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CCC Launches Finish Line Scholars Program

October 23, 2020

College graduates throw caps in the airA philanthropic gift of $100 million dollars to the Foundation for California Community Colleges (CCC) will provide scholarships and emergency assistance to students struggling to stay enrolled during the current health and economic crisis, the CCC Chancellor’s Office announced.

The gift is considered historic in size and may be the largest single act of philanthropy for a community college system in the United States. It is also a perfect example of how the California Community Colleges and its partners can collaborate to serve students that face financial barriers to completing their academic pathways.

In alignment with goal six of the Vision for Success — to close regional achievement gaps — the newly created Finish Line Scholars Program will be available to CCC students in regions with the lowest percentage of adults who have college degrees. The program was made possible by a 20-year commitment from the Jay Pritzker Foundation, a private organization known for supporting educational institutions.

“This grant will enable thousands of low-income students to complete their studies and begin their climb up the economic ladder,” said Tom Epstein, President of the CCC Board of Governors. “We’re grateful for the generosity of the Jay Pritzker Foundation and the fine work of Foundation for California Community Colleges in collaboration with other community college foundations and Chancellor Oakley.”

The first year, program funds will be distributed as emergency aid to help students struggling with short-term financial hardships. In future years, scholarships of up to $18,500 per student per year will help those who are halfway to completion reach the finish line of their goal, whether that is to complete a certificate or degree, or transfer to a university.

Grants of up to $150,000 will be made annually to 34 eligible colleges in three regions, including:

  • Far North: Butte College, College of the Redwoods, College of the Siskiyous, Feather River College, Lassen College, Mendocino College, Shasta College

  • Central region: Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso Community College, Clovis Community College, College of the Sequoias, Columbia College, Fresno City College, Madera Community College, Merced College, Modesto Junior College, Porterville College, Reedley College, San Joaquin Delta College, Taft College, West Hills College Coalinga, West Hills College Lemoore

  • Inland Empire: Barstow College, Chaffey College, College of the Desert, Copper Mountain College, Crafton Hills College, Moreno Valley College, Mt. San Jacinto College, Norco College, Palo Verde College, Riverside City College, San Bernardino Valley College, Victor Valley College