Bristol Community College changes the world learner by learner, and the College’s partner in this transformative work is the Bristol Foundation.
Giving to the Bristol Foundation empowers the local community. Bristol Community College graduates stay here, work here, and provide the brains and the skills southeastern Massachusetts needs to thrive. But with state funding now less than 36 percent of the College’s operating budget, the gift and support of friends and alumni make the difference between opportunity and limitations.
WHAT WE DO
We are the ‘first responders’ for the College and for our students. Because of the generosity of our loyal donors, we have awarded more than $1,622,058 in scholarships, campus grants, and emergency loans to our college community in just the last five years!
Once, Bristol Community College was truly a public institution and received 80% of its funding from the Commonwealth. Today, that figure is less than 40%. Community college students account for 50 percent of the students attending public institutions in Massachusetts, yet receive only 25 cents of every dollar allocated to education by the Commonwealth. Gifts to the Bristol Foundation mean the difference between good and great. And great transforms the future for our students and for our region.
Bristol Community College is the jewel of the SouthCoast – an institution that has graduated more than 30,000 people and has grown to be the third largest community college in the Commonwealth. But while third in size, it is first in the 15 Massachusetts community colleges in the number of annual degrees and certificates awards and has the highest first year student retention rate of the group of 15. In fact, Newsweek recently ranked Bristol as the 37th fastest growing community college in the country. As our Trustee Chair Don Smyth put it “We are doing more with less, and we are doing it well!”
But this important work is threatened by a grim economy and grimmer state funding news. The College receives less than 40% of its operating budget from the Commonwealth. But burgeoning numbers of future police officers, dental hygienists, teachers and engineers are empowering themselves and their futures by enrolling at Bristol Community College. Despite cuts in state support, the College is enrolling record numbers of students, all looking for a way to secure their futures and take care of themselves and their families.
President Obama describes community colleges as a place where anyone “can take a chance on a brighter future for themselves and for their family.” That is what more than 8,800 students are doing at Bristol Community College right now. At Bristol, more than one-third of our students are the first in their families to attend college. They come here because Bristol is accessible, affordable, high-quality and convenient to where they live and work. They graduate and move into our workforce, bringing the brains and the skills to fuel our economy.