19Dec Marion Technical College Seeks Donations to Help Students by Wendy Weichenthal (Marion, Ohio) – As the 2019 tax year comes to a close and Ohioans are looking for charitable-giving tax deductions, the Ohio Association of Community Colleges is encouraging families to consider making a financial gift to their local college, boosting efforts to help improve student success and advance innovation. “Community colleges provide tremendous value to Ohio families and our overall economy, but there’s a troubling gap between that value and the low level of annual giving those colleges receive,” said Jack Hershey, president, and CEO of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC). “It’s amazing that just one percent of all the annual giving to higher education nationally is directed to community colleges when those colleges enroll more than 35 percent of all the postsecondary students in the state.” “We want to turn that gap on its head by changing the perception of donors who generously support higher education, but too often overlook the needs of community colleges that directly serve their home towns and neighbors,” Hershey said. “After all, Ohio’s community colleges are widely considered the gateway for helping area businesses quickly find skilled workers, while providing students with a low-cost path to a degree or credential required for today’s in-demand jobs. Plus, the average tuition in Ohio for a four-year college is almost $10,000 compared to just under $4,500 at a community college – making a gift to a community college a more powerful return on investment for donors.” Hershey said the OACC is stressing five compelling reasons for giving to a community college: Donors may be able to take advantage of charitable tax deductions. Students are appreciative. Many of the students attending community colleges are the first in their families ever to attend college or are nontraditional students, often raising families. The cost of college can be a particular burden to these individuals. Invest in YOUR community. After receiving their degree or certificate, more than 90% of community college students seek job opportunities locally compared to graduates of larger four-year schools, who too often move away from the local hometown to find work. Scholarships help! While Ohio’s community colleges are affordable, private giving helps increase scholarships and opportunities for more students to get on the path (and stay on the path) to a rewarding new career. Help close Ohio’s skills gap. Community colleges are playing a critical role in Governor Mike DeWine’s efforts to help more Ohioans get a degree, certificate, or credential needed to close the state’s skills gap by developing new programs and training workers for emerging industries. In 2019, MTC students were awarded over $300,000 in traditional scholarships from a variety of scholarship funds. One of those funds is the MTC Foundation which is managed by the Marion Community Foundation. MTC would like to double this in the coming years. Mike Stuckey, Director of the MTC Foundation “Although students are fortunate to have part of their education offset by scholarships and grants, most MTC students still need to take out loans to cover the costs associated with obtaining a degree. Some students are forced to drop out of college because they are unable to finance their schooling,” said Mike Stuckey, Director of the MTC Foundation. “Greater giving means more students with degrees. Donating to our scholarship program is a gift that can impact not only our current generation of students, but the families of these students for generations to come.” Nearly 2,500 students attend Marion Tech. More than 50,000 students have attended MTC since 1970. To donate to the MTC Foundation, click here.