The 2024-2025 FAFSA/CASFA will open December 31, 2023!


COSI Youth Mentorship Scholarship Program

college aged student mentoring disabled teen

COSI is accepting applications in Fall 2023 for its Youth Mentorship Scholarship Program. This grant will award eligible organizations with funding to provide scholarships to college students in exchange for mentorship services. In 2023, SB23-149 created the COSI youth mentorship assistance grant pilot program and appropriated $100,000 to be used through June 30, 2026. 

The funding will bolster mentorship programs while helping students pay for college. COSI will provide $25,000 grants to youth mentorship organizations focused on LGBTQ+ youth, disabled youth, youth of color and youth at risk of being involved in the criminal justice system. Organizations can use the funding to provide scholarships to students who work as mentors in their programs and attend a public Colorado Institution of Higher Education.

Eligible organizations can apply starting September 1, 2023. A link to the portal will be available when the application opens. Interested organizations must complete the Intent to Apply on the application portal by September 10, 2023. 

View Request for Proposals

Apply Now

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible Organizations/Applicants

Non-profit organizations, state entities, and community partnerships committed to increasing the availability of scholarship dollars for Colorado students, meet the requirements listed, and are committed to adhering to the grant policies are eligible to apply.


  • Organization must have a policy and procedure requiring a state and national fingerprint-based criminal history record check utilizing the records of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation of all prospective eligible student-mentors, volunteers, and employees.
  • The youth mentorship organization shall not permit prospective eligible student-mentors, volunteers, or employees to serve the organization if they have been convicted of, entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, or received a deferred sentence for:
    • a felony crime involving unlawful sexual behavior or unlawful behavior involving children;
    • a felony crime, the underlying factual basis of which has been found by the court on the record to involve domestic violence;
    • a misdemeanor crime involving unlawful sexual behavior or unlawful behavior involving children; or
    • a misdemeanor crime, the underlying factual basis of which has been found by the court on the record to involve domestic violence.
  • Youth mentorship organizations which are community-based organizations that provide mentorship services to youth who reside in communities that were historically and/or are currently negatively impacted by structural and systemic design and consequently have no or limited access to quality mentorship services.
  • Youth mentorship organizations focused on serving one or more of the following communities;
    • a youth mentorship organization for youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer;
    • a youth mentorship organization for youth who have a physical, mental, or developmental disability;
    •  a youth mentorship organization for youth of color;
    •  a youth mentorship organization for youth who are justice-involved. 
  • Area of service focused on rural and urban areas of Colorado
Award Information

Grant Term

Grant terms vary and are dependent on the applicant’s scholarship program. The following are the grant term options:

  • January 1, 2024-June 30, 2026 
    • Beginning spring 2024 semester
  • July 1, 2024-June 30-2026
    • Beginning fall 2024 semester

Grant Awards

A $25,000 grant award per organization, regardless of the grant term selected. 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
  • Completed annual report to demonstrate fidelity to proceed in subsequent years.

Grant Payments

Two payments will be provided annually in August and November of each grant year. For grants beginning in January 2024, an additional payment will be made in January 2024 and must be used for spring semester 2024 scholarships.  

Use of Funds

Allowable use of funds:

  • Up to $2500 per student per year.
  • Scholarships are provided to the student mentor in exchange for mentorship services provided.
  • Scholarships must be used for the cost of attendance.
  • Scholarships must be paid directly to the institution of higher education and labeled as a COSI Scholarship.
  • Scholarship must be paid each fall and spring semester, and only once hours have been confirmed by the mentorship organization.  Which may occur at the end of the semester.
  • Students whose household incomes are determined to be between 0 and 250% of Pell eligibility are eligible to participate.
  • Undergraduate students only.
  • Colorado residents for tuition purposes (includes ASSET students).
  • Attending a public institution of higher education in Colorado.
  • Scholarships are not intended to supplant federal, state, local or non-federal funds.
  • Scholarships should be designed to close the affordability gap for students pursuing postsecondary credentials.
  • To maximize COSI funds and support students across the state, students should only receive one COSI award per grantee per academic year.


Application Process

All applications must be submitted through the COSI application portal. The application opens on September 1, 2023. 

See the Request for Proposal document for an application preview. 

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

  • Letter of Intent- general organization information and signatory details. Notification of approval to move to the application phase is required. 
  • Application-consists of five sections and can be accessed in the portal once the Letter of Intent is completed. An Application Review is provided in this RFP.
    • Scholarship Program Overview-provide an overview summary of the scholarship program.
    • Payments and Disbursements- annual student disbursement schedule, which includes the number of expected students to be served, the amount of each scholarship, how much will be disbursed per semester, and how much will be disbursed for the year.
    • Assurances- certify acknowledgment of assurances.
    • Letter(s) of Support – The letters of support are from partners committed to supporting the organization's work throughout the grant. Submission of the letter(s) of support is not required but encouraged. 

Proposals are competitive and will be reviewed by the COSI staff, the cross-department team and the COSI Advisory Board. To learn more about the process see the Request for Proposal and view the evaluation rubric. 


Application Task


RFP Released

  August 16, 2023


Application Portal Opens

  September 1, 2023


Letter of Intent

September 10, 2023


Letter of Intent Notification

Deadline Extended.

This will remain open through the application period 


Application Due

October 15, 2023

COSI Board Meeting

Board meets to review and select awardees

November 15, 2023

Grant Award Notification

Applicants are notified of the Board’s decision

December 1, 2023

Application Support
COSI will have informational webinars and support sessions available. You can also visit the application support folder for more information. 

Informational Webinars and Application Support Sessions



Zoom Details


Application Informational Webinar

Available August 28, 2023

Click here  to access the informational webinar

Application Support Session

September 20, 2023, at 2 pm


Please review the RFP, all supporting documents, and the Informational Webinar before attending the support session.

Click here to register

Application Support Session

October 6, 2023, at 11 am


Please review the RFP, all supporting documents, and the Informational Webinar before attending the support session.

Click here to register