News - Sauk Valley

Sauk Valley College Foundation seeks contributions to Impact earned tuition program

Graphic illustrates student involvement in the Impact program from the Class of 2026, the first that is eligible to participate in the earned tuition program at Sauk Valley Community College.

DIXON — Sauk Valley College Foundation is soliciting individual and organizations to contribute to the Impact Program.

Impact is an earned tuition program. High school students who volunteer 25 hours each of their four years can earn up to three years in tuition and fees at Sauk Valley Community College provided they maintain a 2.0 grade point average and are enrolled in a certificate, degree or transfer program.

“Your gift can change the lives of young people in our community,” writes Kim Ewoldsen, certified business adviser and executive director of donor relations and economic development.

According to a news release from the program, student volunteers have saved community organizations about $30,000 each month in labor costs. Ewoldsen says a gift to Impact, in turn, supports other not-for-profits that are providing volunteer opportunities.

While still a new program in the SVCC district, the Class of 2026 has had 764 students volunteer with 132 area not-for-profits and logged 6,144 hours since the initiative began.

Even participating students who eventually choose to attend a school other than SVCC can use tuition credits to pay for a summer class at Sauk or complete other general education class requirements.

One aim of the earned tuition program is to reduce the debt burden students can incur. The foundation estimates that college students from the region accrue about $1 million dollars in student loan debt each year.

Persons or groups interested in making a donation can contact the foundation at 815-288-5511.

Participating communities

High school students living in the following communities or their environs fall within the Sauk Valley Community College district: Chadwick, Thomson, Milledgeville, Polo, Oregon, Dixon, Ashton, Franklin Grove, Amboy, Sublette, Ohio, Walnut, Manlius, Tampico, Prophetstown, Lyndon, Rock Falls, Sterling, Morrison and Fulton as well as parts of northeast Henry County.

How students can register

Sign up by Sept. 1 of their freshman year, graduate on time or early, participate in 100 hours of community service before graduation, graduate from a high school or home school program within the SVCC district, apply for at least one other scholarship and complete their FAFSA or FAFSA forecaster. Eighth graders can enroll starting April 1, 2023.

More info

Contact Impact Program by email at or call 815-835-6650.

Troy Taylor

Troy E. Taylor

Was named editor for and the Gazette and Telegraph in 2021. An Illinois native, he has been a reporter or editor in daily newspapers since 1989.