Seeks proposals from high schools that want to increase the number of students applying for financial aid
The Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI), a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, is accepting applications from local high schools for the Fund My Future program which aims to increase student aid application completion among high school seniors. COSI is launching a new application round after receiving additional funds from the state, which allow COSI to support programming at more Colorado high schools.
“Financial aid assistance puts college within reach for many students, “said Dr. Angie Paccione, executive director of CDHE. “Investing in these strategies allows us to remove barriers and create opportunities for Colorado high school seniors to pursue postsecondary options without racking up debt.”
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Colorado Application for State Financial Aid (CASFA) determine a student’s eligibility to receive federal and or state funds for financial aid in higher education. Both tools are critical in helping students pay for college. However, according to recent data published by the National College Attainment Network, Colorado ranks 36th in the nation for FAFSA completion among high school seniors. The low participation rate means that students leave more than $42 million in federal grants on the table annually.
The Fund My Future program provides funding to Colorado high schools to support FAFSA/CASFA completion strategies and offer students support in preparing for college.
Local education providers, defined as a school district, charter school or board of cooperative services that act as a high school, are eligible to apply. In addition, applicants must commit to requiring students to complete a student aid application (FAFSA/CASFA) before graduation unless the student is eligible to waive the requirement. The deadline to apply is February 17, 2023. Applications can be submitted cosi.smapply.io/.
Since the Fund My Future program launched in January 2022, COSI has awarded $1.6 million over four years in supporting programs at five Colorado high schools:
- Colorado High School Charter Globeville Elyria Swansea (GES)
- Colorado High School Charter Osage
- Adams City High School (Adams 14 School District)
- Westminster High School (Westminster Public Schools)
- Hidden Lake High School (Westminster Public Schools)