CSU Stanislaus to receive $1 million endowment for community college scholarships

California State University, Stanislaus will receive $1 million as its share of a generous gift to the CSU system from the Bernard Osher Foundation for community college transfer student scholarship programs.

The San Francisco-based Bernard Osher Foundation has committed to donate $16 million to support endowed scholarships for California community college students transferring to 15 CSU campuses as part of the foundation's overall $70 million private donation to the state's community college system. CSU Stanislaus will receive a $1 million endowment to provide $2,500 individual scholarships to 20 community college transfer students each year who can use the funds for fees, books, or living expenses.

With 43.9 percent of the students at CSU Stanislaus having transferred from state community colleges, University President Hamid Shirvani said the new scholarship funding will come as a welcome addition to the financial aid program.

"These scholarships will open new doors of opportunity for many community college students who might not otherwise be able to afford to pay their own way in college," Shirvani said. "Since they will be awarded annually, the scholarships will help deserving students who are committed to continue their education and earn four-year degrees at CSU Stanislaus."

Of the 997 students who transferred to CSU Stanislaus from community colleges in Fall 2007, 823 were from two-year colleges in California.

The Osher Foundation was founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a respected businessman and community leader in San Francisco. The Foundation seeks to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts. A special focus of post-secondary scholarship funding to colleges and universities is on financial assistance for students who are re-entering the education system later in life.