Scholarship launch announced as part of statewide College Completion Day
A new scholarship offered by the Mohawk Valley Community College Foundation will provide for people who left MVCC short of graduating to return and complete their associate degrees on a full scholarship. The MVCC College Completion Scholarship was announced Oct. 3 as part of MVCC’s celebration of New York State College Completion Day, which was observed at all SUNY community colleges.
The MVCC College Completion Scholarship is supported by the MVCC’s Challenge and Opportunity major gifts campaign. The scholarship provides eligible students with funds needed to finish their studies and graduate.
“The community college degree has tremendous benefits for graduates, in terms of their work readiness, transfer possibilities, and lifelong learning and learning potential,” says Randall J. VanWagoner, MVCC President. “This scholarship will enable more people to take advantage of these benefits. It will help more of our students achieve success and it will equip more people to participate in the economic health of our community.”
To administer the scholarship, the MVCC Foundation reviews student records to identify students who left MVCC requiring 12 or fewer credits to complete associate degrees; had cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher; and who left in good standing two or more years ago.
“We will proactively reach out to the eligible students starting with those who have previously applied for graduation, and invite them to cross the finish line with their degrees,” says Foundation Executive Director Frank DuRoss. “These new scholarship opportunities exist because of the generosity and community spirit of donors to the Challenge and Opportunity campaign, and they’ll lead to new stories of student success.” Scholarship-winning students will receive full tuition and fees, less any applicable financial aid. Up to 25 scholarships will be offered annually. People interested in the scholarship should call (315) 792-5555 for more information.
“Nationally and here in Oneida County, some of the most challenging obstacles on the path to completion are constraints in students’ financial resources,” says VanWagoner. “This new scholarship addresses these obstacles and renews students’ potential to benefit from education.” The U.S. Census Bureau reports that on average, an associate degree holder will enjoy lifetime earnings $400,000 more than a high school graduate without a completed college degree. MVCC estimates that about 250 past students meet eligibility requirements for the new scholarship.
The scholarship launch was just one of today’s activities marking MVCC’s college-wide commitment to completion. Students, faculty and staff signed pledges to completion; participated in advising that let students review their progress toward graduation; wore graduation regalia and alma mater apparel for photos; and viewed a video broadcast and live Q-and-A with completion advocate Isa Adney.
Completion Day is a statewide initiative of SUNY community colleges, established in a proclamation by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. With the motto “Commit, Complete, Compete,” it sends a message to all students that completing an associate degree ensures greater opportunities for transfers, scholarships, and jobs after graduation.
MVCC’s participation is organized by the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. This is the second year that the student leaders of PTK have organized college-wide completion activities. Last year’s programs were recognized by statewide PTK as the exemplary student program in the state.
“We are tremendously proud of how our students have dedicated themselves to spreading the word about the importance of college completion. This initiative exists through our students’ planning, implementation, and creativity,” says Stephen Frisbee, Director of MVCC Libraries and co-advisor to PTK.