(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI), a program of the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE), is taking applications for a new scholarship program geared at giving formerly committed youth a chance to pursue a college degree. 

The Second Chance Scholarship program provides funding of up to $5,000 a year and student support services to individuals awarded. Participants can choose among many college and career path options, including a traditional college degree, online and certificate programs.

“We want to knock down barriers so these youth can pursue their dreams and passions, without worrying about how they’ll pay for their education,” said CDHE Executive Director Dr. Angie Paccione. “This program changes the trajectory for committed youth and provides them support along the way so they can get that valuable certificate or degree.”

COSI intends to award $100,000 in scholarships over the next four years to invest in the educational success of those who have been released from a Division of Youth Services (DYS) commitment facility within the last five years. The goal of the program is to provide support and remove barriers for these students leading to completion of a credential and gainful employment.

Scholarship money can be used for:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Textbooks and general school supplies (notebooks, pens, backpack, etc.)
  • Room and board
  • Transportation (bus passes or parking)
  • Licensing and certification testing fees (CNA licensure exam fees, MA certification exam fee, etc.)
  • Program-specific school supplies (welding tools, scrubs, calculators, etc.)
  • Other school-related financial needs

Participants will also receive support services, such as academic advising, financial literacy programming, individualized student support, connection to community resources, and career advising.

Individuals applying for the Scholarship can be currently attending, in the process of enrolling or planning to apply to one of the eligible colleges. For a full list of eligible colleges, applicant eligibility requirements, and application information please visit the Second Chance Scholarship Program webpage.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; if a student plans on attending college in Spring 2023, the deadline for this application is October 21, 2022.