Ventura College Foundation introduces Tuition-Free VC Promise Program

Samuel Ponce just started his first semester as a transfer student at Cal State Northridge.

At its September 26 meeting, Ventura College Foundation board of directors approved funding for a second-year Ventura College (VC) Promise program where Ventura College students can have tuition costs of their second year of academic studies paid for by the foundation. A first-year VC Promise is already in place.

“Our first-year VC Promise began in 2007. It was the first of its kind in the state and a model for other California community colleges,” says Anne King, Ventura College Foundation executive director.

In addition, the foundation, through private donations and proceeds from its Weekend Marketplace, will cover supplemental fees for all VC Promise students.

Because of the new public-private funding, an estimated 1,500 students will now benefit from the expanded first-year VC Promise.

The second-year VC Promise will begin in the 2019-2020 academic year. Students will receive second-year VC Promise support on a first come, first served basis and must meet specific academic and career planning criteria to qualify. An estimated 200 students will be served by adding the second-year Promise program.

“The goal is to remove the financial barriers that keep students from pursuing a college education,” says Dr. Damon Bell, president of Ventura College. “With 70 percent of our students living in low or moderately low-income households, tuition costs make college out of reach for many.”

“This collaborative effort between the Ventura College Foundation and Ventura College will help increase student completion of certificates and degrees,” says Dr. Greg Gillespie, chancellor of the Ventura County Community College District. “Students will then be prepared for transition into careers and transfer programs.”

According to the Ventura College Foundation, VC Promise students are 70 percent more likely to earn a degree or certificate in four years. One example is Samuel Ponce, a 2018 Ventura College graduate and former VC Promise student. He just started his first semester as a transfer student at Cal State Northridge.

VC Promise is also available to veterans, active duty military, and DACA students. For more about VC Promise and the Ventura College Foundation, go to www.VCgiving.org, or call 805-289-6461.

Established in 1983, the Ventura College Foundation provides financial support to the students and the programs of Ventura College to facilitate student success and grow the impact and legacy of Ventura College as a vital community asset. The Foundation also hosts the Ventura College Foundation Marketplace; an outdoor shopping experience held every weekend on the Ventura College campus east parking lot. For more information, contact Anne Paul King at (805) 289-6461 or aking@vcccd.edu.

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