UCAN 2.0 helping local students afford college

By Ryan Ottney

September 4, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

The Scioto Foundation kicks off its annual UCAN (University/College Access Network) Month celebration in September, focusing attention on the value of going to college and the efforts of the Foundation to empower every student in the local area to attend the college or university of his or her choice.

The Foundation begins its 2013 UCAN Month with a major announcement that the UCAN matching grant program for Scioto County Schools will be extended. UCAN 2.0, an extension of the Scioto Foundation’s innovative program to help Scioto County students plan, prepare and pay for college, will continue the project for three more years, SF Executive Director Kim Cutlip has announced.

UCAN 2.0 will offer scholarship endowment building matching challenge grants to 12 Scioto County School systems at a 2:1 ratio. The total Scioto Foundation pledge for the three-year period, beginning Sept. 1, 2013, and ending Aug. 31, 2016, will be $210,000 with a $5,000 maximum challenge grant available to each participating school district each of the three years.

School systems may also compete for additional challenge grants with a $5,000 award going to the school that raises the most money for its endowment fund and $2,500 awards going to the school with the highest percentage of employees giving to its UCAN fund via payroll deduction and the school that has the highest participation rate for students taking AP courses.

The Scioto Foundation staff and board hope the UCAN 2.0 matching grant challenge will encourage all the participating school systems to continue their efforts to grow their invested scholarship endowments, according to Cutlip.

“The Scioto Foundation is continuing its support of UCAN. However, the matching grants program for the next three years will be at a 2:1 ratio, so for every two dollars the schools raise, the Foundation will match with one dollar up to $5,000 per school,” said Cutlip. “The schools will need the community’s help and support in raising funds more than ever during this next phase of the UCAN program.”

The Scioto Foundation will continue to support college preparedness efforts through teacher education stipends for those who attend Shawnee State’s Advanced Placement Summer Institute and $1,000 mini-grants to local schools to assist with the costs of exam fees such as AP, ACT, PSAT and others, said Cutlip.

The Scioto Foundation’s programs supporting the culture of a college-going community will also continue with a UCAN Go to College Night for 7-12 grade students planned for Sept. 16 from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and a UCAN Go to College Carnival for pre-school through 3rd graders set for Sept. 30 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Both events will be held at the SOMC Friends Center.

UCAN or University/College Access Network, an innovative initiative launched by the Scioto Foundation in 2008, is designed to increase the number of students attending and completing college, raise the educational attainment levels and improve the quality of life in Scioto County.

“The UCAN program is a network connecting Scioto County school systems, families, community partners, local donors and the Scioto Foundation working together to help students find future success through higher education,” Cutlip said.

Additional information about the Scioto Foundation’s UCAN program and ways to support it may be obtained by contacting the Scioto Foundation office at 740-354-4612 or visiting the website at www.sciotofoundation.org.

Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.