In order to address affordability, we need to leverage COSI funds through community partnerships and build a sustainable corpus for future scholarship awards.
Matching Student Scholarship Grants are intended to solicit applications from eligible counties, institutions of higher education, and community workforce programs to increase the amount of scholarship giving available for postsecondary students in Colorado. The initiative will partner with local programs, matching new scholarship dollars 1:1. The program is designed to:
- Generate greater availability of scholarship dollars;
- Promote scholarship programs that include services to help students persist and complete a degree or certificate;
- Encourage communities to create or leverage partnerships with scholarship foundations to assist their students with covering the costs of higher education and motivate students to pursue a degree or credential; and
- Align tuition assistance programs with workforce development programs
Local programs that receive grants must distribute scholarships to Colorado students who attend Colorado public institutions of higher education. Students whose family income is 250 percent or less of PELL eligibility will be eligible for scholarships funded by the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative. The program partners provide over 6,000 students scholarships each year.
Annually, the Board approves the amount of funding that will be made available and awarded during the next fiscal year. In FY 2021-2022 the award amount is set at $7.5 million.
$5 million is available to Counties to provide funding for county residents at public institutions of higher education in the state. This funding is available to one applicant, and the allocation is determined by the population of high school seniors eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch.
Institution of Higher Education (IHE)
$1.5 million is available to public Institutions of Higher Education for use at the institution. This funding is available to one applicant, and the allocation is determined by the population of Pell-eligible students for institutions of higher education.
$1 million is available in Workforce/Industry funds. The organization must focus on completion in specific high-need industries or for specific vulnerable populations over the next two years. This funding is competitive.