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, while 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.
To help address the unprecedented drop in student postsecondary enrollment in Arizona, the Helios Education Foundation and College Success Arizona have launched the Helios Adelante Scholars Initiative, which will provide incentive scholarships to students who graduated from high school in May 2020 but have not yet enrolled in college or other postsecondary program. The hope is that the $1 million initiative will help ensure more students in Arizona are able to pursue a postsecondary degree.
Through the program, eligible students will be awarded a one-time award of $1,000 that can be used for tuition, books, or room and board at any accredited higher education institution. Students also may be eligible for institutional aid that is typically available only to students who enter college the semester after high school graduation.
To qualify for a scholarship, applicants need to be entering college for the first time, have graduated from an Arizona high school in the class of 2020, be planning to enroll in an accredited college or university at least half-time, have completed the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or indicate non-FAFSA eligibility, and have completed a scholarship application.
To learn more, see the Helios Education Foundation website.