MARIETTA, OHIO–Earlier this year, when the Washington State Community College Foundation began collecting applications for scholarships, it was apparent the need was greater than the funds available. Prioritizing student support, the Foundation has worked to connect donors and students in a meaningful way to make the strongest impact on both groups. The success they’ve had thus far has the organization hopeful that the giving season will bring even greater student support.
In the spring, the WSCC Foundation was faced with the fact that applications increased by 119 percent from the previous year for need-based and program-specific scholarships. “Niche scholarships saw significant increases in applications,” said WSCC President Dr. Vicky Wood, citing the scholarships for single mothers and students who have been adopted or in the foster care system as specific examples. She said in 2018 only four single mothers applied for the scholarship. In 2019 that number grew by nearly five times while the applications for students adopted or in the foster care system increased six-fold.
Wood cited that more than 40 percent of WSCC students who receive financial aid have annual household incomes of $30,000 or less. “Our scholarships support the success of students who want to change their lives and their families’ lives. It’s a true opportunity to advance our community as we move students from poverty to prosperity,” she acknowledged.
“Every year, the WSCC Foundation plays a critical role in the success of hundreds of Washington State students,” said Wood. “However, with the need we were facing, we knew we had to do more and I’m so proud of the response we’ve received from our community.”
Throughout the year, Wood and the Foundation Board of Directors have been working with donors to establish scholarships that reach specific groups for which donors have an affinity. “Not only are we growing our scholarships and support to students, but we are creating opportunities for our donors to connect with the students they support so their gifts have a more meaningful impact,” Wood explained.
Recently, the Foundation established three of these uniquely designed scholarships, The A.D. Heddelson Family Scholarship, the Morgan County Scholarship, and the Hellenic House WSCC2MC Scholarship.
The A.D. Heddelson Family Scholarship provides for the cost of full tuition, fees and books for two students annually. It was established anonymously by a member of the A.D. Heddelson family who were farmers in the community of New Matamoras, Ohio. Consistent with the donors’ belief that a person’s most important legacy is having made a lasting difference in another person’s life, this scholarship continues the Heddelson family’s long-standing tradition of giving back to their community.
Recipients must be a graduate of Frontier High School (Washington County, Ohio) or resident of the Frontier High School District with GED certification; be enrolled in an Engineering and Industrial Technology associate degree program, and demonstrate financial need not met by other grants and scholarships. The scholarship will be awarded annually to cover the complete costs of tuition, fees, and books
The Morgan County Scholarship is an endowed scholarship that was established by Christopher Penrose, Distinguished Alumnus of WSCC and member of the Foundation Board of Directors, and Nicola Penrose. The scholarship was created to enhance the educational opportunity for the residents of the Penroses’ home community of Morgan County, as well as a way to recognize and support Christopher Penrose’s alma mater.
To be eligible, recipients must be a resident of Morgan County, Ohio, demonstrate significant need not met by other grants and scholarships, and be in good academic standing.
Hellenic House, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides housing for Marietta College students, recently contributed $5,000 to support WSCC2MC students. WSCC2MC is a dual admission program with Marietta College that provides a clear transfer pathway to MC with an exclusive scholarship that makes a private, four-year degree more accessible.
“Student success forms the foundation of everything we do at Washington State and it is directly impacted by the support we provide. The contributions we’ve received make a powerful statement to our students that our community believes in them,” attested Wood. “As we enter the giving season, we believe our community will continue to support our efforts to improve the lives of our students.”