Ventura College Foundation Accepting Scholarship Applications

The Ventura College Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications to support awardees in the 2021-22 school year. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2021.

More than 400 scholarships will be awarded to Ventura College students. Students who are currently enrolled at Ventura College and who have successfully completed at least 12 units at the college are eligible. Scholarship amounts range from $1,000 to $4,000 and can be used toward educational expenses incurred while attending Ventura College or a four-year institution, depending on the student's 2021-22 enrollment.

"More than ever, students are under financial strain," says Anne Paul King, Ventura College Foundation executive director. "Students and their families have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. This leaves little money for school expenses. These scholarships can enable students to continue their education."

The foundation offers a variety of scholarships including special ones for students who have taken a break from education but then returned to Ventura College to continue their schooling. Phoenix Scholarships are designed to assist re-entering students who have little or no funds to pay for the cost of their education.

Sarah Hamm, 40, received the Stan Weisel Phoenix Scholarship and the James V. and Idah W. Iliff Memorial Scholarship. A single mother, Hamm graduated from Ventura College in spring 2020 and transferred to UC Santa Barbara. She's majoring in political science.

"Once I became a mother, my protection instinct kicked in," says Hamm. "When I read about the Sandy Hook shooting, I knew I had to work to do everything in my power to help create a safer society for my son and all children. I chose political science to gain knowledge about how our government and society work in order to advance my goal of influencing public policy."

Hamm will go on to earn her Ph.D. after graduating with a B.A. from UC Santa Barbara in 2022. "These scholarships made me feel that others believed in me, and thought I was worth investing in," says Hamm. "Living in an emotionally abusive situation at the time, the encouragement the scholarship awards gave me helped me to believe in myself and my self-worth."

Marco Pretelin, 27, also received Phoenix scholarships: the Ventura College Foundation Phoenix Scholarship and the Bill and Elise Kearney Phoenix Scholarship. Pretelin will graduate after the current semester with an architecture certificate and an associate of science degree.

"Building things has been a dream of mine since I was a kid," says Pretelin. "I work with my dad in his construction business. After graduating, I plan on taking electrical and mechanical courses. My goal is use what I learned from my construction experience and from school, find a house to renovate and flip it."

Pretelin's advice to students is to take the time to fill out the scholarship forms even if they think they won't qualify. "The extra money meant a lot to me," says Pretelin, who has lived on his own and supported himself since he was 18. "The scholarship money is available, so why not? You may be surprised."

Most scholarships are available for any type of study focus. Others are for students enrolled in specific programs such as the school's Paramedic, Certified Nursing Assistant, and Nursing Studies.

Scholarship recipients will be announced in April 2021. Last academic year, the Ventura College Foundation awarded 427 scholarships totaling $699,971, the largest annual scholarship distribution in the foundation's history.

"The foundation's goal is to reduce the financial barriers to education," explains King. "Tuition, college fees, textbook costs and day-to-day living expenses can make a college education prohibitive. Scholarships can make all the difference."

The foundation's scholarships are the result of annual contributions and from established scholarship endowments from r Ventura College Foundation donors.

For more about Ventura College Foundation scholarships and other financial assistance, application dates, scholarship workshops and application forms, go to

Established in 1983, the Ventura College Foundation transforms students' lives through education by providing innovative and vital resources and financial support. The Foundation collaborates with Ventura College to enhance human potential, civic engagement, careers, and academic success of students enabling their effective impact and legacy on the college, local workforce, and our community. The Foundation also hosts the Ventura College Foundation Marketplace; an outdoor shopping experience held every weekend on the Ventura College campus. For more information, contact Julie Harvey at (805) 289-6502 or or visit