FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


What role does WCC play in our community?

Whatcom Community College is a comprehensive two-year college serving 11,263 students annually (4,333 FTEs). WCC contributes to the vitality of its communities by providing quality education in academic transfer, professional-technical and lifelong learning, preparing students for active citizenship in a global society. WCC is crucial to sustaining our local economy and, for many students, it is one of the few options they have to help improve their lives and those of their families.

WCC is a state-funded institution. Why do you need more money?

WCC is a "state-supported" institution with funding from Washington State now making up only about 48% of its operating budget. The economic recession of the past few years has placed an enormous financial strain on both the College and our students. Increasing numbers of students are facing economic difficulties and struggling to afford tuition. The Foundation received a record number of scholarship applications last year—up 25% over last year and up 73% over two years ago. Private funding is critical to ensuring that WCC continues to be widely accessible to students from all economic backgrounds and, at the same time, is able to maintain a culture of academic excellence.

Why don't you just raise tuition and fees?

We have. But community colleges are founded on the principle of access for all, and we want to stay true to that committment. WCC's tuition is as much as three times less than major in-state universities, and for many students, Whatcom's affordable tuition makes higher education possible. In 2010-11, WCC increased state tuition and fees from $3,105 to $3,315, and in 2011-12 the College increased tuition costs again to $4,256. While WCC strives to maintain high quality academic programs, it is also important to keep education affordable and accessible to a range of students. Tuition hikes of even a few hundred dollars each year per student may not sound like much, especially compared to tuition costs at traditional four-year universities, but for many individuals who are struggling financially, even that amount can push the goal of a college education out of reach.

Why is private support important?

The deep cuts in state funding and the increase in students who need financial assistance have resulted in declining revenue for WCC. Private contributions are essential to maintain an outstanding learning environment and to fund special programs that would not otherwise be offered. Excellence in education requires investment beyond the minimum amount necessary to sustain the College. Private charitable gifts to WCC are increasingly important to the future of the College, its students and the community.

Where does the money go?

Contributions fund key College initiatives, including scholarships, faculty and staff development, tutoring and other student services, as well as specific academic programs, capital projects, and other priorities of the College. There are numerous Way to Give that will support the College's mission, including the following initiatives:

  • Scholarships 
  • Fund for Excellence
  • Faculty & Staff Development 
  • Health Professions Education Center
  • President's Innovation Fund 
  • Veteran's Support 
  • Turning Point

How is the Foundation related to the College?

The Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that exists to help meet the needs of the College and its students, enhancing educational opportunities through a number of programs and initiatives. The Foundation secures private funding for WCC so the College can focus on its mission: contributing to the vitality of our communities by providing quality education in academic transfer, professional-technical and life-long learning, and preparing students for active citizenship in a global society.

What are the tax benefits of making a gift to WCCF?

Because the Foundation is registered as a non-profit organization, all gifts are tax-deductible. Planned gifts such as bequests, trusts and securities may carry additional tax benefits. Consult your accountant for specific details.

How can I contact the Foundation?

By phone: (360)383-3320, email: foundation@whatcom.ctc.edu, mail: 237 West Kellogg Road, Bellingham, WA 98226, or visiting us Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 333 Calluna Court, Bellingham, WA 98226. We're located on the 2nd floor of the Foundation Building just south of the main WCC campus.

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 Phone: (360)383-3320
 Foundation@whatcom.ctc.edu
 Hours: Mon. - Fri., 8AM - 5PM

 Mailing Address
 237 West Kellogg Road
 Bellingham, WA 98226

 Physical Address
 333 Calluna Court, 2nd Floor
 Bellingham, WA 98226

 

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