July 10, 2019 – San Diego, CA – The San Diego Foundation today announced the award of more than $2.8 million in scholarships to 934 students pursuing higher education during the 2019-2020 school year.

Among the scholarship recipients for the 2019-2020 school year, 52 percent are the first in their immediate families to attend college, and 81 percent are considered low-income students based on Expected Family Contribution data.

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.

“Investing in our students is one of the most important ways we can generate economic opportunity and support upward mobility within our region,” shared Danielle Valenciano, Director of Community Scholarships at The San Diego Foundation. “Today’s students will be the leaders of tomorrow. By supporting them with scholarships we are creating a more inclusive economy and workforce, and building a lifelong connection between San Diego students and the region.”

The scholarships are made possible through support from 146 unique charitable funds at The San Diego Foundation established by donors engaged in the Community Scholarship Program.

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 $33 million to thousands of students.

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.

In alignment with The San Diego Foundation’s commitment to education and the impact of the Community Scholarship Program, The San Diego Foundation also launched the Community Scholars Initiative in 2018, a multi-year partnership that will help hundreds of low-income and first-generation students prepare for, pay for and persist through college.

“We recognize the holistic approach required to help San Diego students succeed in higher education,” explained Danielle. “From closing the financial gap to strengthening academic and community support before they even step foot into their first college classroom, The San Diego Foundation Community Scholars Initiative will ensure more of our low-income and first-generation students have the opportunity to thrive in whatever careers they choose.”

Students interested in scholarships for the 2020-2021 school year will be able to apply beginning December 2019. 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 $1.1 billion to grow a vibrant San Diego region. Learn more on our website, and consider a donation to the Fund for the Future Endowment which supports San Diego community needs for good, forever.


Vince Heald, Beck Ellman Heald, 858-453-9600, vheald@behmedia.com

Justin Nunez, The San Diego Foundation, 336-254-7056, justin@sdfoundation.org