The CCS Foundation is awarding over $600,000 in scholarships to more than 500 students at the Community Colleges of Spokane for the 2017-18 academic year.
Students attending Spokane Falls and Spokane Community College receive funds ranging from $500 to full tuition of $4,000 per year. Recipients were chosen from more than 1,500 applicants based on financial need, academic merit and challenges overcome.
“These scholarships are truly life changing for our students,” says Heather Beebe-Stevens, CCS Foundation executive director. “It serves both as validation of their desire to pursue their education and provides financial relief so they can stay in school and pursue their goals.”
Forty-seven percent of CCS Foundation scholarship applicants are first generation college students (neither parent attended college), 57 percent are non-traditional students returning to school, and 11 percent are currently or formerly homeless. “Our students are not your stereotypical college students,” Beebe-Stevens continues. “They face a vast array of obstacles that have the potential to throw them off-track, so we are doing everything we can to give them the resources they need to complete their dreams of education, training, and successful careers.”
In the past three years, the community’s generous support has allowed the CCS Foundation to increase the amount of scholarships awarded by more than 20 percent. In addition to the $600,000 in traditional scholarships, the Foundation also provides more than $60,000 annually in emergency aid to students to ensure financial setbacks don’t deter them from completing their education.
Each year, more than 30,000 students attend the Community Colleges of Spokane and many need financial support to make their education possible. Since 2014, the number of applications for Foundation scholarship assistance has tripled. While this has increased the caliber of students who receive support, it also means that many deserving students receive no assistance, due to lack of funds. The Foundation welcomes financial gifts of any amount to help support student needs.