In order to address the unprecedented drop in student postsecondary enrollment in Arizona, Helios Education Foundation, College Success Arizona, and other community partners are implementing an initiative to re-engage students in their education and offer an incentive scholarship to eligible students.
Colleges and universities in Arizona are experiencing significant declines in student enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among first generation, low-income, and underserved students. Nationally, community college enrollment has fallen by 9.5 percent this year. In addition, Postsecondary enrollment for first-time freshmen (High School class of 2020) declined nearly 21.7 percent nationwide. In Arizona, statewide community college enrollment is down more than 16 percent.
“In order to continue on track to reach our statewide Achieve60AZ goal for postsecondary attainment, we must address this drop in enrollment and re-engage students on the path to pursuing a college degree,” said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO, Helios Education Foundation. “That why Helios Education Foundation began working with our partners to identify a way to help the Class of 2020 – the most affected by the impact of COVID-19 – to engage in postsecondary education.”
Helios Education Foundation and College Success Arizona are proud to announce the formation of the Helios Adelante Scholars Initiative which provides a $1,000 incentive scholarship to students who graduated from high school in May of 2020 but did not enter a college or other postsecondary program.
Eligible students will be awarded a one-time award of $1,000. The funds may be used for tuition, books, or room and board at any accredited higher education institution. In addition, through this initiative, students may be eligible for institutional aid that is typically available only to students who enter college the semester after high school graduation.
To quality for the scholarship, a student needs to be a graduate from an Arizona high school from the class of 2020, enroll in an accredited college or university at least half-time, complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or indicate non-FAFSA eligibility, and complete a scholarship application.
“We are pleased to be partnering with Helios Education Foundation and other community organizations to help implement this initiative,” said Rich Nickel, President and CEO of College Success Arizona. “We are ready to help provide the support they need to take advantage of this opportunity and begin their college education.” Eligible students are encouraged to visit www.collegesuccessarizona.org for more information.