Hundreds ask every year. Current and prospective students approach the Financial Aid office at South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC), looking for help with the cost of tuition.
These students are facing a near 40% increase in tuition since 2009. During the 2012-2013 academic year, tuition and books for a full-time student can exceed $5,000.
Students may opt to fund tuition with part-time jobs, financial aid, student loans, borrowing money from family or taking on credit card debt. But, many students turn to generous donations filtered through the SPSCC Foundation to pay for the costs of their education.
“What it comes down to is that I love school and I am making the most of every day of my life. This is my dream and I thank you for assisting me with it,” remarks a scholarship recipient. When not in school, he is a father to two daughters and maintains a positive attitude even though struggling financially after being laid off from his part-time job.
“During tough economic times, SPSCC students turn to alternative ways of funding their education. Receiving a scholarship removes a financial barrier for a student but also reminds the individual that someone believes in their potential,” says SPSCC Foundation Executive Director, Cecelia Loveless.
Another student, receiving assistance from SPSCC, grew up in Jordan before immigrating to the United States about seven years ago. Facing many obstacles including a significant language barrier, she has adapted to a new environment and is signed on for an associate’s degree with a major in business.
“I chose to continue my college experience at SPSCC, believing it would ease my way through the rest of my education by preparing me with a strong base that I can build on in the future,” comments this student.
While SPSCC students may enter college from many different avenues, it is clear that once enrolled these individuals are focused on bettering their lives and making an impact in the community.
A stay-at-home mom returned to SPSCC after raising two daughters. “All my life, I felt as though I should be giving back to society, passing on what I had received from my elementary teachers. I would like to be a positive role model for children, as my teachers were for me. I am energized in this learning environment and I am happy to be one year closer to achieving my goal to transfer from SPSCC to Saint Martin’s to earn my bachelor’s degree in education,” she says while adding that she is not employed so that she can fully concentrate on school.
“As an older student, I did not feel confident that I would succeed at SPSCC, but I found that I was helped and encouraged by friendly professors and by many kind peers who have all helped me to learn that I can succeed here,” she adds.
Nearly 300 people will gather on Saturday, October 6 at the Harvest Moon Celebration. This event brings donors together to learn more about SPSCC’s initiatives, such as the advancements in technology by adding iPads to the classroom and programs like the Automotive Technology training program.
With a goal of raising $100,000 our community will be supporting people like the three scholarship recipients mentioned above. Scholarship funds directly improve the lives of SPSCC students.