Promise Articlee

Sunday, Dec. 31. 2006, The Ventura County Star

Ventura College Foundation to pay first-year fees

Looking for a perfect gift for a loved one, particularly for those teenagers in the house? While we cannot help you get your hands on a Play Station 3, the Ventura College Foundation is announcing a new program that will lighten the strain on the wallets of every parent of a graduating high school senior or someone receiving his or her GED this year within the Ventura College service area: your student's first year of college enrollment fees paid for — in full — regardless of your household income.

This program is available to December 2006 grads (for the spring 2007 semester) and to 2006-07 grads for summer and fall enrollments. Students can enroll beginning in the fall, spring or summer depending on when they complete their graduation or GED requirements. There is no minimum or maximum number of units that must be taken, and no minimum grade-point average or assessment score that must be met. The Ventura Promise is designed:

— To remove the economic barriers to education for graduating high school seniors and those receiving their GED.

— To improve the college-going rate in the Ventura College service area.

— To enhance the quality of the work force in the Ventura College service area.

— To reflect the civic pride of the communities in the Ventura College service area.

Under the Ventura Promise, all graduating high school seniors in the Ventura College service area (Ventura, Santa Paula, Fillmore, Ojai, Piru and Camarillo), regardless of family income, will have their enrollment fees covered during their first year of attendance at Ventura College. This same promise applies to students who have successfully completed their GED requirements and those who have completed the coursework for high school but have not yet passed their exit exam.

Expenses covered by the Ventura Promise include the per-unit cost of classes, the health fee, the Student Center fee and the cost of an Associated Student Body card.

Ventura College and the Foundation are proud to partner with committed local companies to assist students. The first partners are the Associated Students at Ventura College, the Gene Haas Foundation and the Star in Education program with the Scripps Howard Foundation. (Scripps Howard is the parent company of The Star.)

To qualify, the applicant must:

— Identify an educational goal.

— Take the college's assessment examination.

— Work with a Ventura College counselor to develop an education plan.

— Complete a financial aid application (FAFSA).

The Ventura College Foundation was founded in 1985 and is dedicated to "the support and enhancement of the student educational experience at Ventura College through fundraising activities that provide scholarship to students, grants to staff and funds for special college projects." With current assets in excess of $6 million, since its inception, the Foundation has contributed more than $5 million to Ventura College and its students.

Currently, the Foundation provides more than $450,000 per year in scholarships and nearly $600,000 in program and capital support to Ventura College.

Donors to the Ventura College Foundation take pride in the fact that their gifts have helped to create a very special environment for learning that reflects the characteristics of our community and our students. Over its history, the Foundation has raised more than $12 million in private support for Ventura College. Though Ventura College receives state funding, that funding falls far short of actually covering the costs incurred in providing educational opportunities for more than 12,500 students.

For additional information or to apply for the Promise, contact the Ventura College Foundation at 654-6461. Have a happy new year!

— Robin Calote, Ed. D., is president of Ventura College. Tom Anthony is chairman of the Ventura College Foundation and executive vice president of first California Bank.

Ventura Promise information
For more information about the Promise program or other scholarships, call the Ventura College Foundation at 654-6461 or log on to http:// www.venturacollege.edu, and click on "Ventura Promise" and "College Foundation." Classes start Jan. 8 and there is an extended time to register.