The 2024-2025 CASFA is now open. The soft launch of the 2024-25 FAFSA is underway, please expect intermittent access.

 
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Career Launch Grant

Career Launch title with Cartoon images of compute, pens, coffee cup, paper airplane, and flag, all floating on clounds

The Career Launch grant was created in Fall 2023 to replace COSI’s Workforce grant. The program is designed to provide tuition support to students via matching funds for community scholarships so that tuition costs are not a barrier to entry, to reduce the currently unmanageable amount of student loan debt, and create a workforce that has the skills, knowledge, adaptability, and diversity to continue to drive Colorado’s economic growth.

COSI seeks applications from eligible non-profits focused on supporting students who are historically marginalized and/or are working to complete a credential in specific high-needs fields that offers a livable wage. This funding is competitive. Only one application cycle will be offered per fiscal year.  

For fiscal year 2023-2024, the Career Launch grant will leverage $1.5 million in state funds to generate $3 million in new scholarship funds to support Colorado students in postsecondary education and degree attainment. These funds can potentially impact more than 1,000 students over the next few years as they pursue a credential.

Program Goals

  • Provide financial support to reduce student loan debt.

  • Ensure every Career Launch student is connected with career opportunities to gain employment with a livable wage.

  • Support credential completion in high-demand pathways that support Colorado’s Top Jobs. 

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Request for Proposal

Request for Proposal

Please review the entire request for proposal for all the specific grant rules and requirements. 

Organization/Applicant Eligibility

Non-profit organizations - 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4), and their partners who are committed to increasing the availability of scholarship dollars for Colorado students leveraging COSI funds to incentivize new philanthropic monies and promoting student support best practices aimed at completion are eligible to apply. 

Use of Funds:

Scholarships should not be intended to supplant federal, state, local or non-federal funds. Scholarships should provide support for significant funding gaps in cost of attendance to help close the affordability gap for students pursuing postsecondary credentials. To maximize COSI, the matching funds, and support students across the state, students should only receive scholarship funds from one COSI grant per academic year. 

COSI recommends the use of the Last Dollar Plus model in the awarding of funds. 

Program Participant Criteria

  • Participants must demonstrate financial need:

  • Student’s household income must be between 0 and 100% or between 101% and 250% of the maximum permissible income to determine eligibility for Pell grants;

  • 2023-2024-EFC from $0 to $16,640.

  • FAFSA is changing for 2024-2025, and as such, the COSI financial need definition may change as well. This grant is required to align with the COSI statute and any changes to financial eligibility.

  • Participation in career-based services to ensure successful placement in the workforce; 
  • Undergraduate student;
  • Colorado residents for tuition purposes (includes ASSET students); and 
  • Attending public area technical colleges, community colleges, four-year institutions of higher education, and research institutions in Colorado.
  • Funds can be used for a student’s Cost of Attendance.

Grant Term

Grant terms are two years in length. COSI has the following grant term requirements:

  • For 2023-2024, grantees will be required to start disbursement of their funds no later than Fall 2025 and complete spending funds by June 30, 2027.

Grant Awards

Career Launch grants are competitive. Funding will be contingent upon annual appropriations by the State Legislature and any other further discretion at the jurisprudence of the grantor. The Career Launch grant requires that both the COSI award and matching funds serve the same student population. Funded applicants will be eligible for continued funding in the subsequent years of the grant cycle after successfully demonstrating the following: 


Submission of all required evaluation materials. 

  • Adequate progress toward successfully meeting annual objectives; and 

  • Full matching and distribution of scholarship funds as outlined in the agreement; and

  • Completed annual report to demonstrate fidelity to proceed in subsequent years.

 

Proposal Elements

All proposals must be submitted by the date(s) indicated in the Timeline section. The proposal consists of the areas outlined below:

1. Organization Information: provide basic information on your organization and the amount requested. 

2. Program Design

  • Essentials-COSI’s minimum eligibility requirements and any criteria set by the organization that a student must meet to receive a scholarship. 
  • Pick The Focus- Identify any of the grant priorities you intend to support and the credential type you plan to support.
  • Pick The Grant Timeline- identify the grant term, including start term, length, and first semester funds will be disbursed
  • Scholarship Design- Identify scholarship type, plans for disbursement and completion goals. 

3. Narrative: Detail your strategies in each of the following areas. This section will be graded on a scale.

  • Program Focus
  • Program Goals
  • Student Support
  • Matching Funds 

4. Invoice Schedule-outline of the expected (1) incoming funds received by the applicant as new matching funds; (2) payments from the State in the template provided in the online system.

5. Reporting Requirements-acknowledgement and commitment to reporting requirements

6. Assurances- certify acknowledgment of assurances.

7. Letter(s) of Support (Optional)- Share support from industry partner or organizations.

 

Application Submission

COSI encourages applicants to familiarize themselves with the requirements, process, application process, and attend the informational webinars and application support sessions outlined in the Timeline section.

Proposals are accepted via the COSI portal.

  • Complete the portal registration at any time. See detailed portal registration instructions.
  • If the organization has a SurveyMonkey Apply account, please use that account to apply.

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. 

The RFP provides an Application Preview to help prepare the application before submitting it.

All proposals submitted to the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative and the Colorado Department of Higher Education are public records and should not contain confidential data. CDHE is subject to the Colorado Open Records Act and must release full proposals when requested

Timeline

 

Application Task

Deadline

Request for Proposals Released

 October 31, 2023

Application Portal Opens

 November 6, 2023

Application Due

January 5, 2024

TA Program Design & Support

January 8-31, 2024

COSI Board Meeting

Board meets to review and select awardees

March 20, 2024

Grant Award Notification

Applicants are notified of the Board’s decision

April 3, 2024

 

  
Application Support

Informational Webinars and Application Support Sessions

 

Date

Zoom Details

 

Application Informational Webinar Available 

View Information Webinar

Application Support Sessions

November 16, 2023, at 2:00 pm, 

Application Support Session, please view the Informational Webinar above before attending the support session

Zoom Meeting Link

Phone: 719-359-4580

Meeting ID: 820 9502 2812/ Passcode: 774492

December 13, 2023, at 9:30 am, 

Application Support Session, please view the Informational Webinar above before attending the support session

Zoom Meeting Link

Phone:719-359-4580

Meeting ID: 847 4261 5885 / Passcode: 154451

January 3, 2024, at 1 pm, 

Application Support Session, please view the Informational Webinar above before attending the support session

Zoom Metting Link

Phone: 719-359-4580

Meeting ID: 834 7737 9651 / Passcode: 793331