The Ventura College Foundation's Jerry Arellano Veteran Resource Center Library Program received $59,000 in new funding to provide textbook stipends to U.S. veteran students attending Ventura College.
Veterans will be given up to $250 per semester for two semesters. To receive the textbook-buying stipend, recipients must donate at least one of their books purchased with the stipend to the Jerry Arellano Veteran Resource Center Library so future students can have access to textbooks at no cost. The library is named after Arellano, a Marine veteran and long-time firefighter including service at Station 32 at Edwards Air Force Base.
The new funding comes from Ventura College Foundation donors who had originally designated their gifts to Veterans Promise, the first program of its kind that enabled U.S. veterans and active-duty military students not using G.I. Bill benefits to attend Ventura College tuition-free during their first year of schooling. Since tuition for these students is now covered by the state, donors agreed to transfer their contributions to pay for veterans' schoolbooks and build the resource center's lending library.
Full time and part-time veteran students can apply for the stipend. The amount is adjusted based on the number of units taken. "We will award these stipends to as many veterans as possible until the funds are exhausted," says Anne Paul King, Executive Director of the Ventura College Foundation. "High textbook costs are often a barrier to attending college. The Veteran Resource Center lending library and textbook assistance program relieves some of the financial stress. It also helps veterans reserve their G.I. Bill benefits for when they transfer to a four-year university."
"Our military, veterans, and their families have sacrificed greatly on our country's behalf. This textbook stipend program is just another way Ventura College can show our appreciation and gratitude. Active military and veterans are an important part of Ventura College's student population," says Dr. Kim Hoffmans, President of Ventura College. "Their dedication to achieving their educational goals is an inspiration."
As of fall 2019, there were 384 veterans enrolled at Ventura College. Ventura College's Veterans Resource Center offers personalized services to veterans, active-duty military, and eligible dependents. Staff members assist with college admission applications and course registration, provide academic counseling, and help students access veteran’s benefits. The center includes a study area with computers, printers, and scanners. The Ventura College Foundation supports veterans through scholarships and to help cover the cost of such items as parking and health fees, textbooks, transportation to and from school, and general school supplies.
For more information about the textbook support program, go to https://venturacollegefoundation.org/veteran-textbooks or call (805)289-6161.