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October 18, 2012 at 10:00 AM EDT
Application Period for the 2012/2013 Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Southern California Scholarship Program Is Now Open
Organization to award $328,000 in scholarship funds to Southland high school seniors

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In today's economic climate, paying for a college education is a top concern for high school students and their parents, especially when considering that most families will be in student loan debt years after college graduation.  According to a 2012 Pew Research Center report on student loan debt, approximately one-in-five households across the nation owed student loans in 2010, versus one-in-ten households with outstanding loans in 19891. To help alleviate the financial strain that comes with funding a college education, Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC) of Southern California will award $328,000 in scholarship funds to deserving high school seniors who reside in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. The 2012/2013 online application period will be open until Dec. 20, 2012, and interested students should visit to apply.

"Preparing for college can be an equally overwhelming and exciting time in a student's life," said Rob Parker, CEO, RMHC of Southern California. "Since 1990, we have made it possible for students to fully enjoy this period of life by supporting them with funds to cover important first year college expenses."

This year the organization will award 104 scholarships through its four programs including: Ronald McDonald House Charities /African American Future Achievers, RMHC/Asian Pacific American Students Increasing Achievement (ASIA), RMHC/Hispanic American Commitment to Educational Resources (HACER) and RMHC/Scholars. Scholarship funds can be applied toward tuition, fees and other appropriate educational expenses.

To be eligible for the scholarships, applicants must be currently-enrolled high school seniors who are eligible to attend a two- or four-year postsecondary institution following graduation. They must be legal U.S. residents, be less than 21 years of age, have a minimum 2.7 grade point average and reside within the boundaries of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

Since 1990, RMHC of Southern California has awarded more than $4.1 million in scholarship funds to local students to help make their college education dreams a reality. Funding for the scholarships is made possible through the global and Southern California chapters of RMHC and the fundraising efforts of local McDonald's owner/operators and corporate staff. The McDonald's Operators' Association of Southern California pays for administrative costs of the scholarship programs including the production and distribution of applications and a recipient recognition event, which will be held on May 18, 2013.

For more than 30 years, RMHC of Southern California has been committed to providing comfort, care and support to children and families in Southern California.  RMHC of Southern California is dedicated to creating a community where children and their families embrace life and healing with a sense of hope, enthusiasm, courage and joy by operating five Ronald McDonald Houses, Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms and a Community Grants Board.

The McDonald's Operators' Association of Southern California is comprised of more than 600 franchised and company-owned McDonald's restaurants in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. Follow us on Twitter: @McDonalds_SoCal.

1 Richard Fry, "A Record One-in-Five Households Now Owe Student Loan Debt," Pew Research Center, 16 October 2012 <>.

CONTACT: Elicet Vega
(323) 762-2432

SOURCE Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California

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