California high school graduates. Courtesy California Student Aid Commission

The San Diego Foundation Wednesday announced more than $3 million in scholarship awards are available for San Diego students pursuing higher education during the 2021-2022 school year.

Through one online application, students can access the available funds for more than 140 unique types of scholarships — including those for four-year universities, two-year colleges, graduate and vocational schools. Scholarships are available for graduating high school seniors, undergraduates, graduate, medical and professional school students and adult re-entry students.

The scholarships are made possible through the Community Scholarship Program and Community Scholars Initiative at The San Diego Foundation. Both programs are intended to give more San Diego students tools and financial support to continue their education.

“Investing in our students is one of the best ways to expand economic equity and opportunity within our region,” said Danielle Valenciano, director of community scholarships for the foundation. “The San Diego Foundation Community Scholarship Program ensures that more youth in San Diego are setup for success as they persist through college and go on to join the regional workforce.”

According to research from the Public Policy Institute of California, only a fraction of students in California capable of earning a degree actually do, and students from Latino, Black and low-income communities are historically underrepresented in higher education.

A report by California Competes found more than half of San Diegans do not attain an associates or college degree.

“Despite their talent and aspirations, first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students face unique and considerable barriers to achieving their academic dreams,” shared Michelle Jaramillo, director of education initiatives at The San Diego Foundation. “By providing needs-based scholarships and college readiness support, we can help students who are farthest from opportunity to better prepare for, pay for and persist through college.”

The San Diego Foundation Community Scholarship Program has awarded more than $36 million to thousands of students since 1997.

The Common Scholarship Application can be accessed at SDFoundation.org/CSA. The deadline to apply is February 3.

— City News Service

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