Well my GradU has hunted me down and is now asking for money since I am now an alum. They have a whole bit trying to make it seem as if alumni donatins helped pay for my graduate studies. What a load of bull****.
1) My first three years I was on a training grant that my department got from the NIH. It paid for my tuition, my stipend, and my health benefits for the first three year.
2) After that my Grad Advisor's grant covered all that.
3) Yes that included tution- a real racket since after my first year I took only one course (in my second year).
4) What was I doing instead of taking classes? Mostly working away in lab which brought a couple publications and helped my PI renew his gratn. I did work as a TA as well but I was providing a service and getting compensated accordingly.
5) Overhead at GradU hovers just below 65% so in theory the space, electricity, etc. I was using in lab was being paid for. The lab consumables was being paid for by my PI's grant. Oh by the way GradU charged labs for internet access above overhead, the same for phone service. Tuition in other words was gravy. The tuition is waived for those in the humanities and GradU doesn't charge for internet access in their offices.
6) GradU was constantly finding ways to try and cut costs that required us grad STUDENTS to do more work that used to be done by paid university staff.
Alumni donations did not really help pay for my education. They did pay for part of the building I worked in but a lot of the costs were paid for by grants.
Needless to say, I really don't feel I owe GradU anything. Maybe if the department asks for money since they don't recieve much from the university (got to keep costs low, don't want to spend that overhead on the department generating it. Much better to pay for a new Dean of something or other whose job it is to look to make sure the University it extracting as much overhead as possible while providing the least amount of service. For a brief period of time they cut back on trash pick up in the labs. That did not go over well.
Got to love a university run like a company.