In 2017, the Charitable Foundation nearly tripled its support for students attending the state’s community colleges: from about $150,000 to $437,000. And we are committed to awarding a half-million in support to those students each year for the next four years.
Why? Because our community colleges are key in boosting economic opportunity for New Hampshire families, and key to achieving the goal that 65 percent of New Hampshire adults have a high-value degree or credential by the year 2025.
This increased aid to community college students is a way to prime that 65-by-25 pump. And, very importantly, students who go to college in New Hampshire are more likely to stay and work in New Hampshire, sustaining our communities and our economy in future decades. (Last year, the Foundation awarded a record-high $6 million in scholarships to New Hampshire students studying in all fields, at public and private colleges and universities.)
Our community colleges – in seven locations, From Berlin to Nashua – offer two-year degrees, credential and certificate programs, apprenticeships and dual-admission programs that allow students to transfer all credits to one of New Hampshire’s four-year public colleges or universities. Community College tuition in New Hampshire is about $5,000 a year – which means that even a modest scholarship can go a long way to covering a student’s expenses. Our community colleges truly are an “on-ramp” to opportunity.
Increased aid to students at community colleges is one part of the Foundation’s “New Hampshire Tomorrow” initiative to increase opportunities for New Hampshire’s young people – especially those from struggling families, who do not have the same access to opportunity as their more-affluent peers. New Hampshire Tomorrow investments are focused in four areas: Early childhood development, family and youth supports, substance use prevention, treatment and recovery and education and career pathways (which is where student aid comes in.)
The Foundation’s student aid program also exceeded its goal of directing a half-million each year for five years to students studying at two- and four-year colleges in STEM-related fields. We will continue to support students studying in STEM fields. The Foundation is also supporting students in Running Start programs and other dual-enrollment models that allow students to accrue college credit while still in high school.
Our work is informed by our partners in education and business, who agree that supporting community college students, STEM scholars and alternate pathways are excellent investments to make with scholarship dollars.
We are able to offer this support because generous people and businesses have stepped up to provide new scholarship dollars. We are thankful for their investment in growing New Hampshire’s workforce, and look forward to seeing more students able to enter the workforce with the skills and training that will land them good jobs.
Information on all Foundation scholarships, including deadlines and our online application, is available here.
For information about establishing a scholarship fund to support New Hampshire students, please click here or contact Laura Rauscher, director of philanthropy, at 800-464-6641 ext. 274 or Laura.Rauscher@nhcf.org.