Central Arizona College Foundation: Opening doors through scholarships


Central Arizona College Foundation continues to provide access to higher education for students in Pinal County and surrounding communities.

Amidst rising costs of higher education, the Central Arizona College Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to maintaining education accessibility for students in Pinal County and surrounding communities. 

Through the Foundation, Central Arizona College (CAC) increased both scholarships and total dollars awarded from the 2022-23 academic year to the 2023-24 academic year. Awarded scholarships jumped from 258 to 299 and the amount awarded from $164,000 to $213,592. 

Established in 1968, the CAC Foundation was a result of a group of Pinal County citizens coming together to expand resources, making college more accessible to everyone in the community. 

Through their mission of raising funds and creating partnerships to increase resources, the vision is to “turn the educational and cultural hopes and dreams of our students and the communities we serve into realities.” 

Newly created scholarships include Women in Engineering Scholarship, Calib Rodriguez Culinary Scholarship, James Whitson McQueen IT & Nursing Scholarships, Bright Night Energy Electrician/HVAC Certification Scholarship, as well as Goldman Pearl Undergraduate, Transfer, Promise and Literary Arts & Languages Scholarships. 

Over the past year, scholarships honoring former instructor and Cross Country/Track & Field Coach, George Young, and Director of Financial Aid, Elisa Juarez, have been created to memorialize the contribution of these beloved individuals to the CAC community. 

Additionally, the CAC Foundation partners with Central Arizona College to offer Pinal Promise, formally known as Promise for the Future. The educational initiative gives all students who reside in Pinal County eligibility to receive two academic years of tuition. 

“The CAC Foundation is dedicated to the students and families of Pinal County,” says Craig Kurtz, Executive Director of the Central Arizona College Foundation. “Our goal is to get our students across the finish line with an Associate’s Degree or a Trade Certification with zero debt or close to zero debt.

“For the past two years, we have created a weekly online presence where we are educating our faculty, staff, and students on the available scholarships, what the requirements are, and what the awarded amount will be per semester for our recipients. Our financial aid department has been incredible during this two-year process and is 100% dedicated to our students on a daily basis.”

The College and Foundation’s collaborative efforts epitomize a thriving model of community and corporate partnership in the educational arena. Corporations, foundations, and individuals have established endowments and scholarships, serving as a consistent and substantial funding source to address the college’s and students’ needs.

For more information about the CAC Foundation and offered scholarships, visit centralaz.edu/community/foundation. For more information about the Pinal Promise, visit centralaz.edu/pinal-promise.


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