The Behavioral Health Incentive Program provides financial incentives to rural and low-income Colorado students to obtain a credential in certain behavioral health programs of study. Implemented by SB21-137, $9 million was dedicated for this effort from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The program will cover an eligible student's in-state tuition in approved programs at Colorado institutions of higher education.
CDHE has opened a Request For Proposals from all institutions with behavioral health degree and certificate programs. The RFP will be open until midnight on June 5, 2022. The RFP is available through the ColoradoVSS portal as RFP #2022000423, "Behavioral Health Incentive Program."
CDHE staff will review funding requests and determine the division of allocated funds between RFPs and will begin disbursing these funds in June 2022. CDHE will expend all funds by June 30, 2023.
The Department encourages every institution with a behavioral health degree or certificate program to apply, as the aim is to distribute funds to all eligible programs. Grant guidelines are to provide full-ride, multi-year support to student recipients. Students are eligible at up to 250% of the Pell income threshold, or by being graduates of a rural high school or residents of a rural area. Service to rural communities and individuals is a funding priority. Finally, applicants may allocate up to 5% of their requested funds to support outreach and recruitment efforts targeting these programs.
Accessing the ColoradoVSS Portal
Applicants may preview the RFP listing with an existing account or selecting the "Public Access" option below the login panel. The RFP extension is listed as "Behavioral Health Incentive Program," RFP #2022000423.
Full instructions and support for the ColoradoVSS portal may be accessed here.
RFP Informational Webinar
CDHE held an informational and Q&A webinar on Monday, May 23. You may access the webinar recording and slide deck below.
Frequently Asked Questions are available below.