Matching Student Scholarship Application Process FY 2017-2018

Getting Ready

*      Review Grant Overview.

*     Preview Grant Application materials and process.

*     Review frequently asked questions and additional community resources available on our website.

*     Determine total amount of allocated funds, and eligible award category for your application.

*     Review eligibility and guidelines for each category as requirements differ for county, institutions of higher education, and workforce grants.

*     Identify one nonprofit organization* to serve as the fiscal and administrative partner.

*     If applying on behalf of a county for a county-based grant, receive support from the Board of County Commissioners. If applying on behalf of an institution of higher education for an institution of higher education-based grant, identify and receive support from institutional advisory board or other designated authority.

*   Identify strategy to raise new philanthropic funds to draw down matching scholarship funds.

*   Consider your plan for distribution of funding, including number of students served, average award amount, longevity of funds, partnering student support program, and compliance with income requirements for scholarship recipients.

*   Identify plan for sustainability of scholarship funds. 

*     It is highly recommended that you contact COSI staff to discuss the proposed project at 

Formatting Your Application

    *   Letters of intent first need to be approved before application materials will be accepted.

    *   NEW THIS YEAR for March and May applicants: All applications materials should be submitted online by the corresponding dates as outlined on page 9 of the                 application, via the COSI online application portal: 

        If you require an exception, please contact our team at for instructions.

* Applicants must follow the requested format of all application materials, or your application will not be considered. It is suggested that you use the sample                 materials in this packet and then copy into the portal.

Completing Application - Step I:  Letter of Intent 

        * Letter of Intent Notify COSI staff for application consideration by submitting a Letter of Intent through the online portal. (not required for November applicants)        

        * Initiative staff will contact you to speak further about your request, and may schedule a meeting.  

        After approval of Letter of Intent, applicants may move forward with the application process.

Completing Application - Step II:  Proposal Introduction                                                      

        Cover Page
Complete the online cover page and corresponding contact information.

Completing Application - Step III:  Narrative

        Describe your scholarship project using the following questions. The online portal will prompt each of these questions.

1. Fiscal or Administrative Partner

Identify one nonprofit organization to serve as the fiscal and administrative partner, and describe how this foundation will represent the community. 

2. Overview

State three program objectives in regard to:

i. Number of served, over what period of time, and any applicable eligibility.

Example: Award ten (10) four-year scholarships, of approximately $2,500 per semester, contingent on student’s academic performance, completion of college credits, and other evidence that the student is “on track” to graduate.

ii. Corresponding student support program

Example: Through the Post High School Success Project, engage 10 high school graduates from local county. Create a college-going culture through offering college counseling, career advising, concurrent enrollment opportunities, financial aid advice, and accessible college scholarships.

iii. Fundraising plans

Example: Project will support the county and college to raise $25,000 in matching funds by July 1, 2016 through summer breakfast fundraising, and commitment from county. By November 1, 2016, applicant will raise an additional $25,000 through new donors. Applicant will support the county and college to raise $25,000 more in matching funds by July 1, 2017 through summer breakfast fundraising, and annual commitment from county. By November 1, 2017, applicant will raise an additional $25,000 through new donors.  Total, the County has committed to providing $25,000 total. The Foundation has committed to raising $50,000 and the college will raise $25,000.

Provide an implementation timeline as to when scholarships will be distributed to students and over what academic period of time. 

Example:  Scholarship awards will be dispersed annually students in fall for 2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2019-2020 academic years.

Example: Scholarship awards will be dispersed to students in fall, spring and summer for 2016-2017 and fall, spring and summer for 2017-2018 academic years.

Example: Scholarship awards will be dispersed to students in fall for 2016-2017 academic year.

3. In further detail, provide program or project request (approximately two-three (2-3) pages)

Provide a detailed narrative of the plan for the scholarship program or project request. Include the issue and/or opportunity addressed in the community or at the institution. Applicants should consider how scholarship program will support the Colorado Commission of Higher Education’s master plan goal to increase the number of Coloradans who hold postsecondary credentials to 66 percent by 2025.

i. Describe how many students will be served, the average award amount and the expected longevity of funds. Include your plan for distribution of funds and discuss how the plan meets the allowable use of funds and guidelines as described in the Grant Overview. When creating procedures for scholarship awarding, consider referencing Council on Foundations, National Scholarship Providers Association and/or legal counsel for more information on compliance.

ii. Describe the partnering student support program that emphasizes student commitment to academic achievement and successful placement in to the workforce.

iii. Identify fundraising plans and timeline of incoming funds.

4. Collaboration

Describe the organization’s most significant interactions with other organizations. Address this question with respect to the scholarship program only.

5. Project Planning and Sustainability

Describe the challenges and opportunities facing the scholarship project in the next three to five years. 

Identify plan for sustainability of scholarship funds. 

Completing Application - Step IV: Attachments     

Invoice schedule 

Using the information provided in the implementation timeline above, outline the expected (1) incoming funds received by applicant as new matching funds; (2) payments from the State in the template provided in the online system. The invoice schedule should reflect the use of applicant’s matching funds prior to the distribution of State funds. Proposed invoice schedules do not need to evenly distribute funds, but should reflect the intent of the scholarship program created by the applicant, and the number of students served in an academic time period.

Payments from the State can be distributed in July (for Fall semester), November (for Spring semester), and April (for Summer semester). The State can only administer payments at the point in which the dollars will be used for scholarship during the next academic period, and after matching funds have been raised. Applicant may remove or add rows as necessary to accommodate proposed schedule.


Certify acknowledgement of assurances

Letter of support 

County and Institution of Higher Education applications should include one letter of support from the Board of County Commissioners or institutional advisory board. The letter should state that this is the single application from the county (if applying for county-based funding) or institution (if applying for institution of higher education funding). Workforce applicant should include one letter of support from a local industry partner, chamber of commerce, local institution of higher education, mayor, etc. supporting project.

Commitment letter from funder (if applicable)

Include a letter of commitment if a funder has already committed new scholarship dollars to match Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative allocations. 

After Submission of Application

  1. Scholarship Initiative staff will organize and review all proposals and prepare for review by the cross-department team.
  2. The cross-department team will review all proposals and determine recommended grant recipients and award amounts.
  3. The cross-department team will present final recommendations to the Board.
  4. The Board will make final decisions regarding grant recipients and award amounts.
  5. Entities chosen as matching student scholarship grant recipients will be contacted and notified of award.