Press Release Archive 2011 - 1999

The C of I receives $100,000 Wal-Mart College Success Award

2008. 07. 16.

CALDWELL – The College of Idaho has been selected by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to receive a Wal-Mart College Success Award — a $100,000 grant to help The C of I expand current programs that encourage enrollment from Hispanic/Latino students who are the first in their families to attend college.

The C of I was one of only 20 colleges selected from nearly 220 applicants to receive the award, which is intended to help institutions that are already committed to the education of first-generation students. It was the only college in the west that was chosen.

"I am thrilled that the College was chosen for this award," said President Bob Hoover. "Caldwell and Canyon County have large numbers of Hispanic/Latino families and it's important to us to offer these students the opportunity to get a high-quality liberal arts education."

Canyon County has a Hispanic/Latino population of 20.3 percent, compared to 7.6 percent statewide and 14.4 percent nationwide.

The College of Idaho has several programs to assist Hispanic/Latino students who want to attend the College.

Last year, The C of I received a $25,000 grant from the Northwest Area Foundation Fund in the Idaho Community Foundation. The money provides 25 $1,000 scholarships to low-income Hispanic students in Southwest Idaho. The College also received an anonymous gift of $20,000 for scholarships for two Hispanic/Latino students from Canyon County who want to attend The C of I.

In addition, the College hosts Taste of the Harvest every year in October to raise money for scholarships for the children of migrant farmworkers. Taste of the Harvest, which will be held on Oct. 6 this year, brings together Idaho's wineries, food producers and craftspeople. Attendees can sample and buy the fine wines, foods and crafts produced in the state.

"It's important for us as a community and as a state to encourage all first-generation students to attend college," Hoover said. "And we must also make sure that students receive the financial and academic support they need once they get here."

The award for The C of I will be used to recruit and support first-generation Hispanic/Latino students from the local community. Scholarship support will be given to high-achieving first-generation students who also have significant financial need.

National statistics show that only 24 percent of first-generation college and university students earn a bachelor's degree compared with 68 percent of students whose parents received a bachelor's degree.

The 20 colleges selected for the Wal-Mart College Success Awards have developed programs that result in higher percentages of graduates among their first-generation college students than the national average, and many graduate first-generation students at the same rate as all other students.

The C of I will use the Wal-Mart College Success Award to host an orientation for first-generation students and their parents, follow-up outreach activities to families, career exploration field trips and internships, and an annual student leadership conference. Peer mentoring, tutoring and financial assistance for books, supplies and equipment will also be made available to these students.

"Wal-Mart is proud to support programs that enable first generation students to succeed in college," said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. "Wal-Mart's partnership with CIC identifies institutions committed to the success of first generation students and will help identify and share effective programs."

The 19 other winners are: Adrian College (MI), Bay Path College (MA), Bellarmine University (KY), California Lutheran University, Carroll University (WI), College of Mount Saint Vincent (NY), College of Saint Benedict (MN), College of St. Scholastica (MN), Florida Memorial University, Illinois College, Juniata College (PA), Kalamazoo College (MI), Lesley University (MA), Manchester College (IN), North Central College (IL), Ripon College (WI), St. Edward's University (TX), Wartburg College (IA), and Wiley College (TX).

The Wal-Mart College Success Awards program is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges and is funded by the Wal-Mart Foundation.

For more information about the Wal-Mart College Success Awards and the programs of the 20 winners, visit the CIC website at