The Public Education Foundation (PEF) is proud to announce that its Scholarships Plus program has awarded a record $6.25 million in scholarships in 2023. This marks a 22% increase over the previous year’s scholarship award cycle, surpassing PEF’s 2022 record of $5 million and an earlier milestone of $3 million in 2021.
“Together with our donors, the Public Education Foundation is empowering students to overcome financial barriers and pursue their dreams of higher education,” said Rich Broome, CEO of the Public Education Foundation. “We applaud the hundreds of individuals and community organizations who have stepped up their investments and more than doubled the amount of scholarship funds available to help students reach their full potential.”
Through the Scholarships Plus program, PEF supports students as they pursue their college and career goals. Over the past decade, PEF has awarded $26.9 million in scholarships to nearly 6,400 students. In the 2022-2023 scholarship cycle, PEF and its scholarship donors awarded 1,032 scholarships to 786 high school seniors and college-enrolled students. On average, 2022-2023 recipients were awarded $7,958, a 16% increase from the prior year.
These scholarships have a transformative impact on students, particularly those from underserved communities and those who are first-generation college students. More than half of PEF recipients do not anticipate receiving financial assistance from their families, and 55% of recipients are first-generation college students. In addition, 56% of recipients from Clark County School District (CCSD) high schools identify as coming from typically underserved populations. This includes students who identify as Hispanic/Latino, Black/African American, and two or more races.
“I had a very difficult upbringing, with my father’s sudden death, then losing all the money my dad and mom had saved for my schooling. I’ve been stressed and anxious ever since I got my job knowing I only had a year to save up for college,” shared Valeria Villegas-Canales, a Cheyenne High School graduate and recipient of the Charles and Phyllis Frias Legacy Scholarship. “This scholarship is a miracle for me, knowing I can study any major and fully commit myself to school without being stressed about whether or not I’d be able to afford it.
This year, the program received an astounding 21,000 scholarship applications, marking a 24% increase compared to the previous year. This surge in applications serves as a powerful testament to the growing need for financial support within our community and the determination among our students to unlock a brighter future.
As PEF continues to make a significant impact in the lives of students, the organization remains committed to collaborating with donors, community partners, and educational institutions to ensure every public school student in Clark County can succeed.
To learn more about the Public Education Foundation and how to support the Scholarships Plus program, please visit thepef.org.