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JCCC Updates: The impact of a scholarship at JCCC

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By Emma Swinney, Public and Media Relations Coordinator

Cost and fear of taking on student loan debt are the top deterrents that keep people from pursuing a college degree. According to a 2024 survey by New America, 49% of students who leave community college without a degree or certificate do so because they need to work. Nearly a third of students said they stopped pursuing their program because it became too expensive to continue.

Students who take out loans also report delaying at least one major life event because of their student loan payments. A Gallup poll from last month found that 71% of all enrolled college students and previously enrolled student who stopped before completing their coursework say they have delayed things like buying a home or a car, moving out of their parent’s home, starting a business, or having children because of their student loans.

At JCCC, we’ve witnessed the transformational power of a scholarship on a student’s life and the lives of their loved ones. Scholarships reduce the out-of-pocket costs associated with college and help students continue their education — and that education opens up a world of possibilities.

In the 2023-2024 academic year, the Johnson County Community College Foundation provided over $3.3 million in scholarships and direct assistance to help students achieve their educational goals. In the 2023 academic year, 80% of JCCC students who completed degrees or certificates graduated with no student loan debt.

Isabella’s story

JCCC student Isabella Jeffress is the mother of a 1-year-old daughter. During the fall semester, she tried online learning but struggled to simultaneously care for her daughter and focus on her own studies. Jeffress applied for scholarships through the JCCC Foundation, worried that without assistance, she wouldn’t be able to pay for classes and complete her degree program.

She also applied for the Child Care Access Fund scholarship, which covers 75-95% of childcare costs through the state-licensed and nationally accredited Hiersteiner Child Development Center (HCDC) on JCCC’s campus. “When I received the scholarship, I was overjoyed,” said Jeffress. “It not only allowed me to take more classes and advance my career but is also helping educate my daughter, too.”

Jeffress’s daughter loves going to the HCDC, and Jeffress loves being just 5 minutes away from her while she attends classes at JCCC. She said, “To my donor, thank you, you have made so much possible for my little family.”

Get involved with the JCCC Foundation

The JCCC Foundation is the fundraising arm of the College. It raises funds for scholarships that help to ensure access to education for all students. Scholarships and student support funded through donations to the JCCC Foundation include:

Student needs continue to outpace the scholarship funds available. To support education and strengthen the Johnson County community, consider attending one of the many events the JCCC Foundation hosts that support students each year. Upcoming events include:

May 11 @ 8 p.m. – George Thorogood and the Destroyers Concert

  • Guitar and rock-and-roll legend George Thorogood and the Destroyers will perform at the Midwest Trust Center; ticket proceeds support student scholarships. To learn more and purchase tickets visit jccc.edu/george.

June 20 @ 4 p.m. – Summer Sips and Scholarships

  • Join us in June for the second annual Summer Sips and Scholarships social event on JCCC’s beautiful campus! Bring your friends and come prepared to meet new ones, enjoy food and beverages prepared by the students of JCCC’s Wylie Hospitality and Culinary Academy, and hear inspiring student stories.

August 23 @ 6 p.m. – Harvest Dinner

  • Enjoy three mouth-watering courses crafted with fresh, flavorful produce from JCCC’s Open Petal Farm and other nearby producers.  This year talented culinary creator and JCCC program graduate Chef Vincent Paredes from The Farmhouse KC will prepare the menu. This event sells out fast! Tickets go on sale June 3.

Supporting the JCCC Foundation helps students in our community wish, dream and do. To learn more about more ways to give, visit jccc.edu/foundation.