The Berkeley Community Fund (BCF) has been working to improve the Berkeley community since 1991.

We envision an economically and socially diverse city whose promising youth become engaged and global citizens.


We provide need-based scholarships to motivated Berkeley youth from lower-income families who embody the spirit and values of our unique city and will be ambassadors for years to come. This financial support helps close the gap between the true cost of college and the typical financial aid package. Most of our scholars are first-generation college students. Almost 3/4 of our scholars come from families living in the San Francisco Bay Area and earning less than $50,000 annually; 28% come from families earning less than $20,000 annually.

College Success and Mentoring

  • Through our College Success and Mentoring programs, the BCF helps students successfully navigate the challenges they encounter at school.
  • We match each Scholar with an adult mentor who helps them navigate the college experience
  • Scholars receive support from our advisors to help them overcome challenges
  • Scholars are provided with peer support through a community of scholars and alumni
  • Scholars are connected to internships and career opportunities
  • We provide summer workshops on financial aid, budgeting, course selection and career exploration


We have awarded more than $3.5 million to 220 scholars from 2008-2018. The graduation/persistence rate for our High Hopes Scholars is 90% which means that 9 out of 10 of our scholars have either graduated or are persisting in college and making progress towards a bachelor’s degree. According to the Pell Institute, the national graduation rate for first-generation college students is currently around 32%.

Meet ourĀ 2018 High Hopes Scholars

In June 2018 we welcomed 25 new High Hopes Scholars. Watch the video below to learn more about who they are and what they hope to accomplish in college.