Bernard Osher Foundation
California has always been a place of opportunity—and no institution embodies this promise more than the California Community Colleges. California’s Community Colleges, the largest higher education system in the nation, were created to provide affordable and accessible educational opportunities for all Californians. Today, the system serves nearly 3 million students each year, supplies the majority of the state’s workforce training, and provides a stepping stone for students on the pathway to four-year and graduate degrees.
Two-thirds of California’s first time higher education students begin their academic careers at a Community College.
The goal of the California Community Colleges Scholarship Endowment is to support student success and opportunity by creating a permanent fund for scholarships, offering long-term relief to the rising costs that keep many students from completing their education.
With its historic commitment to the California Community Colleges in 2008, The Bernard Osher Foundation inspired a new trend in community college philanthropy, helping raise awareness of the need to increase scholarship support to California’s community college students.
The Osher Foundation’s lead gift of $25 million established the California Community Colleges Scholarship Endowment, and their commitment of another $25 million in match dollars launched a three-year fundraising campaign to create the largest scholarship endowment for a community college system in the nation.
The California Community Colleges and the Foundation for California Community Colleges raised an additional $28.5 million, spurring $14.2 million in match dollars from The Osher Foundation. The result is a $67.7 million permanent scholarship fund that will provide financial support to over 3,300 students in need every year, forever.