealed to those who understand the meaning of inclusion. Translation: virtually every-one. Anyone who has sent a young child off to school, moved to a new town, or started a new job understands. The person who has felt excluded due to race or religion or financial standing understands. The parent who sees how much a child can learn from peers with different back-grounds and perspectives understands. So does the person who rarely felt excluded and fully comprehends that privilege.

Exceeding All Expectations

When fundraising formally closed on June 30, 2018, GRAIN had raised just over $53 million. The original hope was to hit $50 million by 2020—a six-year plan. Enthusiasm for GRAIN slashed that timeline in half.