|Atlantic Cape Community College is hoping area residents will help it create opportunities for more students to attend the college by donating to its first major capital and scholarship fundraising campaign.
On Tuesday, college President Peter Mora announced that $1.5 million has been raised toward the $2.5 million goal, most during the so-called "quiet phase" of the campaign that started in September 2009.
Mora said while the amount is significant, it is needed to offset dwindling public funds.
"Some people think that public money pays for community colleges," he said. "But that is only one-third of the cost and is shrinking. Students pay two-thirds of the cost."
He said while four-year colleges often hold fundraising campaigns, it is a relatively new trend among community colleges made necessary by the economy and cuts in other public funding. The "Create Opportunity" campaign is a joint project between the college and its foundation.
About $350,000 is targeted to a new science, technology, engineering and math building. The foundation has committed that amount to pay for furniture and equipment, and about $126,000 has been raised so far.
The rest will go toward a scholarship endowment. Any amount can be donated, but donors can name a scholarship with a minimum endowment of $15,000.