TWIN FALLS — By 2020, the College of Southern Idaho Foundation wants to provide financial assistance to 50 percent of CSI’s full-time and part-time students.
The nonprofit organization — which supports CSI students, and college programs and projects — gave a yearly report Monday to the CSI board of trustees.
Last fiscal year — which ended June 30 — the foundation awarded $2.11 million in scholarships to 1,463 students, excluding high school dual credit students. It helped nearly 44 percent of CSI’s full and part-time students.
“The reason we’re here is to support the students at CSI,” executive director Debra Wilson told the Times-News on Nov. 21. The main way the foundation does that is through endowments — investing money and using the earnings to help students pay for their education.
As of June 30, the CSI Foundation had about $40.9 million in assets, according to its report to the CSI board. Since the organization’s inception in 1984, it has awarded $20.6 million in scholarships, and $16.9 million for CSI program and project support.
The foundation’s four employees are on CSI’s payroll and the college donates office space.
Despite a growing amount of money available to help students pay for their education, getting students to apply isn’t easy. Some students take themselves out of the running, Wilson said, because they think their grades aren’t good enough or that it’s too hard to fill out a scholarship application.
Last year, the foundation talked with CSI instructors and encouraged them to push students to apply for scholarships.
“We were noticing that we had more money to give than we had students who were applying for it,” Wilson said.
Foundation scholarships aren’t just for the students with a 4.0 GPA, she said, adding there are scholarships available for students of all GPAs and areas of study. “It’s really getting the students over the fear of applying for it.”
To seek a scholarship, there’s a short online application. “Honestly, it’s easy,” Wilson said. “It takes about 10 minutes to fill out our scholarship application.”
The priority application deadline is March 1 for next school year, but students can apply anytime. “We continually award all year long,” Wilson said.
She said she wants to encourage every student who’s considering CSI to fill out the scholarship application. They may be surprised, she said, by what’s available.