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Hundreds of Montgomery College students will benefit from scholarships and book awards at Montgomery College, thanks to a $250,000 grant award by The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.

The scholarships are designated for students in the Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) program which served approximately 1,670 high school and college students during the 2015-16 academic year. Through a collaboration between Montgomery College, Montgomery County Public Schools, and the Universities at Shady Grove, ACES creates a smooth educational pathway from high school to community college to university using a one-on-one case management approach for students often unrepresented in higher education.

“The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation has been an invaluable partner in supporting the success of ACES students for several years,” said Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard, president of Montgomery College. “We are grateful for its support as together we help every student complete the promise of a college education.”

The $250,000 award includes an outright gift of $100,000 and $150,000 offered as a 1:1 match for additional scholarship and book award funds raised for ACES students.

“As an organization, we look for models in education that provide comprehensive services to help students improve their academic success. At the same time, we recognize that financial need often is the greatest barrier blocking a young person from attending college or completing a degree,” said Calvin Cafritz, president and CEO of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation. “We are pleased both to provide this scholarship support to keep these students in school and to leverage our support to encourage others to invest in these promising young people.”

According to a March 2014 article in Forbes, only 30 percent of low-income students enroll in college right after high school and just nine percent of young people in the lowest income quartile earn a bachelor’s degree by age 24. One of the top reasons students drop out—or take longer to complete a degree—is financial need. To address this issue, the Montgomery College Foundation secures private donations to benefit scholarships and programs, which enabled it to award approximately 2,000 scholarships totaling more than $2.4 million during the 2015-16 academic year.

The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation is committed to building a stronger community for residents of the Washington, DC metropolitan area through support of programs in the arts and humanities, community services, education, health and the environment. The foundation is the legacy of Morris Cafritz, one of Washington’s leading commercial and residential builders from the early 1920’s to the mid-60’s.

For additional information about this Challenge Grant or the ACES program, please contact Carol Rognrud, Executive Director of the Montgomery College Foundation, at


Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 130 areas of study.

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