July 3, 2018 – San Diego, CA – The San Diego Foundation today announced more than $2.6 million in scholarships to 876 students pursuing higher education during the 2018-2019 school year. The scholarships are made possible through 143 unique funds established by donors through the Community Scholarship Program at The Foundation.

According to research from the Public Policy Institute of California, only a fraction of students in California capable of earning a degree actually do, and students from underserved communities are greatly underrepresented in colleges and universities. The Community Scholarship Program ensures more San Diego students have the opportunity to accomplish their academic goals.

Among the scholarship recipients for the 2018-2019 school year, 66 percent are the first in their families to attend college, and 76 percent are considered low-income students based on Expected Family Contribution data.

“As the cost of higher education rises, a significant deterrent to pursuing and finishing a degree is affordability,” shared Connie Matsui, Interim Chief Executive Officer at The San Diego Foundation. “The San Diego Foundation Community Scholarship Program helps remove this barrier for San Diego youth and their families, enabling hundreds of students to achieve their educational goals every year.”

The San Diego Foundation Community Scholarship Program is the largest in the region outside of the university system, and provides a variety of scholarships to high school students, current college students, graduate students and adult re-entry students. Since 1997, the program has awarded more than $30.4 million to thousands of students.

In line with The Foundation’s commitment to education and the impact of the Community Scholarship Program, The San Diego Foundation also announced the Community Scholars Initiative in 2018, a multi-year partnership with the College Futures Foundation, Reality Changers and Sweetwater Unified School District that will help hundreds of low-income and first-generation students prepare for, pay for and persist through college. 2018 will be the first year students receive scholarships through the Community Scholars Initiative.

“The scholarship from The San Diego Foundation signifies the key to the door to my success,” noted Galilea Marin of Southwest High School. “Not only will this scholarship uphold the cost of my education, but it will ensure an overall peace of mind and happiness knowing that I have the financial support necessary as the first generation in my family to attend college.”

The San Diego Foundation offers scholarships that support a variety of career paths and backgrounds, including awards for students who want to pursue careers in STEM or the arts, and scholarships for students who come from a foster care background. Scholarships are awarded to students continuing their education at four-year universities, two-year colleges, graduate and trade/vocational schools.

If you are interested in opening a scholarship fund to support students fueling our San Diego economy, please contact Danielle Valenciano, Director of Scholarships, at (619) 235-2300.

About The San Diego Foundation

The San Diego Foundation maximizes the impact of your charitable giving. We mobilize philanthropic resources to advance quality of life, increase social impact and champion civic engagement. For more than 40 years, The Foundation and our donors have granted more than $1 billion to grow a vibrant San Diego region. Learn more on our website, and consider a donation to the Community Scholarship Fund, which helps increase college access and attainment among needs-based students in San Diego County.


Vince Heald, Beck Ellman Heald, 858-453-9600, vheald@behmedia.com
Justin Nunez, The San Diego Foundation, 619-235-2300, justin@sdfoundation.org