The McConnell Vista Program

The McConnell Vista Program is designed to help interrupt the cycle of poverty. We want to find students who are unusually resilient in the face of adversity and help them prepare for financially secure, productive, and rewarding lives by completing a degree or certificate program from College of the Siskiyous or Shasta College.

The ideal Vista student has shown remarkable resilience in overcoming significant challenges and is ready to take full advantage of the outstanding educational opportunities at College of the Siskiyous or Shasta College.

Should you apply?

The McConnell Vista Program is intended for students who have had to cope with significant personal or financial hardships. Its purpose is not to serve students who have been accepted into four-year bachelor’s degree programs, but are choosing to attend community college for reasons that are not related to serious challenges. Examples of such challenges include (but are not limited to) homelessness or risk of homelessness, family dysfunction, tragic loss, learning disabilities, participation in the foster care system, multi-generational poverty, or having to be financially self-supporting while in high school. Please apply to The McConnell Scholars Program if you have the opportunity to attend a four-year university.

Do you know a student who would make a good Vista candidate?

Students who fit the Vista profile often are more concerned with the demands of their daily lives than with finding and applying for scholarships. If you are a teacher, counselor, or community member who knows a student who could benefit from The McConnell Vista Program, please consider helping that student complete the application. Almost all students who succeed in breaking the cycle of poverty through higher education have had at least one caring adult who took a genuine interest in their welfare. Helping a student fill out the application and providing them with a good reference letter can help make a significant difference.

Writing a helpful reference letter

For our two scholarship programs, we only ask for a reference letter on the Vista application. This is because students who are determined to overcome their personal challenges often avoid talking about them. While admirable, this character trait makes it difficult for the selection committees to determine who could really benefit from The McConnell Vista Program. It is most helpful if recommenders can describe the challenge and give specific examples of the character traits that will help the student succeed in community college and beyond. Graphic detail is not necessary, but try to provide enough information to give the reader a clear grasp of the situation. The selection committees consider the reference letter equally with the student’s application. Your letter has the potential to make the difference for your student.   

McConnell Vista Program Application Requirements 

Students who wish to apply to The McConnell Foundation Vista Program must meet all of the following conditions for their application to be considered. Please read them carefully before starting your application.

You are eligible to apply to The McConnell Foundation Vista Program if:

  • You live or attend high school in Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, or Trinity County, or you attend Big Valley High School in Lassen County
  • You will be 21 or under by the application due date (May 5th)
  • You will be enrolling full-time (12 units or more) at Shasta College or College of the Siskiyous for the upcoming fall semester
  • You will have graduated from high school or earned a GED before starting college
  • Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application is $8,600 or less
  • You will be entering college this coming fall with freshman status, having earned less than 30 college units
  • You have not been convicted of a felony
  • You are not directly related to any McConnell Foundation Board of Directors or Program Services staff member, or current Vista

Apply for the McConnell Vista Program

McConnell Vista Program Application

McConnell Vista Program Application

Click here to learn more about the application process and apply.

McConnell Scholarship Applications

The McConnell Foundation, the Shasta Regional Community Foundation, the Shasta County Board of Education, and College OPTIONS have worked together to create a shared scholarship application website – North State Scholarships.

Clicking here will take you to the North State Scholarships welcome page. From this page, you can either search for The McConnell Foundation scholarship program applications or by clicking “View All Scholarships,” you can see all the applications from the four organizations. It’s easy to import your information from one application to another. You can now apply to several scholarships in the same time it used to take to apply to only one or two.


For specific questions regarding The McConnell Foundation Scholarships  please contact Scholarship Program Officer Dave Tanner at (530) 226-6233 or by using the email contact form.

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