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ACF, college help kids find scholarships

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A packed house of scholarship seekers participated in the third annual Cash for College Scholarship Awareness Night at the Yavapai College Verde Valley Campus in Clarkdale on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

The event, hosted by the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County and the Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona in partnership with Yavapai College, brought together 17 scholarship providers. Students from American Heritage Academy, Camp Verde High School, Mingus Union High School, Sedona Red Rock High School, Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education, Verde Valley School and Yavapai College attended.

Tracey McConnell, director of Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona Affiliates and the area’s regional philanthropic adviser, praised Yavapai College for hosting and providing scholarship resources.

“Through the efforts of the Yavapai College Foundation, more than 100 scholarships have been established to provide assistance to deserving Yavapai College students in a variety of disciplines,” McConnell said. “Yavapai College is key to this, supporting us in so many ways .... We really want to make this so accessible for all of our area students. We want students of all ages to be able to look to the future instead of paying for the past.”

Yavapai College Verde Valley Campus Associate Dean Barb Waak referenced campus dean James Perey, saying, “Dr. Perey always says that no one should have to pay for college. We have so many scholarships. So many of them go unused.” The Arizona Community Foundation is the largest private provider of scholarships in the state.

Through its online scholarship system, students can be matched with more than 90 scholarships.

“There’s not much we can do to reduce the cost of higher education,” Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County Regional Director Carol Chamberlain said. “But we can show students how to make higher education more accessible through financial aid. That’s why we introduced Cash for College two years ago in Prescott and joined with Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona to expand the event to Sedona and the Verde Valley last year.”

According to McConnell, the event highlighted the diversity of opportunities available to students.

“Many people think you either have to have straight A’s or a compelling financial need, but students’ interests and community involvement can be just as valuable in making them eligible for scholarship opportunities,” McConnell said.

Many of the scholarships presented at Cash for College have application deadlines in the early spring. To receive a digital copy of the local scholarship directory provided at the event, contact McConnell at tmcconnell@azfoundation.org and include “Scholarship Directory” in the subject line.

Scholarship providers at Cash for College included the Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona, Arizona State University, Dorrance Scholarship Program, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Grand Canyon University, Northern Arizona University, Northern Arizona Healthcare Foundation, Philanthropic Educational Organization, Prescott College, Rotary Club of Sedona Red Rocks, Rotary Club of the Verde Valley, Sedona Arts Festival, Sedona-Verde Valley Firefighter Charities, Verde Valley Leadership, Yavapai College and Yavapai Symphony.

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