The Scioto Foundation’s UCAN (University/College Access Network) Program, designed to help students in Scioto County and southeastern Ohio plan, prepare and pay for college, has kicked off its 12th year in September. The highly successful strategy encourages participating school districts to take advantage of opportunities to continue building their scholarship endowments through challenge grants and other educational boosts.
In its first 11 years, the UCAN program, with 12 Scioto County and three neighboring school systems participating, has raised a total of $2,528,773.03 in scholarship endowments including the Foundation’s UCAN General Fund. UCAN scholarship awards for that period have added up to $508,072.
Under the current UCAN 3.0 program, the Scioto Foundation has set aside $25,000 per year for a total of $125,000 beginning with the 2018/2019 school year (Year 11) and ending after the 2022/2023 (Year 15) school year. All donations to Scioto County UCAN funds from September 1 through August 31 will be matched. The match ratio will depend upon the amount of donations received. For instance, if $50,000 is contributed, the match will be 50 cents on the dollar.
The Foundation will continue to honor its pledge of a 1:1 match up to $1,000 for five years to all participating UCAN Neighbor Schools.
In year 11, ten out of the twelve Scioto County school districts raised $56,081.96 for their endowments invested at the Scioto Foundation; the match brought the total to $81,083.30. Three school districts, Minford, Notre Dame and Washington-Nile, topped the list with contributions of $10,000, receiving $14,000 or slightly more with the FS match for their invested funds. The Scioto Foundation continues to provide fundraising ideas and support for all UCAN school systems as they try to build their scholarship endowments.
For the college preparedness portion of the UCAN 3.0 plan, the Scioto Foundation will continue to support AP Teacher Education through educational full-tuition stipends for teachers from local districts attending the Ohio University Chillicothe Advanced Placement Summer Institute.
The Foundation will also offer $1,000 mini-grants to local schools for college preparedness activities. These funds are to support/offset costs for students and families and can be used for AP, ACT, Explore, Plan or PSAT exam fees. ACT prep programs, however, must show evidence of student participation and outcome. In addition, the Scioto Foundation provides an additional $1,000 per district to defray the expenses for students to attend a college visit. The $1,000 will pay for transportation/food and expenses to take sophomores and juniors on a scheduled college visit.
The Scioto Foundation holds UCAN awareness activities during the school year. The major event is the annual UCAN Go to College Night, scheduled for 5:30 – 7 p.m. on October 24 at the SOMC Friends Center. Free and open to students, parents, grandparents and guardians, it is designed for young people in grades 7 – 12. More than 40 admissions representatives from colleges, universities, career centers/technical institutions and the military will be available to provide information about post-secondary education.
Christy Wilcox, the Scioto Foundation’s new UCAN Advisor, will visit students in schools throughout Scioto County and neighboring UCAN school districts in Manchester, Wellston and Jackson Counties throughout the year. She will counsel seniors primarily and juniors at times about numerous aspects of preparing for college and other post-secondary education opportunities.
The Scioto Foundation offers over $400,000 in scholarship awards to local students each year. Applications for 2020 will be on-line at www.sciotofoundation beginning in mid-December and the deadline for completing all scholarships will be March 16, 2020.
Additional information about the UCAN 3.0 program, as well as topics like paying for college and finding available scholarships, may be obtained by contacting Ginnie Moore, Coordinator, Grants and Scholarships or other Scioto Foundation staff at (740) 354-4612.
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