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CSU-Pueblo receives $50,000 grant from COSI

Release Date: January 07, 2016

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo

719.549.2810

PUEBLO - The Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) program at Colorado State University-Pueblo is among the 28 initiatives across Colorado to receive a grant from the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative. The funds are aimed at supporting Colorado students - especially those from low-income and/or underrepresented backgrounds - on the path to and through college and into the workforce.

The $50,000 granted to CSU-Pueblo (out of $3.4 million total) will help fund an advisor to help retain DSF students and provide academic and social support systems. The DSF program was one of eight featured during Lt Governor Joseph Garcia's state-wide Colorado Completes! Tour. The CSU-Pueblo/DSF collaboration serves a primarily low-income population with 93 percent of the 2013-14 cohort of students considered Pell eligible, 85 percent first-generation, and 65 percent female.

Retention rates for DSF cohorts are superb and are the reason why DSF has cited the

collaboration with CSU-Pueblo as its model program, according to Derek Lopez, director of the Center for Academic Enhancement. For the 2013-14 cohort, 98 percent of these students persisted from fall to spring. For the 2012 cohort, the fall to fall retention rate was an incredible 100 percent. The 2011 cohort has a first Fall to third Fall retention rate of 100 percent as well, which is higher than all other DSF partner institutions. Of the 60 DSF scholars at CSU-Pueblo in 2013-14, 98 percent of them met satisfactory academic progress requirements. The retention rate at CSU-Pueblo for first-time, full-time students is generally around 65 percent

"CSU-Pueblo is excited to be able to continue to build upon the success of our DSF program through the additional funding from the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative," said Lopez, who submitted the grant proposal.

The General Assembly last year designated $3.4 million to the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (Initiative) as a seed investment to create a network of student support and scholarship programs throughout the state. This historic state investment aims to address workforce readiness, the degree attainment gap, and affordability issues that put a college degree out of reach for too many Coloradans.

"The goal is to increase post-secondary education while better preparing Colorado students to earn a livable wage, graduate with less debt and positively contribute to the growth of our state's economy," said Garcia, who is overseeing the Initiative. "We believe by partnering with philanthropists, business leaders and community groups we can bolster Colorado's talent pipeline."

The first phase of the Initiative involves increasing the availability and quality of student success programs for Colorado's high school students and graduates through $3.4 million in multi-year grant awards, which will offer support to 20,380 students. The second phase will involve enlisting communities, philanthropists, and organizations to help significantly increase the cumulative amount of scholarship dollars available to Colorado resident students. Through this program, contributors will be able to draw down matching funds from the state. Hickenlooper has requested an additional $30 million to build up the state's matching fund in his FY15-16 budget. The first scholarships dollars are expected to be awarded in spring 2016.

For a complete list of grant awards, click here. For more information about the DSF program, contact Lopez at 719-549-2535 or derek.lopez@csupueblo.edu

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.

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