Skip Main Navigation

OJC Press Release ID: 3157


Friday, March 18, 2022

COSI Finish What You Started Grant Helps Students Pay to Finish Degree

 

In late 2021, Otero College received a grant that will help students return to school to complete the degree they started. The Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI) launched Finish What You Started (FWYS), a program providing wraparound support services to obtain college credentials or degrees.

Otero College received almost half a million dollars to be used over the next two years through scholarship awards to qualifying recipients. If you have ‘Some College, No Degree” you may qualify to receive some of this money.

Jane Wheeler, the Success Coordinator for the Finish What You Started grant commented, “I have been working with individuals that range in age from 20 to 75 years old. It’s never too late to finish your college degree.”

FWYS can provide students with financial assistance and support services. The academic financial assistance can be used for tuition, books and other costs associated with enrollment. It can also provide non-academic financial assistance. The scholarship funds can be used for the costs of everyday living. Ex. Travel, daycare, utility, rent expenses. The support services include one on one guidance and tutoring to assist with academic challenges. It can also help locate resources the student may need, either at Otero, or in the community. Ex. Mental health services, transportation services, food banks.

“We want to remove the barriers that have prevented students from finishing their degrees. It might be a financial hold on the student’s account that’s preventing them from enrolling, or the student may need extra financial support to cover the cost of day care or travel expenses,” Wheeler shared.

Interested students must plan to enroll or be enrolling at a Colorado public college or university. They must be pursuing their first higher education certificate or degree (previous degree holders are ineligible). Undergraduate, in-state students who fit one of the following two categories:

  • Have "Some College, No Degree": Defined as students who earned some postsecondary credits from a public/private higher education institution but did not complete a credential or degree before deciding not to enroll for two or more consecutive semesters.
  • Are "First-time Students": Defined as students who were admitted to a public institution of higher education as a first-time student for the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 academic year but did not enroll at any institution for the 2020-2021 academic year. Admitted between Spring 2019 to Summer 2021 but did not enroll (at a Colorado public or private institution)– did not start classes for the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • All students served by the program must have experienced economic loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic and must attest to that.

    According to Angela Moore, Associate Vice President of Enrollment and Marketing, “It is Otero’s commitment to our students to assist with both academic and financial support to ensure they are successful that prompted the decision to apply for the COSI FWYS grant. The funds Otero received allows us to stay true to that commitment by hiring a Success Coach and providing scholarships to help our students return to college and reach their goal of completing.”

    For any questions about the COSI: Finish what you started grant, please contact Jane Wheeler at 719-384-6802 or email Jane.Wheeler@otero.edu.

    Press Release Photo
    Otero College received almost half a million dollars to be used over the next two years through scholarship awards to qualifying recipients. If you have ‘Some College, No Degree” you may qualify to receive some of this money. Pictured is Jane Wheeler, Success Coordinator.







     

     

    ©