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University Received $850,000 in Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative Funding

Release Date: September 21, 2021

Haley Sue Robinson

Director of Communications/Public Information Officer

Marketing, Communications and Community Relations

719-549-2284

Students at Riverwalk

PUEBLO—Colorado State University Pueblo has received $850,000 as part of the State of Colorado’s “COSI” initiative, designed to support “Back to Work” opportunities for the next three years. The funding will support students who return to higher education in order to become workforce ready.

The Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI)—through the Colorado Department of Higher Education was created in 2014 to address Colorado’s educational attainment gap. In this statewide program, scholarships are paired with student support systems in order to impact completion rates. In the first five years, COSI awarded $47 million in state funds and served more than 75,000 students across Colorado.

Derek Lopez, executive director of Hispanic Serving Initiatives Programs and lead for the Advancement team that authored the proposal, expressed his gratitude for the award. “The pandemic affected so many of our students: they lost jobs, suffered illnesses, navigated childcare constraints, and still had to find a way to pay tuition,” said Lopez.

The award will also fund initiatives to increase retention and graduation for CSU Pueblo students by enhancing wrap-around services and financial support at the university.

“This grant will provide much-needed assistance to those students and will encourage them to continue their studies despite increased stressors as they work to manage learning and life in a global pandemic,” said Lopez.

In addition to providing scholarships, the $850,000 award will be used to purchase materials and supplies utilized to garner student participation in meaningful activities, provide bus passes and other relevant means of traveling to campus for activities and student events and employ a full-time staff COSI Back to Work Coordinator.

CSU Pueblo Vice President for Operations and Advancement, Donna Souder Hodge expressed her shared enthusiasm. “I am thankful for the efforts of our campus Advancement and Hispanic Serving Initiatives Programs teams who authored this proposal,” said Souder Hodge.  “We are incredibly honored that the State of Colorado continues to support CSU Pueblo’s work to differentiate our student experience, close attainment gaps, and prepare citizens of southern Colorado for new economic realities. These newest COSI funds will help CSU Pueblo dramatically improve students’ lives and the university’s outcomes,” said Souder Hodge.

For more information, please contact kimberly.wharton@csupueblo.edu, Office of Operations and Advancement.

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