Early High School Graduate Program


The Early High School Graduate Innovation Pilot Program, established by SB21-106, allows students from low-income households who graduate early to receive funding for postsecondary education or training programs during what would have been their fourth year of high school. Postsecondary programs may be college enrollment or approved workplace learning programs like internships and apprenticeships. You can find local registered workplace learning programs at MyColoradoJourney.

The Pilot Program will last for five years and will be comprised of five schools or groups of schools from a mix of urban, suburban, and rural institutions. Participating schools will receive 25% of the average state share of per-pupil revenue for each participating student, and are encouraged to apply these funds to counseling and support activities for potential and participating early graduates. Schools will also report participation and demographic data to CDHE.

Participating students will receive funds depending on the semester of their graduation. If they graduate prior to their fourth year, they will receive either 75% of the average state share of per-pupil revenue, or $3,500 (whichever is greater.) If they graduate prior to the second semester of their fourth year, they will receive either 45% of the average state share of per-pupil revenue, or $2,000 (whichever is greater.) Student funds will first be used to pay tuition, fees, or other expenses within the institution. Unspent funds may then be used by the student for other qualifying expenditures, including textbooks, equipment, or transportation.


Program Fact Sheet


CDHE is proud to be partnering with Colorado Succeeds and Whiteboard Advisors on the Path4Ward Program, a support project for applicants and pilot program participants. The Path4Ward Program will support schools in applying to the program, and will provide ongoing technical assistance to the selected pilot program participants. They will also provide coaching support and information to participating students who wish to opt-in to the Path4Ward Program. 

If you are interested in receiving application and/or technical assistance through the Path4Ward Program, please contact Erin Kerr at ekerr@coloradosucceeds.org.


Five schools, districts, or groups of schools will be selected from the applicant pool by the Commission on Higher Education. Applications will be accepted until midnight on February 11, 2022. CDHE will be hosting an informational webinar from 1:00 to 2:00 PM on Tuesday, January 18, 2022. The webinar will be recorded and made available below. Please contact Jack Wolflink at jack.wolflink@dhe.state.co.us to RSVP. The webinar will be available at this URL: https://highered-colorado-gov.zoom.us/j/86267499021

The Pilot Program Application consists of a narrative section and a statutory compliance section. Both sections must be submitted for your application to be considered.

The narrative section includes four descriptive questions and a budget submission. The compliance section requests preliminary student data, two application contacts, and a list of all schools included in the application. Submitted budgets and student data must use the below templates:

Preliminary Data Template  Program Budget Template


Applications must be submitted through our SurveyMonkey Apply portal. You will be required to create a SurveyMonkey Apply profile—click here for a walkthrough. (Attach registration instructions). If you require any assistance with the application procedure or requirements, please contact Jack Wolflink at jack.wolflink@dhe.state.co.us. If you would like assistance with preparing to apply, you may contact Erin Kerr at ekerr@coloradosucceeds.org.


Apply Here


Application Evaluation

CDHE and CDE staff score applications according to the following rubric and will additionally evaluate districts for their ability to implement student support, record robust outcomes data, and for their potential to illustrate growth and replicability of the Early High School Graduate Innovation Program.


Evaluation Rubric


Selection Timeline

CDHE staff will submit recommendations to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education for approval at the March 4th, 2022 meeting.


Please contact Jack Wolflink at jack.wolflink@dhe.state.co.us if you have any questions.