For Samantha Ferriola, Santa Rosa Junior College is shaping up as a far more costly affair the second time around.
In 2006, she enrolled at the school backed by a $1,600 Doyle Scholarship that easily covered books and classes.
Five years later, the Doyle is on hold while fees continue to increase. After rising from $26 a unit to $36 this semester, tuition at SRJC will jump to $46 a unit in the summer — more than double its level when Ferriola first enrolled.
"It's huge," said Ferriola, 22, who returned for a second associate's degree, this time in biology. "I was already looking at next semester thinking &‘I'm not sure how I'm going to pay for that yet.'"
The college is launching a new campaign to help students offset the loss of the Doyle, which was funded by the dividends of Exchange Bank until their suspension in 2008.
With Exchange officials signaling they are unlikely to renew dividends any time soon, the college is seeking donations to the "Bridging the Doyle" scholarship.
Kate McClintock, executive director of the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation, said she's hoping newspaper ads, mailers and outreach by school leaders will help bring in $225,000 by the beginning of the scholarship application cycle in the spring.
"We have so many students needing scholarship support and some kind of financial support to come to the college, it's just incredible," McClintock said.
Rick Call, a SRJC trustee who just completed four years as board president, said he'll be appealing for help at the January meeting of the Sonoma County Alliance.
"We want to promote ourselves and give incentives for people to come to the JC," he said.