Students herald return of Doyle scholarships
To benefit SRJC students
There is good news buzzing around Sonoma Valley High School’s College and Career Center due to the recent announcement that the Frank P. and Polly O’Meara Doyle Scholarship Program has been reinstated for the 2013-14 school year.
Doyle Scholarships assist students attending Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC). For the upcoming year, any Sonoma High student with an unweighted 3.0 grade point average or better will qualify (a GPA higher than previously required for the Doyle Scholarships). According to Sonoma Valley High’s Lisa Conner, who heads up the College and Career Center, the school expects 162 students will qualify (out of a senior class of 291).
The grant program has been funded by Exchange Bank, to the tune of $76 million, since 1948, but it was suspended in 2008 when the bank had to stop paying the dividends that had previously funded the program.
In order to qualify, high school graduates must attend SRJC fulltime (carrying a minimum of 12 units) during the 2013-14 academic year. The scholarship is for students planning to complete an associate’s degree, units necessary to transfer to a four-year institution or a career/technical certificate program.
Exchange Bank’s current dividend is expected to provide around $850,000 a year for the Doyle Scholarship fund, far less than during the bank’s heyday when it provided $5.3 million a year to the JC.
In those years, students could receive upwards of $1,000 each and the GPA requirement was set at 2.5 or better.
The grant program gives preference to Sonoma County students and students who demonstrate financial need. Students are also asked about their planned field of study. The scholarships are for new students only, are for one year only and are not renewable. They are not available to current junior college students.
Sonoma Valley High School senior Adelia Gregory is hoping to pursue a career in creative writing and journalism. She plans on going to Santa Rosa Junior College next year and will apply for the Doyle well in advance of the March 14 deadline. “I am working hard to apply for as many scholarships as possible to help pay for college. I hope to transfer to a four-year college and to go on to grad school in journalism one day. There is so much tuition standing between me and that dream every little bit helps,” said Gregory.
The scholarship application is available online at santarosa.edu/app/paying-for-college/scholarship-office/application-forms.