COSI is Colorado's State Promise Program

About COSI

In 2014, the Colorado legislature committed $35 million toward a new initiative to create a network of student support and scholarship programs throughout the state to boost attainment of postsecondary credentials. By increasing student success programs and financial resources, the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative will result in greater postsecondary access, persistence and retention for youth.

Inspired by the success of the Denver Scholarship Foundation, the Gov. launched a statewide collective impact campaign called the Colorado Scholarship Opportunity Initiative. This program matches community dollars to fund student support organizations and scholarship programs across the state. In the first four years, $39 million has been awarded (leveraging $20 million in additional local and private dollars) to serve more than 60,000 students across its programs. Internal studies using the latest available data show most COSI students enrolled in CPP program—87 percent—persist in their education path, 15 percentage points higher than peers of similar demographic groups. Students who receive COSI scholarships perform even better: 89 percent continue on in their second and third years, outpacing their non-COSI counterparts by 25 percentage points.
In December 2014, the Initiative awarded $6.8 million in program grants. In 2016, the program invested another $800,000 in New Partner Programs in 2016, approximately $2 million in continuing funding for the first round grantees, known as “Legacy Partners”, and $900,000 toward collective impact initiatives across the state. The third iteration of grant funding in 2018 awards approximately $6.4 million to community partners through a new funding model aimed at improving the alignment of CPP with the CDHE Master Plan goals and CDE goals. The new model works to improve programmatic success through measurable metrics. 

Annually, the Board approves the amount of funding that will be made available and awarded during the next fiscal year. Currently, this awarded amount is set at $7.5 million ($5 million for counties, $1.5 million for institutions of higher education and $1 million of workforce development projects). In FY 2018 - 2019, COSI will award $7.5 million in MSS. Due to the COSI grants’ responsiveness to communities’ needs, grant amounts vary and are matched and dispersed on flexible schedules which provides variance between awarded funds (funds that are approved by COSI advisory board in a specific year and encumbered for future fiscal years) and funds which are distributed to grantees in a specific fiscal year. In 2017-2018 MSS distributions equaled $4.2 million to 6,000 students, leveraging an additional $4.2 million in private funds. COSI also forecasts additional funds for future years based on past expenditures, expected program growth and future needs.

Services Map

Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative Service Map

Program Materials

Program Overview

Program Overview

Matching Student Scholarship overview
Matching Student Scholarship Grants 
Community Partner Program Grants Overview

Community Partner Program Grants

Program Update 2016

Program Update 
Fall 2016

Advisory Board Overview

Advisory Board Overview

Scholarship Initiative Program Update

Program Update Spring 2015 

Strategic Plan

COSI Strategic Plan

COSI Policy Guidebook

Program Reports

Community Partner Program (CPP) Grants

Matching Student Scholarship (MSS) Grants

Board Members

The Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative Board is comprised of the members of the Colorado Workforce Development Council Executive Committee along with three additional appointees who represent the different types of public Higher Education Institutions in the state.

Appointed board members are familiar with the various approaches to student success, academic persistence, and workforce development best practices that, when coupled with tuition assistance programs, ensure students succeed in their post-secondary careers. They are advocates for the program and assist with fundraising and community outreach.

Commissioner Katy Anthes
Colorado Department of Education

Joe Barela
Department of Labor and Employment

Dr. Ryan Barone
Colorado State University 

Tim Fry
Mountain Racing Products

Chancellor Joe Garcia
Colorado Community College System

Noel Ginsburg
CareerWise Colorado & Intertech Plastics

Paul Harter
Aqua-Hot Heating Systems, Inc.

Ryan Keiffer
A-Train Marketing

Betsy Markey
Office of Economic Development and International Trade

Dr. Byron McClenney*
Colorado Community College System

Lisanne McNew
McNew & Associates

Dr. Angie Paccione
Colorado Department of Higher Education

Wendell Pryor*
Adams State University

Liddy Romero
WorkLife Partnership

Kyle Sickman

*Appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper pursuant to HB 14-1384 
** Colorado Workforce Development Council Chair

Board Meetings

The Board meets quarterly with the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative staff to ensure program implementation is consistent with statutory requirements. With the help of the board, the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative awarded $6.8 million in grants to 28 student success programs in Colorado in December 2014. The Board is also responsible for the allocation of $7 million dollars for 1:1 matching student scholarships in FY 15-16 and in FY 16-17.

The next regularly scheduled meeting will take place March 19, 2019 from 2:00 - 3:30pm at Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
: 633 17th Street, Denver CO 12th Floor Conference Room. 

3-19-2019 Meeting Agenda

11-14-2018 Meeting Agenda

7-11-2018 Meeting Agenda

5-10-2018 Meeting Agenda

11-15-2017 Meeting Agenda

9-20-2017 Meeting Agenda

7-19-2017 Meeting Agenda

5-17-2017 Meeting Agenda

3-15-2017 Meeting Agenda

1-19-2017 Meeting Agenda

10-19-2016 Meeting Agenda

8-17-2016 Meeting Agenda

5-18-2016 Meeting Agenda

3-18-2016 Meeting Agenda

1-20-2016 Meeting Agenda

11-12-2015 Meeting Agenda

9-28-2015 Meeting Agenda

8-19-2015 Meeting Agenda

5-20-2015 Meeting Agenda

3-20-2015 Meeting Agenda

12-11-2014 Meeting Agenda

8-20-2014 Meeting Agenda

*To request meeting minutes, please contact  

A public hearing for the rules for the administration of the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative was held during the August 19 board meeting. Rules are effective beginning October 15, 2015.

Cross Department Team

Carl Einhaus

Katie Zaback

Marina Kokotovic

Fred Franko

Allie Kimmel

Rosy McDonough