Mendocino College is one of 34 colleges to receive part of the largest philanthropic gift given to community colleges in the nation. The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, in partnership with the Foundation for California Community Colleges (FoundationCCC), recently announced that the $100 million pledge will help eliminate regional educational gaps by providing scholarships to students who are well on their way toward a finish-line goal of completing a certificate or degree at a California community college or transferring to a university and emergency financial aid to students facing unexpected financial hardships.
This support is being made possible by a donation from the Jay Pritzker Foundation to the FoundationCCC, which serves as the official nonprofit auxiliary to the California Community Colleges. For the first five years, FoundationCCC will deliver grants to 34 community colleges in the three regions of California with the lowest percentage of adults who have college degrees as identified in the Vision for Success: Strengthening the California Community Colleges to Meet California’s Needs: the Inland Empire, the Central Valley, and the Far North. Mendocino College is part of the Far North region.
Mendocino College will receive up to $125 thousand in the first year, and another $125 thousand in the second year. Because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, 100% of the first year’s grants may be used by colleges to provide students emergency financial aid. In future years, colleges may use the funding to provide a combination of scholarships and some emergency financial aid to students. The funding is being referred to as the Finish Line Scholars Program and it is intended to help cover the estimated true cost of a student’s community college education which includes such costs as textbooks, instructional materials, transportation, housing, childcare, and food.
“Many of our students face barriers to educational success due to a lack of basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, and childcare,” said Tim Karas, Mendocino College President. “This grant will enable many of our low-income students to complete their studies and get into the workforce more quickly, becoming significant contributors to our local economy.”