Governor Lamont: Connecticut Partners With College Board to Offer Scholarships for Low-Income Families
Class of 2020 Students Now Eligible for an Additional $40,000 in Scholarships Per Year
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell today announced that CSDE has teamed up with the College Board to launch a supplemental pool of scholarship funds available to students from lower-income families starting with the class of 2020. As of June 1, 2019, these students who join the national College Board Opportunity Scholarships program are eligible for an additional $40,000 in scholarships per year.
The College Board has committed $25 million over five years to the new program and has already awarded over $1 million in scholarships to more than 1,000 students across the country, including 15 in Connecticut.
“These scholarships offer a great opportunity for high school students who are pursuing higher education and struggling with the growing costs of college,” Governor Lamont said. “I want to thank the College Board for partnering with our state on this important initiative – it will result in many more students being able to access the necessary opportunities that will help them advance their career goals.”
Rooted in research, the College Board Opportunity Scholarships program is a first-of-its-kind national scholarship program open to all students that lays out the six most important steps on the path to college. By completing each step, students earn a chance for scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000. Doing all six steps will earn students a chance for $40,000 for their college education. The additional scholarships available to Connecticut students will be awarded monthly through random drawings among all eligible students, beginning with the class of 2020. All students can earn opportunities for scholarships by completing any or all of the following steps:
- Building a college list
- Practicing for the SAT
- Improving their SAT scores
- Strengthening their college list
- Completing the FAFSA
- Applying to college
“At CSDE, we have been committed to outreach efforts to engage and encourage more students to participate in rigorous coursework while increasing their access to college-level material and college-entrance exams, especially for students of color and those from low-income families,” Commissioner Wentzell said. “We are starting to see our collective work pay off with steady increases in college and career readiness for all student groups for the second year in a row. With the support of partners like the College Board, we will continue to deliver on our promise of equity and excellence for all Connecticut students by making higher education more affordable and accessible.”
“The College Board’s partnership with the Connecticut State Department of Education reflects our shared commitment to advance college access for all students,” Priscilla Rodriguez, Executive Director of Scholarships Strategy at the College Board, said. “The six actions in the College Board Opportunity Scholarships are the critical steps that many students, especially low-income students, don’t pursue, limiting their college prospects. Through CSDE’s leadership, more students in Connecticut will know about and take these crucial steps.”
Unlike most scholarship programs, College Board Opportunity Scholarships don’t require an essay or application, and it does not have a minimum GPA or SAT score requirement. Rather, it rewards students’ actions on their way to college, making it open to all students. The more actions students take, the more chances they have to earn a scholarship. Connecticut students who meet the criteria for the additional scholarships will be entered in the overall College Board Opportunity Scholarships drawings and the drawings for the additional Connecticut scholarships.
College Board Opportunity Scholarships can be used at any accredited two-year or four-year college and are open to all students, regardless of citizenship status.
Students from the class of 2020 who are interested in learning more about the College Board Opportunity Scholarships should visit cb.org/opportunity.