Scholars Find College Success

Pairing scholarships and guidance makes a difference for many student

This year, the Foundation awarded 600 scholarships, totaling $1.5 million, to students pursuing their educational goals. Through the generosity of our fundholders and the College Futures Foundation – which partnered with us to launch the Capital Area Promise (CAP) Scholars program – we are helping address inequity in access to higher education locally, the essential aim of our initiative to Prepare Students to Succeed in the New Economy.

Capital Area Promise Scholars at our recent third annual Summer Institute, an immersive, two-day collegereadiness program held each July. See more pictures from the Institute on Facebook.

The CAP Scholars program is fundamental to that effort. The strategic, need-based scholarships we award through the program are designed to close the financial gaps that are often barriers to college success, boosting college enrollment among low-income students.

“Though we are only in the second year of the CAP Scholars program, we are already seeing higher than average college persistence rates for Scholars who were awarded scholarships paired with comprehensive advising services last year,” said Michael Lynch, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Improve Your Tomorrow, one of the CAP Scholars program’s nonprofit partners.

While they are in high school and as they transition into college, many Scholars participate in targeted workshops, classroom presentations, mentorships, and one-on-one meetings with college guides. Our two-day college readiness Summer Institute also helps propel them toward success.

“We have decades of experience awarding scholarships. We know they are an essential piece of success – but often they aren’t enough, which is why an important piece of this program is the combination of multi-year scholarships with additional resources and support,” said Linda Beech Cutler, the Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer.

In 2017, we awarded $300,000 to 120 college-bound Scholars; 115 have applied for renewal as they enter their second year of college.

Learn more about CAP Scholars


In addition to renewing scholarships for the inaugural cohort CAP Scholars who matriculated in 2017, we awarded 128 scholarships – totaling $302,000 – to a new cohort of CAP Scholars who are collegebound this year. Who are these Capital Area Promise Scholars?

  • 57% are young men of color, a group which traditionally faces the greatest barriers to college success
  • Scholars from the second cohort are matriculating at a number of area colleges, including UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Los Rios Community Colleges, and Sacramento State



By focusing on the root causes of local challenges, seeking solutions with long-term results, and supporting the organizations that tend to the vital needs of the capital area, we help create the conditions for meaningful transformation in the Sacramento region. 

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