MCC Foundation invests in students

These days, it takes a village to afford a college education – at least it seems like it. In many instances, tuition provides sticker shock for students and families, and students wonder if the expense will pay off in the long run. We are lucky – that isn’t the case in Marshalltown. Students looking to earn their degree can turn to Marshalltown Community College. In addition to state and federal aid, many students qualify for additional dollars their education from the MCC Foundation.

Founded in 1966, the MCC Foundation’s continuing mission is to is to provide funds for scholarships for worthy and needy students to help bridge the gap between financial aid and affordability. The Foundation also financially supports the liberal arts, fine arts, athletics, social sciences and humanities departments. We’ve grown to manage an endowment that has exceeded $6M, and annually give over $350,000 in scholarships to MCC students.

Our awarding process balances the needs of the students with the specific wishes of the many donors. We try to match the scholarship criteria to the student who best matches the donor’s ideal candidate. Since most of our scholarships have a financial need component, we also try to review the resources the student has and determine their actual need. We often find that students that show a lot of financial need also receive government assistance that covers their bill, whereas a student who shows less financial need by government standards then receives little or no federal or state assistance, and the family struggles to afford their tuition payments. The MCC Foundation has been able to assist hundreds of students each year with closing the gap between an insurmountable bill and one that the student and their family can manage.

We focus on academic achievement, but not in the ways you might think. As a college, we work hard to prepare students for the next level, whether college or career. And it’s our goal at MCC to meet students where they are and prepare them for next-level success. Our donor community understands that some of our students come to MCC first to become better students before they move on to a 4-year college. Some students need remedial classwork, or needs to learn study skills for college-level coursework. Rather than require high GPAs for their scholarship, these donors have created criteria that include students with 2.0 GPA or above.

Additionally, some of our hands-on trades programs provide skills-based training designed to prepare students for high-paying careers. Many of the students drawn to these courses may not have been successful in the traditional academic setting, but excel at welding or machining or problem-solving found in the trades. These students often are surprised to be selected for a scholarship, and the confidence boost they receive often exceeds the monetary value of the award.

Ultimately, the MCC Foundation sees a student body that is here with a wide range of goals, arriving at varying levels of preparedness and financial need, and we try to meet each student where they are as they make MCC part of their education and career journey. We work hard to make college opportunities affordable to all, and we appreciate the generous support of all of our donors and community support. If you would like to be a part of our student’s success, please reach out to me at Carol.Geil@iavalley.edu.


Carol Geil is the executive director

of the MCC Foundation.


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