Garfield County partnering with CMC on scholarship

Post-secondary education funding available to county residents

April 4, 2019

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Garfield County is supporting the Colorado Mountain College Foundation’s application for Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI) funding to help local students attend state institutions of higher learning.

The state of Colorado leverages $7.5 million annually for the program, which “encourages communities to create or leverage partnerships with scholarship foundations to assist their students with covering the costs of higher education and motivate students to pursue a degree or credential,” according to COSI. The program began in 2014, when the Colorado Legislature committed $35 million toward post-secondary education scholarships for Coloradans.

The COSI funding averages $2,500 per student annually, and Garfield County’s total 2019 allocation comes to $80,851. Last year, 21 local students benefitted from COSI.

Having formerly partnered with the Aspen Community Foundation, the county has agreed to join this year with the CMC Foundation, which already administers the COSI scholarship in seven counties, in assuring the funding remains available for local students. The college will monitor, distribute, and oversee the scholarship awards, which are made available to Garfield County residents before any other applicants.

Matt Gianneschi, chief operating officer at CMC, told the Board of County Commissioners that the college is prepared to provide its share of the match.

“This money would all go to Garfield County residents,” he said. “We typically enroll between 5,000 and 7,000 Garfield County residents in a given year.”

A resolution was approved unanimously to partner with CMC on the scholarship, 3-0.

“Thanks to CMC for stepping up to help us out,” added Commissioner Mike Samson.