Mar 21, 2023
Crystal Annan
Youth Scholarships/ Colorado Department of Higher Education

Signed into law on June 6, 2014, the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI) was created to address the Colorado Paradox, the state’s high proportion of adults with college degrees is due to credentialed migrants moving in instead of reflecting an educated homegrown workforce. COSI would expand the use of best practices throughout the state through a funding model that received bi-partisan approval. By leveraging state funds to generate local giving, the program grows community efforts and engages private donors to increase available scholarships well beyond the investment from the state. Knowing that scholarships must be paired with student supports to impact completion rates, the program’s Matching Student Scholarship (MSS) component complements the Community Partner Program (CPP) grants. By reaching students from a range of socio-economic classes (from 0-250 percent Pell-eligible) underserved students, for whom college seems out-of-reach, are able to not only afford a degree but also access the support they need to persist and graduate.