Published Oct. 7, 2013
By Ty Beaver, Tri-City Herald
Columbia Basin College Foundation is handing out $830,000 in student scholarships, breaking last year's record-setting amount.
More than 400 students will receive financial aid from the foundation, according to a release, almost 100 more students than received money last year. Foundation and college officials as well as students will recognize donors at the annual scholarship reception Friday.
"It was a surprise, a happy surprise," said foundation CEO Bob Rosselli about the money available for scholarships.
The foundation began in 1984 to help students pay for their education. Scholarship winners are selected based on need, academic performance, involvement in the community and other special considerations, such as whether a student is a single parent or the first in their family to go to college.
The foundation raised $120,000 for scholarships in 2006 and has seen contributions grow ever since.
Rosselli said this year's figure, up from the $560,000 in scholarships handed out last year, is the result of several factors. The foundation received a lot of endowments this year. The past year also has been good for the organization's investments as the stock market continued to recover after the recession.
Individual annual donations also are up. Rosselli said about $100,000 was raised at the foundation's annual banquet in March. That's enough money to provide 50 scholarships of $2,000 each
CBC President Rich Cummins said he recalls the foundation giving out about $200,000 to students when he took the helm of the college five years ago. He told Rosselli that he wanted to reach a half-million dollars within a couple years and the foundation has delivered.
"The impact is huge when you dial it down to the individual student," he said.
The foundation's record amount of giving doesn't include all the financial aid going to CBC students. The college has seen money from outside scholarships steadily increase in recent years.
About $712,000 in outside scholarships already has come in for the current school year, said Erika Davis, program coordinator in the financial aid office. And there still are three terms left of school to go through.
Published with permission of the Tri-City Herald. Additional news stories can be accessed online at the Tri-City Herald.
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