Promise Article

March 2006, Student Voice

Foundation removes barriers with scholarship opportunities

David Arias
Staff writer

The cost of tuition at Ventura College no longer has to be a barrier for incoming low-in come students after the Ventura College Foundation approved a scholarship program for new high school graduates.

The program called Dare to Dream: VC Promise, would waive the cost of tuition for the first full year, a savings up to $312.00 for someone who is a full time student with 12 units per semester.

“We believe that money should not be a barrier,” said Ventura College President Dr. Robin Calote. “Every high school senior should be able to attend college. Education is an important aspect in our society.”

Members of the Ventura College Foundation approved the proposal earlier this month and are planning on starting the “promise” as soon as the classes for summer of 2006 start. Members of the Foundation, including Dr. Calote, designed the program because they believed that they would be able to help break the barrier for low and middle income high school students and to help show pride for the communities in the Ventura College area.

The new program states that all graduating high school seniors from the Ventura College service area whose family incomes fall below $50,000 per year will be eligible for free enrollment the first year of attendance at Ventura College. High School seniors will need to fulfill five requirements in order to be considered eligible for the program. In order to qualify they must:

1) Graduate high school
2) Identify an education goal, such as transfer to a four- year college or earn an associate’s degree
3) Take the college’s assessment exams
4) Meet with a Ventura College counselor to help chart out the first year
5) Meet with the Ventura College Financial Aid office to establish whether or not they qualify for the BOG (Board of Governor) waiver.

The cities of Ventura, Santa Paula, Fillmore, Ojai, Piru, and Camarillo are listed under the Ventura College service area. The Ventura College Foundation is committing $500,000 to this new program for just two years, but the foundation members are hoping that the private citizens will help support this idea in order for it to stay for years to come.

Students who have already graduated and are outside the service area can still apply for many of the existing scholarships that are offered through the foundation.

Established in 1981, the Ventura College Foundation raises funds through charitable donations to provide scholarships and grants to students at Ventura College. Over the years, the foundation has raised more than $15 watch capitalization mil lion in support for Ventura College. The VC Marketplace, where vendors pay a certain fee where they can rent space in order to display their items on sale, that is held every Saturday and Sunday plays a major role with creating a relationship with the school and the community. The proceeds help bring money to the college for the school and its students.