The Koret Foundation in San Francisco has announced that it will award more than $9.5 million to nine Bay Area colleges and universities over the next five years in support of the Koret Scholars program.
Launched in 2016 on eight campuses, the program aims to help first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented minority college students from the Bay Area overcome barriers to college persistence and completion — barriers that have been exacerbated by the impacts of COVID-19. With the new funding, the program will be able to award nearly two thousand scholarships to students at greatest risk of dropping out of school before they earn a degree, including veterans and former foster youth. According to the foundation, the funds are especially important now, as many students have lost access to on- and off-campus jobs they need to help pay for tuition and a growing number are in need of assistance with food, basic needs, and technology for distance learning.
The recipients of the funds include UC Berkeley ($2 million), Santa Clara University ($1.9 million), UC Davis ($1.25 million), Sonoma State University ($1 million), UC Santa Cruz ($950,000), the University of San Francisco ($740,000), San Jose State University ($660,000), CSU Monterey Bay ($532,000), and City College of San Francisco ($500,000). Each university will be responsible for designing its own program model, with the funding from the foundation typically taking two forms: general scholarship support and funding for high-impact learning opportunities such as mentorships or lab experiences.
"The Koret Scholars program provides several types of scholarship support for the most vulnerable students, helping ensure that they have the resources they need to succeed in their studies and graduate with access to productive employment, financial stability, and social mobility," said Koret Foundation president Michael Boskin. "Students and institutions in the Bay Area were already facing a financial strain before the COVID-19 crisis, and now these scholarships are even more important so university can create greater access to quality education for these young people at this most trying time."