In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Santa Rosa Junior College disbursed a record total of $30 million in aid to students for the 2020-21 academic year and is currently on track to meet or exceed that total in 2021-22.
Funding comes from the federal Pell Grant, the California College Promise fee waivers and grants, Cal Grants, Student Success Completion Grants, federally funded emergency grants, the SRJC Doyle Scholarship, and nearly 1,400 SRJC Foundation scholarships and program funds supported by community donors.
SRJC President Dr. Frank Chong credits the SRJC financial aid staff with ensuring students were able to access funds. The financial aid department increased outreach efforts, offered virtual workshops, and provided personalized, remote support services for students. “We are grateful and proud to be providing a record amount of funding to students during these difficult times,” he said. “Our students have shown resilience in continuing their education throughout the pandemic and our incredible team in financial aid has worked tirelessly to ensure they receive the funds they need to pursue their goals.”
Students who plan to attend college in fall 2022 can still complete their 2022-23 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA). Funding is available from the Pell Grant (up to $6,495/year), the Cal Grant (up to $6,000/year), hundreds of scholarships, and more. By applying for the FAFSA or CADAA, students are automatically considered for the Doyle Scholarship (up to $1,700/year), a generous scholarship opportunity available only at SRJC. Through SRJC for Free, first year students attending SRJC full-time can receive free tuition regardless of income, saving the average family $2,200.
Student Erin Mitchell said, “Education is the way out of poverty. Without financial aid and the Cal Grant, I wouldn’t be able to finish my final semester at SRJC.”
Due to an expansion of the California Community College Cal Grant Entitlement program, students have more time to apply for financial aid, beyond the priority March 2 deadline. Because of this change, over 1,000 students who applied after the deadline last year still received a Cal Grant for fall 2021 and spring 2022.
SRJC also partners with the California Student Aid Commission, local community organizations, and high schools to offer Cash for College Workshops to help students through the application process. For a schedule of events visit http://santarosa.edu/cash.