MCTC Foundation is “best kept secret on campus”


Penny Schumacher, Executive Director of the Foundation, called the organization "the best kept secret on campus".

For over 40 years, The MCTC Foundation has been rewarding students with scholarships for academic success.

“We provide over half-a-million dollars a year in scholarships”, said Penny Schumacher, executive director of College Advancement.

The Foundation gives between 25 to 40 scholarships out every year, and Schumacher, who has been working with them for a year in February, said they’ve added 10 more since she arrived.

Those numbers don’t include the number of programs they have set up.

The program scholarships they provide include: the Power of You, a full tuition program for first time college students who will graduate in 2018 from a Minneapolis, St. Paul or surrounding suburbs high school; Promise Scholars, which include people 21 years or older from the North Side of Minneapolis; and Star Scholars, for undocumented students who otherwise wouldn’t qualify for FAFSA.

“It takes less than an hour to fill out an application and write an essay and submit an application,” Schumacher said.

“It’s a two page application – we’re still on paper, we’re old-school,” said Development Coordinator Amy McCarthy.

McCarthy then indicated that they’re working on ways to make it even easier to apply for scholarships, like online applications.

“I’ve asked our student workers, ‘is this [the application] doable for a student’, and they say yes. And that’s why I’m so curious about why students aren’t applying,” McCarthy said. “We try to get them all [scholarships] out. It could be a lot of effort on our end. I’m doing a lot of emailing and pushing like ‘come on!’ but we’re not getting the amount we would want. Maybe we’re getting 10 instead of the 50 we want.”

“It’s not competitive at all. It needs to be a little more competitive,” Schumacher said.

McCarthy added, “Students feel like ‘well, I’m not going to get it, so I just won’t do it.’ That’s the main thing I hear. It’s like, no, you’re not going to get it if you don’t apply for it.”

“Everybody here is so helpful, and wants our students to receive these,” Schumacher said. “We don’t want our students to take out loans. We’re so proud of the fact that our tuition, in the grand scheme of college tuitions, is quite affordable.”

“If we think about the University of Minnesota at $14,000 a year you could complete the transfer curriculum here for $4,500 a year, and if you get a $4,500 scholarship, you are tuition free, for an hour investment in yourself,” Schumacher said.

McCarthy said, “we need to get the word out because I feel like more and more people are going to be wanting to creating these scholarships.”

“People want to invest in our students. The return on investment is inspiring. People want to be a part of hope and opportunity,” said Schumacher.

You can check out the scholarships at on April 2, 2018, and fill out applications by June 1, 2018.