The MV Youth community fund announced Thursday that it has awarded $865,000 in college and workforce scholarships to 16 high school seniors.

The awards provide what’s called last-dollar support, bridging the gap between what the student’s family can afford, plus other financial aid, and the total cost of attending college or technical training programs.

“MV Youth looks at the full cost of attendance to enroll in an educational program: tuition, fees, room and board [or] rent [and] food stipend, supplies and fees,” MV Youth executive director Lindsey Scott told the Gazette Thursday morning.“Our goal is to help kids to be able to select the schools that they want to go to but that are financially out of reach,” she said.

Eight Island seniors received four-year college scholarships — the largest number in the fund’s eight-year history, Ms. Scott said.

Four-year college scholarship winners: Lila Mikos, Graham Stearns, Sam Fetters, Zach Utz, Ruairi Mullin, Ella Buchert, Isabella Clarke and Jessie Dlabaj. — Ray Ewing

Ella Buchert will attend University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Isabella Clarke and Ruairi Mullin are headed for Brown University; Jessie Dlabaj will attend Clemson University; Sam Fetters is going to Amherst College; Lila Mikos will attend Syracuse University; Graham Stearns is headed to Colgate University and Zach Utz will attend Middlebury College.

Another four seniors are receiving four-year support to study for careers in education and health care, part of a new category for MV Youth this year.

“We’re really responding to the need in the community [for] those careers,” Ms. Scott said.

Alison Custer and Jonathan Norton will attend Connecticut College to pursue teaching; Lucas Goncalves will study physical therapy and kinesthesiology at Gordon College in Wenham, and Crystal Zheng will attend University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth to pursue a nursing career.

A third grant category, workforce training scholarships, was introduced five years ago to support graduating Islanders as they achieve associate’s degrees, certifications and professional development for careers in the building, automotive and marine trades, among others for which there is local demand.

Education and health care scholarship winners: Crystal Zheng, Jonathan Norton, Lucas Goncalves (not shown Alison Custer). — Ray Ewing

“There are so many vacant jobs in these fields,” Ms. Scott said.

This year’s recipients are Marina Pessoni, who will attend Cape Cod Community College to pursue nursing and medical interpreting; Kathleen Dos Santos, who will begin cosmetology training at Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy in Braintree; Jake Scott, headed to MotoRing Technical Training Institute in Seekonk to study automotive mechanics; and Lucas da Silva, who will pursue electrical training at Cape Cod Community College.

Determining who’s eligible for the scholarships begins with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, Ms. Scott said.

“It’s a federal tool to determine a family’s capacity to contribute to their own child’s education,” she said.

Other scholarships and financial aid are also taken into account, but not loan offers or work-study positions, Ms. Scott said.

Workforce training scholarship winners: Jake Scott, Marina Pessoni, Kathleen Dos Santos and Lucas da Silva. — Ray Ewing

“Whatever is left is basically the part that the student is … not going to be able to afford,” she said.

This year’s class of MV Youth scholarship recipients represents a more than threefold increase since the awards began eight years ago with five college-bound seniors, Ms. Scott said. The original stake came from 40 donors who agreed to contribute $25,000 annually over four years, she said.

Today, the roster of donors making the same pledge has swelled to 75 — almost exactly the number of young Islanders who have received scholarships, which with this week’s announcement totals 76 over the past eight years, Ms. Scott said.

“If you think about it, just the number of families in the giving and receiving circle — 150 people involved in giving and receiving of a lot of money is a huge opportunity,” she said.