Contact: Linda Wallace, 215-751-8082, email@example.com
Annette John-Hall, 215-751-8021, firstname.lastname@example.org
December 1, 2016– Community College of Philadelphia has awarded second-year students Villisia Betterson and Evelyn Jackson OneMain Financial Completion Scholarships, enabling them to complete degrees in Business Administration in December 2016.
“More than anything OneMain Financial has given me opportunity,” said Betterson, who plans to attend Temple University or Pierce College next year.
“At one point I believed that I would not be able to further my education until I finished helping my children achieve their goals in fulfilling their own academic success. Thanks to the OneMain Financial Scholarship, I am able to work on my goals of getting my education while still helping my children achieve theirs.”
The scholarship, funded by OneMain Financial and administered in five community colleges by Achieving the Dream, provides $3,000 to students who may need the funds to complete their degree. Achieving the Dream works to promote access to quality education and opportunity.
For Evelyn Jackson, the scholarship did that, and more. “Receiving this scholarship from OneMain Financial has changed my life, when I needed help the most. This scholarship enabled me to purchase all my books and a reliable laptop at the most pivotal point in my education,” she said.
“This scholarship widens and extends the path to possibilities for students,” said Dr. Donald Guy Generals, president of Community College of Philadelphia. “It recognizes their hard work and dedication, and provides our students with the extra financial support needed to excel in their final push towards completion."
“OneMain believes in the power of education to improve the economic wellbeing of students and their families,” said Sheldon Caplis, Director of Community relations at OneMain Holdings, Inc. “We are pleased to support deserving students at the colleges participating in the Scholarship program and help them reach their career goals.”
According to Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them, a 2009 report by Public Agenda, six in 10 community college students work more than 20 hours a week, and more than a quarter work more than 35 hours a week. The report also notes that more than 50 percent of those who left higher ed before completing a degree or a certificate said that the “need to work and make money” while attending classes is the major reason they left.
Betterson, who returned to school in January 2015, is a widow with three children. Her youngest son who is now a freshman at Mansfield University finds his inspiration in watching her drive, determination, focus, and commitment to her studies. Betterson enjoys volunteering at her church bookstore and serves as the 2nd President for the Veteran’s Club at Community College of Philadelphia.
Jackson is achieving her degree after 20 years of a series of life challenges. An active member in her community; Jackson is passionate about her opportunities to mentor and currently participates in the College’s L.E.A.D.S. (Leadership, Education, Achievement, Diversity, Success) program helping teenagers develop their own leadership abilities.
Community College of Philadelphia was selected through a competitive process to participate in the Scholarship program, based in part on its recognition of the financial challenges students face on their journeys to completing their studies and commitment to finding additional strategies to help them.
“I hear incredible stories all the time about students making hard choices in order to continue their studies, including skipping meals, rationing gas money and picking schedules to minimize the cost of trips to campus,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, President and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “I’m so pleased to be working with OneMain Financial and Community College of Philadelphia to remove financial hurdles that could have stopped exceptionally dedicated students from completing their degrees.”
According to the College Board’s Trends in College Pricing 2015, the average tuition and fee for students at public community colleges was $3,435. However, this figure represented only 20 percent of the annual budget of students who pay for off campus housing. Other costs include transportation, food, and child care.