The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is collaborating with the College Board on a program that will provide scholarship funds for students from lower-income families, beginning with the class of 2020.The College Board Opportunity Scholarships program is a national initiative that requires the completion of six steps needed in pursuit of a college education: building a college list, practicing for the SAT, improving SAT scores, strengthening the college list, completing the FAFSA and applying to college. Students who complete each step earn a chance for scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000, while the completion of all six steps will earn students a chance for $40,000 for their college education. The additional scholarships will be available to eligible Connecticut students through random monthly drawings.
The scholarships can be used at any accredited two-year or four-year college and are open to all students, regardless of citizenship status. The College Board has committed $25 million over five years to the program and has already allocated over $1 million in scholarships to more than 1,000 students across the country.
“These scholarships offer a great opportunity for high school students who are pursuing higher education and struggling with the growing costs of college,” said Gov. Ned Lamont in announcing Connecticut’s participation in the program. “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.”
“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,” CSDE Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell said. “We are starting to see our collective work pay off with steady increases in college and career readiness for all student groups for the second year in a row. With the support of partners like the College Board, we will continue to deliver on our promise of equity and excellence for all Connecticut students by making higher education more affordable and accessible.”