New Program Offers More Scholarship Opportunities for Low-Income Connecticut Students

The College Board Opportunity Scholarships is a national program open to all students, starting with the class of 2020, and the state of Connecticut has teamed up with the College Board to launch a supplemental pool of scholarship funds available to students from lower-income families, according to the governor’s office.

As of June 1, eligible students who join the national College Board Opportunity Scholarships program are eligible for an additional $40,000 in scholarships per year, according to the governor’s office.

Gov. Ned Lamont and Connecticut State Department of Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell made the announcement Friday.

“These scholarships offer a great opportunity for high school students who are pursuing higher education and struggling with the growing costs of college,” Lamont said in a statement. “I want to thank the College Board for partnering with our state on this important initiative – it will result in many more students being able to access the necessary opportunities that will help them advance their career goals.”

They said the College Board has committed $25 million over five years to the new program and has already awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to more than 1,000 students across the country, including 15 in Connecticut. 

All students can earn opportunities for scholarships by completing any or all of the following six steps:

  1. Building a college list
  2. Practicing for the SAT
  3. Improving their SAT scores
  4. Strengthening their college list
  5. Completing the FAFSA
  6. Applying to college

By completing each step, students earn a chance for scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000 and doing all six steps will earn students a chance for $40,000 for their college education.

“The six actions in the College Board Opportunity Scholarships are the critical steps that many students, especially low-income students, don’t pursue, limiting their college prospects. Through CSDE’s leadership, more students in Connecticut will know about and take these crucial steps,” Priscilla Rodriguez, executive director of Scholarships Strategy at the College Board, said in a statement.

The additional scholarships available to Connecticut students will be awarded monthly through random drawings among all eligible students, beginning with the class of 2020, according to the governor’s office.

“At CSDE, we have been committed to outreach efforts to engage and encourage more students to participate in rigorous coursework while increasing their access to college-level material and college-entrance exams, especially for students of color and those from low-income families,” Wentzell said in a statement.

College Board Opportunity Scholarships can be used at any accredited two-year or four-year college and are open to all students, regardless of citizenship status, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Find out more here.  

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