The Maricopa Colleges Faculty Foundation was established to provide funds for students in need in the form of one-time emergency grants and academic scholarships. The one-time grants are based on need and are used to help students overcome unforeseen financial circumstances that might affect their education. MCFF distributes scholarships to students able to prove enrollment in any of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges, at least six credits, and a GPA of 2.5.
The foundation provides $250 or $500 scholarships to students in both the spring and fall semesters. Applications for the Spring 2018 semester are due by November 15th. Applications and requirements can be found on the MCFF website. Emergency grants are one-time scholarships of up to $500 that are granted to students enrolled in the Maricopa district. These grants are intended to help students who might have to drop out due to unforeseen circumstances.
Barry Vaughn, President of the MCFF said about the program, “Our philosophy is any Maricopa student with a financial need is a student worthy of assistance. We don’t care how old you are. We don’t care what your GPA is. We don’t care if you’re documented or undocumented.” The MCCF relies on faculty to assess need and confirm that students are enrolled. Students are not encouraged to contact the MCFF directly.
Vaughn discussed why the MCFF relies on faculty, “If a student sends me an email…I don’t know if this person is a genuine student or not. I don’t know this person from Adam…It also creates a strong bond between that faculty member and that student because everybody is now in the loop. It’s not just some faceless organization.”
Once approved emergency aid is usually distributed within 24 hours. In testimonials Tylon Williams and other students expressed gratitude for the scholarship fund. Williams said, “This scholarship fund has allowed me to stay in school, when otherwise I would have not been able to do so. With my bills, kids, and the loss of my mother, my situation went from bad to worst very quickly, I am so glad there are programs like such in place for people in my situation the fund is truly a blessing.” Needs range from rent, to utilities, even essential school items like books and transportation.
Hazel Brown expressed her gratitude for her emergency grant, “I would like to thank the Maricopa Colleges Faculty Foundation for the $131.00 emergency grant to help pay to get a new alternator for my truck. Without this I would have not been able to afford to fix my truck and therefore I also would have not been able to get to school. Now my truck is fixed and my schooling can continue.” The MCFF was established as a 501(c)3 charitable organization after faculty members in 2007 when the MCFF noticed a common need among their students. Funds are raised for students mainly through faculty donations and fundraisers.
The most successful of these fundraisers is the book drive. Faculty members are encouraged to send their unwanted textbooks to the faculty association. The books are then sold to provide funds to support emergency grants and scholarships. The MCFF has grown substantially since 2007. In 2016 the foundation awarded over $7,000 in scholarships and emergency grants and could raise over $8,000 for their programs. Individuals are invited to make donations to the MCFF through single donation, monthly sustained support or by using Amazon Smile.