Without the President's Scholars Program, I wouldn't be here.
Without the President’s Scholars Program, Hanford East High School graduate Hayley Munroe says, “some students would give up on college and go straight to work because they can’t afford to pay for the books and tuition.”
Huron’s Filiberto Infante says, “Without the President’s Scholars Program, I wouldn’t be here.”
As top graduates of area high schools, these two students represent the future of our region-a region that is sorely lacking in college graduates. They join more than 400 area youth who have had the chance to complete their first two years of college at virtually no cost.
The recently published book, Measure of America, says, “Among congressional districts, New York’s 14th District, in Manhattan, ranked first, and California’s 20th District, near Fresno, ranked last. The average resident of New York’s 14th District earned over three times as much as the average resident of California’s 20th District, lived over four years longer, and was ten times as likely to have a college degree.”
The report goes on to state that 5.2 percent of the population in the 20th district has a bachelor’s degree and that almost half have less than a high school diploma. Median earnings are $18,616 per year.
But those numbers are improving, in part thanks to the President’s Scholars Program. Of the 205 students who were enrolled at West Hills as President’s Scholars from 2000 through the 2008-2009 school year, 82 percent received a West Hills’ degree or certificate and 62 percent transferred to a four-year school. Of those, 75 percent earned a four-year degree.
When the program started, tuition was $11 a unit. Today it is $46. The scholarship pays for up to 60 units for each student-a potential cost of $2,760, plus each student is provided with $250 a semester for books for four semesters. Bottom line, each student’s scholarship is worth up to $3,760. The number of students is also increasing dramatically since ALL qualified students are accepted into the program.
At the beginning of fall semester 2013, 103 students enrolled to attend West Hills as President’s Scholars. As tuition at UC and CSU continues to increase, more top students are staying close to home for their first two years of college. West Hills is committed to keeping the doors open for those students. But our costs are increasing and we need your help.