Harford Community College (HCC) uses philanthropy in assisting students who might be experiencing financial issues – short- and long-term –to be able to pursue an education, according to the vice chair of the college’s foundation.
“Philanthropy has become more necessary to the mission of higher education,” Eric McLauchlin told Harford trustees at a recent meeting.
A large portion of the Harford Community College Foundation’s student services comes in the form of scholarships, McLauchlin told the Baltimore Sun.
“Even though Harford’s tuition is reasonable, we find there are still students who need assistance and face great financial need in things like tuition and fees and books,” McLaughlin said. “We find that removing obstacles for students also enhancing opportunities on campus, that’s they why.”
Raising money to help these students resonates with donors, and the foundation works with the College and Alumni Development Office to raise money for those funds, McLauchlin said.
The Harford foundation has a student emergency assistance fund for temporary financial problems outside of tuition, fees and book costs that could require a student to miss class, such as a car repair, gas or food.
Harford students can apply for a one-time scholarship per academic year from the foundation of up to $500, McLauchlin said, adding that the applications are reviewed at a fast rate.
Faculty and staff at Harford can also direct students to the foundation scholarship applications if they discover they’re in need of financial assistance.
In the past several years, the foundation has made $30,000 available for grants and $550,000 available since 1994, McLauhlin said.
The foundation raises funds for scholarships in several ways. A significant fundraiser from last year’s total fundraising efforts was Illuminate, a one-night celebration of the 60th anniversary of the community college. Illuminate produced $70,000 for the foundation, according to Denise Dregier, director for College and Alumni Development Office.
The Harford foundation also produces around $125,000 from regular events throughout the year, such as a summer golf tournament, the Winter Wine Expo, a 5K race and the annual ATHENA Awards, Dreiger said.
The foundation received approximately $700,000 in planned donations over the last two years, which secures the future of Harford, Dreiger said.
Last year, Dreiger said, the foundation provided scholarships to over 700 students. The Harford foundation awards approximately $400,000 to students in scholarships.
The future goals of the foundation are to put $30,000 from the 5K to support student-athlete scholarships, commit $50,000 in new scholarships and establish a fundraising strategy to support Harford’s strategic plan and its satellite campus.