Make a gift to change someone's life.

You can establish a scholarship that reflects your values and interests or honors a loved one. And by helping our students offset the cost of higher education, you can create a positive, lasting impact in a student's life.

Jack Pease with scholarship students

The Need is Real

While it's far less expensive to attend a community college than it is a four-year university, without significant financial assistance, community college remains out of reach for many students from low-income backgrounds.

Our scholarships typically range from $1,000 - $5,000 and are designed to offset some of the costs associated with attendance. The most expensive aspect of attending community college in Silicon Valley is the cost of living. Many of our students work while attending school to cover rent and basic needs. Carrying a full-time course load while working enough hours to make ends meet is quite difficult.

A significant number of our students are also former foster youth, veterans, homeless, food-insecure, or face some combination of these challenges. Many are also major contributors to their household budgets or the first in their families to attend college. The fact that these students are also pursuing higher education is a testament to the magnitude of their ambition and drive. Scholarships alleviate some of the financial burden students face so they can focus on their academic and long-term career goals.

Establish a Named Scholarship

The West Valley-Mission Foundation offers donors two ways to establish a Named Scholarship: Expendable Scholarships (listed below) and Endowed Scholarships.

Expendable Scholarships

With a named Expendable Scholarship, your donation will be distributed in that year’s Scholarship Cycle. The minimum donation for a named expendable scholarship is $1,500. Donations must be made year after year if you wish to continue offering your named scholarship. 

What's the First Step?

Contact our team to let us know you are interested in establishing a named scholarship. We will walk you through our quick and easy process to confirm the details of your scholarship. You can also start the process by submitting the scholarship inquiry form below.

Frequently Asked Questions about Named Scholarships

Can I meet the student who receives my scholarship?
Yes. Each May, the Foundation hosts an annual Scholarship Celebration luncheon to honor the scholarship recipients and invite donors to meet the students whose lives are touched by their generosity.
Can I set the eligibility criteria for my scholarship?
Yes. Donors who establish named scholarships can determine the selection criteria for their scholarship. Some of the common preferences include setting minimum GPA, a specific course of study, student background, etc. In this way, donors can personalize their donation so that the scholarship reflects their own values and interests.
Can I select the student who receives my scholarship?
No. Aside from setting up the initial scholarship selection criteria, donors are not involved in the scholarship recipient selection process. This helps ensure we avoid all conflicts of interest.
Can I set up a multi-year commitment for my scholarship?
Yes. It is common for donors to establish a scholarship and then sign a multi-year pledge commitment to ensure the scholarship is funded year after year.
Does the Foundation charge any administrative fees?
No. 100% of an expendable scholarship donation is passed on to the scholarship recipients.
Can I make a monthly gift to fund my scholarship?
Yes. Once you establish the parameters of your named scholarship, we can forward you a link to set up a recurring donation with your credit card. This is an easy way to fund your $1,500 scholarship over time.
By when do you need my commitment?
We work with donors year-round to establish new scholarship funds. Each year, we like to have renewal commitments from our scholarship donors by December 31st. This allows us time to promote the scholarship opportunities to students prior to the application process in February-March.
Can I name a scholarship in memory of a loved one?
Absolutely. We help many families establish named scholarships in memory of a loved one. It's quite common and a very meaningful way to honor someone's legacy.
What is the timing of the annual scholarship cycle?
Scholarships are awarded to students in the spring after they complete the standard scholarship application. Scholarships are paid out in the Fall when those students enroll in classes.

Named Endowed Scholarships

With a named Endowed Scholarship, your donation of $25,000 or more creates a scholarship in perpetuity. The original gift principal is invested in the Foundation’s investment fund. The income generated from the investment is used to distribute your annual Endowed Scholarship to students. Based on our investment policies, we aim to distribute annual scholarship awards equivalent to 4% of the endowment's value. For example, an endowment valued at $25,000 produces $1,000 in scholarship support annually. Additional gifts can be made to the endowment over time, and as the value of the endowment grows, so too do the size of the scholarship gifts we distribute. 

A creative soul with a grateful heart.

“Getting the scholarship was freeing. For two full years, I was able to explore and take any class I wanted to without worrying that I would put myself in debt. This exploration led me to my passion, and now I'm working towards a career in animation and illustration. I'm incredibly grateful to the scholarship donors."
- Kate Kanemura

Kate Kanemura