The California Community Colleges Finish Line Scholars Program supports students to ensure they stay on track with their education and complete a degree, certificate, or transfer to a four year college or university.
The program is intended to help eliminate regional educational gaps through distribution of emergency financial aid to students facing unexpected hardships and scholarships to students who are well on their way toward a finish line goal of transferring to a college or university or completing a certificate or degree.
The Jay Pritzker Foundation has pledged $100 million, over a span of 20 years, to support this program. For the first five years, starting in 2020, scholarships and emergency financial aid will be distributed to students through 34 colleges that are in the three regions of California with the lowest percentage of adults who have college degrees: the Inland Empire, the Central Valley, and the Far North.
Focusing on these regions aligns with goal six of the California Community College system’s strategic plan, Vision for Success: Strengthening the California Community Colleges to Meet California’s Needs. That goal is to eliminate regional gaps in higher education achievement. These regions have the lowest rates of educational attainment of adults. They also have a high percentage of students without access to broadband, students living below the poverty line, high school students who receive free or reduced price lunch, and other factors that make them a priority. Increasing the number of people who have a college education in these regions will help decrease poverty and increase local opportunities.
The full pledge of $100 million over 20 years is expected to be the largest philanthropic support for community colleges in the nation to date. Charitable gifts can connect students and colleges to urgently-needed funds that help increase economic and social mobility for Californians, and combat income inequality in California’s communities. If you are interested in making a gift, please contact the Foundation for California Community Colleges at firstname.lastname@example.org.