Finish What You Started Participant

Finish What You Started title with student smiling

The Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative launched the Finish What You Started Program in 2021 to help Colorado residents go back to school and earn their certificate or degree. The program supports students in two ways: providing financial assistance and support services throughout their college experience.

Do you have some college, but did not graduate or obtain your credential? Are you thinking of re-enrolling to finish your degree? Join the Finish What You Started program designed to provide you with support services to obtain college credentials or degrees. The program combines financial support with additional services such as career planning and student coaching, connection to community and public resources and career connections. 

Hear from Current Participants

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Photo of Adel

Adel Ishmenah, Metropolitan State University of Denver 

Adel Ishnenah dropped out of school three years ago because he was unsure of what career path he wanted to pursue. After working a minimum wage job for several years, he decided to return to school at Metropolitan State University of Denver for a degree in cyber security. He didn’t think he could afford to go back until he discovered the Finish What You Started program. "It just came to a point where I no longer wanted to work for minimum wage. I got to go back to school and get my degree. I have to finish what I started."

Photo of Noah Cordova at the UNC campus with a Bear statue in background

Noah Cordova, University of Norhtern Colorado

Noah Cordova attended UNC in 2018, but in 2020 the emotional and financial toll of the pandemic forced Noah to drop out so he could work full time and focus on paying his bills. This spring, Noah reenrolled and received a $4,000 Finish What You Started scholarship for the spring 2022 semester. He is now on track to graduate by May 2024. Noah credits the help of staff at UNC for getting him into the program. “I am so glad that Nickie and Tobias helped me get back into school and I am so happy and grateful for this opportunity with COSI to finish my college degree.”

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Participant Benefits

The Finish What You Started program across the status focuses on providing wraparound student support as well as financial support to students who are planning to return to school. Here's what you can expect as a participant:

Financial Support:

  • Participating students receive scholarships as well as connections to other financial resources.
  • Emergency funding and additional financial support may be available to students based on specific program and student need.

Support Services:

  • Enrollment Support: support in enrolling into the institution including help with enrollment tasks such as application, essay preparation, transcript submission, orientation, and fee waivers.
  • Financial Literacy: support in completing financial aid application, and assistance with accessing and understanding the full range of financial aid programs and locating resources for public and private scholarships.
  • Academic Success: services to help you complete coursework in good standing.
  • Connection to Resources: Services supporting your academic, social & wellness, and personal/family needs.
  • 1:1 Student Support: support from a student navigator to help determine your specific needs and help you overcome institutional barriers.
  • Transition to Workforce: Support in planning your next steps after graduation.

*Please note that specific services vary by Institution

Eligibility Criteria

Participants must meet the following criteria:

  • Must plan to enroll or be enrolling at a Colorado public college or university
  • Must not have previously earned a credential (certificate or degree) that is 30 or more credits
    • Students who have previously earned a short certificate that is 29 credits or less can still participate in the program.
  • Undergraduate, in-state students (for residency purposes) who fit one of the following two categories:
    • Have "Some College, No Degree": Defined as students who earned some postsecondary credits from a Colorado public/private higher education institution but did not complete a certificate or degree before deciding not to enroll for two or more consecutive semesters.
    • Are "First-time Students": Defined as students who were admitted to a Colorado public institution of higher education as a first-time student for the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 academic year but did not enroll at any institution for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Statewide Program Contacts

Adams State University

Chayne Boutillette: isabellachayne@adams.edu

Metropolitan State University of Denver

Tiffani Baldwin

kbaldwi4@msudenver.edu

MSU Denver Website

Pickens Technical College

Wallis Fullner

wfullmer@aurorak12.org

Red Rocks

Allison Dumas

allison.dumas@rrcc.edu

UCCS

JeVita Rogers

jrogers3@uccs.edu