Rodriguez came to the U.S. six years ago and currently lives with his brothers and mother. His parents separated when he was in ninth grade and his father has not helped financially support the family. “One day I told him I wanted to attend college; he told me I was not made to go to college.”
“My journey has not been easy, but I am glad because it has made me the person I am today,” Rodriquez said.
El Centro College was selected to participate in the completion scholarship program through a competitive process, based in part on its recognition of the financial challenges students face in completing their studies and the need for financial interventions that will help ensure their success.
“I hear incredible stories all the time about students making hard choices in order to continue their studies, including skipping meals, rationing gas money and picking schedules to minimize the cost of trips to campus,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, President and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “I’m so pleased to be working with OneMain Financial and El Centro College to remove financial hurdles that could have stopped exceptionally dedicated students from completing their degrees.”
According to the College Board’s Trends in College Pricing 2015, the average tuition and fees for students at public community colleges was $3,435. However, this figure represents only 20 percent of the actual true costs for students when considering housing, transportation, food, and child care.
“OneMain believes in the power of education to improve the economic wellbeing of students and their families,” said Sheldon Caplis, Director of Community relations at OneMain Holdings, Inc. “We are pleased to support deserving students at the colleges participating in the Scholarship program and help them reach their career goals.”
According to Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them, a 2009 report by Public Agenda, six in 10 community college students work more than 20 hours a week, and more than a quarter work more than 35 hours a week. The report also notes that more than 50 percent of those who left higher education before completing a degree or a certificate said that the “need to work and make money” while attending classes is the major reason they left.
For more information on the OneMain Scholarship winners, please contact Dr. Greg Morris, Vice President of Academic Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org