On Tuesday, August 3, the Mercer County Community College (MCCC) Foundation announced the results of the spring “Closing the Gap For A Better Future” fund-raising campaign that provides financial support to the college’s most vulnerable students. Donations go to the Mercer Fund, an unrestricted fund that is the college’s single most important source of student support to meet a variety of immediate needs.
“The original goal was $100,000,” said Vice President for College Advancement Joseph Claffey. “When we closed the five-month campaign on June 30, MCCC had collected a total of $133,827 which far exceeded our expectations, and for that we are incredibly grateful.”
This total represents monetary contributions from area businesses as well as individuals such as faculty, staff, students and community members. Major supporters included: Cross Community, Inc., Customers Bank, Educational Testing Service, Fulton Bank of New Jersey, Jammin’ Crepes, NJM Insurance Group, PNC Bank East Brunswick, Princeton Area Community Foundation, The Hibbert Group and Wilmington University.
“The campaign was called ‘Closing the Gap’ because the gap is the amount of money a student still needs to fund direct and indirect educational expenses after having exhausted all personal funds, scholarships and financial aid,” said Laura Richards, MCCC’s scholarship program and donor relations coordinator. “The gap amount for each student can mean the difference between deferring an education or graduating.”
Studies show that students who defer their education often never return to complete their studies.
Aamir Rehman, chair of the MCCC Foundation, was also pleased with the outcome. “I personally want to thank each and every donor for the steadfast support shown during this campaign. Every donation, no matter how small, will have a positive impact on a student’s life,” he said.
MCCC serves a diverse population of students across two campuses in West Windsor and Trenton. Most students juggle full- and part-time jobs, family responsibilities and college courses. In a recent poll, 89 percent of Mercer students expressed that they were in dire need of some type of financial assistance.
Fund donations will be used toward a variety of students’ quality of life issues, including tuition, personal hardships, technology assistance, and added to the “President’s Competition Fund,” which supplies last-minute grants to students to ensure degree completion.
“MCCC donors are vital to the success of our mission to help recognize and address student insecurities,” said President Dr. Jianping Wang, who developed the President’s Completion Fund. “The philanthropy displayed by our MCCC partners has been remarkable, even before the pandemic, and this latest campaign certainly exceeded our expectations. I am very grateful for our donor support and proud of the hard work of the MCCC Foundation team to help make college a reality for our vulnerable students.”