Toyota Pledges $1.35 Million to Scholarship Program for Military Dependents

Toyota Motor Corporation has increased support for a scholarship program benefiting the children of Marines and Navy Corpsmen, providing needed help in an era of rapidly rising tuition costs.

Toyota Motor Corporation has supported a scholarship foundation for the children of Marines and Navy Corpsmen since 2004, providing just under $2 million in scholarships in ten years. Toyota is now pledging $1.35 million to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation over five years. The gift will fund about 300 scholarships for children of Marines and Navy Corpsmen.

Toyota’s increased commitment comes at a critical time for military families and their college-aged children. College tuition rates have been increasing precipitously in recent years, putting college out of reach for many students. Military families are also facing hard times now as budget cuts are downsizing the nation’s armed forces.

Toyota’s gift to the foundation will help ensure that the sacrifices of Marines and Navy Corpsmen are honored and rewarded, giving their children the opportunity to attend college without saddling themselves and their families with a huge financial burden. The added scholarship funding is just one way the automaker and hundreds of Toyota dealerships around the country support military families.

Rising College Tuition Costs

College tuition has been rising rapidly in recent years, which makes paying for higher education increasingly difficult for students and their families. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of tuition, room, and board at a public institution was $14,300. At private non-profit institutions, the cost was $37,800, and at private for-profit colleges, the average cost was $23,300. The NCES says that between 2001-02 and 2011-12, the cost of tuition, room, and board for undergraduates at public colleges and universities increased by 40 percent. At private non-profits, the average cost rose by 28 percent.

There are a number of factors driving the increase in college costs. Cash-strapped states are cutting back on their support for public colleges and universities, resulting in those institutions replacing state support with increased tuition. A glut of administrative hiring among colleges and universities and a construction boom are also perceived by some experts as contributing to rising tuition costs.

Many college students facing these increased tuition costs are turning to student loans to fund their college education. However, as tuition prices increase, so also does the indebtedness of students once they leave college. According to the Institute for College Access & Success Project on Student Debt, the average college student taking out student loans leaves college about $29,000 in debt. About seven in ten college seniors leave school with debt, and many of those owe money to private lenders that charge higher rates than federal student loan programs.

Even though the cost of college is rising, the cost of not attending college is higher. According to the Institute for College Access & Success Project on Student Debt, workers who had only a high school diploma had a 17.9 percent unemployment rate in 2012, whereas college graduates had a 7.7 percent unemployment rate.

Scholarship opportunities such as the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation can help the children of military personnel attain a college degree without placing undue burdens on their families or starting their lives with crippling debt.

About the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation was established in 1962. Since then, the foundation has provided the children of Marines and Navy Corpsmen with about 30,000 scholarships, for a total of about $80,000,000 in tuition support. In 2013-2014, the foundation provided $6.6 million in scholarships for more than 2,000 college students.

According to foundation statistics, about 89 percent of scholarship recipients attend four-year institutions, and nearly 45 percent are majoring in science, technology, engineering and math related fields. Workers in these industries are in high demand because of their necessity to society, so this scholarship is particularly helpful to the nation.

Scholarship recipients have a high rate of success. Eighty-six percent of recipients leave school with a degree. Among the general population, only 40 percent of students who start college graduate.

There are more than 22 million veterans and 1.4 million active duty troops in the United States. Scholarship programs like the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation help ensure that their children get a shot at the way of life their parents have made great sacrifices to defend.

Supporting Real Students, Real Families

Facts and figures are nice, but it’s worthwhile to meet some of the people the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation supports.

Andrew Coba, son of Marine Capt. Javier Coba, is attending college thanks to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. Coba came to the U.S. with his father, who served in the Marine Corps and earned U.S. citizenship. Coba says much of his drive to succeed comes from the example set by his father.

Elleine Sanchez and Ellysa Aquino are daughters of Marine Gunnery Sgt. Pedro Aquino, a 20-year veteran of the Corps, including five combat deployments. The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation provides critical financial support to the Aquino daughters as they pursue college degrees.

These are just a few of the real people that the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is helping to obtain college degrees.

Further Support

North Hollywood Toyota, a Los Angeles Toyota dealership, is proud to be a car dealer for a company that supports America’s military families. In addition to the scholarship program offered by the corporation, North Hollywood Toyota further supports military families by offering a $500 rebate to all military and reserve members. All military personnel need to do is show proof of their status as active duty or reserve personnel to qualify. Toyota is also involved in the Hiring Our Heroes program which helps veterans and their spouses find jobs. These scholarship, rebate, and hiring programs are a few ways Toyota Motor Corporation shows its appreciation to the men and women of the U.S. military, and the sacrifices they make for their nation.

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