Ventura College Foundation Launches Veterans Promise Program

In an effort to improve the college-going rate among veterans and active duty military in Ventura County, the Ventura College Foundation is helping Ventura College students who are U.S. veteran and U.S. active duty military offset the cost of tuition through the William and Helen Scarpino Veterans Promise Program, a four-year pilot program funded by donors who cover the first-year costs of enrollment fees for qualifying students, allowing these students to reserve their GI Bill for university tuition.

“The William and Helen Scarpino Veterans Promise Program allows us to better assist active duty military and veterans with honorable discharges, to transition into civilian life by helping them further their education and successfully pursue their next career,” said Anne King, Ventura College Foundation executive director.

For the 2017/2018 academic year, the William and Helen Scarpino Veterans Promise Program will award approximately $1,200 to 16 veterans. Applications are accepted from Oct. 1 to 31, and awards will be distributed in January 2018.

To be eligible, students must be U.S. active duty or U.S. veteran (includes U.S. National Guard), a first-time Ventura College student, honorably discharged (if U.S. Veteran) and not currently using a GI Bill. Students must commit to attend Ventura College in both Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters and have completed the FAFSA for the 2017/2018 academic year. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA and successfully complete at least 70 percent of the classes the student originally registered for.

Designed to eliminate economic barriers to higher education, the Promise grant encourages students to further their education and reach their academic goals. According to Foundation staff, 90 percent of Promise students persist to the second semester at Ventura College compared to 70 percent of their non-Promise counterparts. Promise students enjoy greater retention by taking 25 percent more units than non-Promise counterparts and seeking services available to them on campus, including the Foundation’s Lending Library and Scholarship Program.

In addition, the Veterans Resource Center at Ventura College offers a supportive environment and a welcoming campus culture for all veteran students, along with their dependents, and is available to help provide the support needed by veteran students to reach their educational goals.   

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 King at (805) 289-6160 or aking@vcccd.edu, or visit www.venturacollege.edu/foundation.