Santa Rosa Junior College has launched a scholarship directed specifically at new college students and those who have left the campus for at least a year.
The Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation is offering $52,500 in scholarships — $350 apiece for 150 students — for the spring semester. The new, one-time award is in addition to the nearly $1.2 million the foundation gives out annually in scholarships.
"They saw a need for brand new students coming in, so they designated that $50,000 plus for new and returning students," said Rachael Cutcher, manager of the school's scholarships programs. "We don't really have a lot of awards in the spring."
To be eligible, students must be new to Santa Rosa Junior College this spring, or returning after a hiatus of at least one year with a grade point average of 2.0 in SRJC classes. Students must enroll in at least 12 units by Jan. 11 and apply for the scholarship between Jan. 13-17.
Enrollment for the spring semester has begun and classes start Jan. 13.
The new program comes in the wake of the return of the Doyle Scholarship last August after a five-year hiatus. In the fall semester, 700 Doyle Scholarships of $700 each were awarded for the 2013-14 school year, Cutcher said.
The new awards will prohibited from being used on per-unit fees, but they can be applied to health care fees, parking, books and other ancillary costs of attending college.
"This scholarship is really intended to cover that gap, to remove all financial barriers for school," Cutcher said.
At $46 per credit, the cost to attend community college in California is the lowest in the nation.
More than 40 percent of junior college students in California and at Santa Rosa Junior College receive Board of Governor Fee Waivers which exempt students from per-credit fees. State community college leaders are expected to vote in January on a proposal to link those waivers to grades.