Colorado Department of Higher Education Distributes Behavioral Health Tuition Grants to Help Save Students Money

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DENVER – June 22, 2022: The Colorado Department of Higher Education approved $5 million in grants to five universities that will provide tuition to students pursuing select degrees and certificates in behavioral health. The state estimates the program will serve nearly 400 students in the first two years with the program lasting four years.

The Behavioral Health Incentive Program awards scholarships to low-income and rural Colorado students enrolled in behavioral health degree and certificate programs. Created by SB21-137, a new law signed by Governor Polis and sponsored by Representatives Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Chris Kennedy, Senators Brittany Pettersen and Faith Winter. This landmark new law responsibly leverages $9 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to encourage students to pursue behavioral health degrees. 
“The post-pandemic climate has caused stress and trauma on individuals and families. The newly formed Behavioral Health Administration under the Polis-Primavera administration in partnership with the legislature will provide a one-stop-shop for mental and behavioral resources for Coloradans. CDHE in alignment with those efforts has created this program, which will help save students money, provides a pathway that supports efforts to mitigate the mental health crisis, and workforce and fills the careers that our society needs most right now,” said CDHE Executive Director, Dr. Angie Paccione.

The five institutions, their eligible programs, and grants are:

  1. Colorado Mesa University ($421,481)
    1. BSW in Social Work
    2. MSW in Social Work
    3. Professional Certification in Addiction Studies
  2. Colorado State University ($1,746,673)
    1. M.A. in Addiction Counseling in Psychology
    2. B.S. with a Concentration in Addiction Counseling
    3. M.A. in Human Development & Family Studies/Marriage and Family Therapy
    4. M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
    5. M.A. in Social Work
    6. B.A. in Social Work
    7. Joint Masters in Addiction Counseling in Psychology and Social Work
  3. University of Northern Colorado ($1,585,457)
    1. M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
    2. M.A. in Educational Psychology
    3. M.A. in Foundations of Professional Psychology
    4. M.A. in Marriage, Counseling, and Family Counseling/Therapy
  4. University of Denver ($1,014,222)
    1. Master of Social Work
  5. University of Colorado Colorado Springs ($232,167)
    1. Master of Social Work

About the Behavioral Health Incentive Program
The Behavioral Health Incentive Program provides full-ride, multi-year tuition funding for low-income and rural students enrolled in behavioral health programs. The grant is designed to support an expanded pipeline of institutional programs to meet Colorado’s behavioral health needs.