Colorado State Archives
Executive Orders from the Administration of Governor Bill Owens 1999-2005
Thursday, April 7, 2005
Dan Hopkins 303-866-6324
Mark Salley 303-866-6323
NEW SCHOLARSHIPS TO OPEN COLLEGE DOORS TO LOWER-INCOME COLORADANS
Gov. Owens Signs Legislation Creating " College in Colorado Scholarship" Program
DENVER – Governor Bill Owens today signed legislation creating a scholarship program to help lower-income Coloradans overcome the two biggest barriers to college access: lack of adequate academic preparation and lack of resources to pay for college.
"The doors of higher education are swinging open wider today for Coloradans for whom higher education seems to be a distant dream," the Governor said. "This is a landmark plan that helps make college more affordable, but also ensures that students are prepared to succeed in college once they enter," said Governor Owens.
The Governor stressed that the College in Colorado Scholarship Program is specifically designed to make college a reality for deserving students who work hard academically, but who are falling short financially.
The new law creates a $50 million scholarship trust fund financed with monies earned in a student loan fund administered by CollegeInvest, a not-for-profit division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. The interest earned by CollegeInvest on its loans is at a rate set and subsidized by the federal government.
To qualify for the program, students must complete a pre-collegiate curriculum or equivalent and be eligible for a federal Pell financial aid grant. Students could be disqualified from the program only if they engage in behavior that results in expulsion from school.
Assuming an average rate of return, the program will award $2.5 million worth of grants per year. The amount of the scholarship and the number of children that will be served is dependent upon how many children apply and are qualified to receive the award.
Scholarships will be capped at each student's "unmet need" -- the difference between the cost of attending college and other forms of available financial aid. The actual amount of the scholarship will depend on how many students apply and are qualified to receive the award.
Owens was joined at the signing ceremony by Sen. Abel Tapia (D-Pueblo) and Rep. Dale Hall (R-Greeley), the prime sponsors of Senate Bill 3, and students from Colorado middle schools.
CollegeInvest was established in 1979 as a not-for-profit division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. For more information, visit www.collegeinvest.org or call 1-800-college.
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