Support the Denver College Affordability Fund

Written by: Stephanie Perez-Carrillo
Date Posted: October 12, 2018

The Colorado Children’s Campaign supports the Denver College Affordability Fund, also known as the Prosperity Denver initiative or Initiative 300. The measure would create a funding stream to increase college access and affordability for Denver high school graduates. The fund would be supported by a .08 percent Denver sales tax (about a penny for every $10 purchase), and would collect an estimated $14 million per year. It limits eligibility to students between the ages of 18-25 with a high school diploma or GED who have lived in Denver for at least 36 months.

The measure would reimburse tuition grants and academic support services provided by nonprofit scholarship organizations. To continue to be eligible, students must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress as defined by their school. The fund will be directed by a seven-member board, appointed by the Mayor, with City Council determining annual award amounts.

Although we have seen major progress in the graduation and college matriculation rates for students of color, students still face the barriers of college affordability. The average annual in-state college tuition in Colorado was $12,098 last year, just $1,844 lower than the U.S. average. This represents an increase of roughly 2 percent over one year according to CollegeCalc. Currently, less than half of Denver residents who are 25 years and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher. But an increasing number of jobs require a post-secondary degree or specialized training. This measure helps provide students with the opportunities they need to thrive and the chance to increase their lifetime earnings by earning a degree.

In 2015, the Children’s Campaign supported a similar initiative, College Matters. To learn more about Prosperity Denver and ways that you can support this measure click here.

Stephanie Perez-Carrillo

About Stephanie Perez-Carrillo

Stephanie works as a Policy Analyst for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Prior to joining the Children’s Campaign, she worked as a Public Policy Fellow at The Women’s Foundation of Colorado – where she found her love and passion for policy work. Before diving into the policy world, Stephanie served as a Teach for America Corps Member in South Carolina, teaching high school and middle school math. Early on while obtaining her degree in Marketing from Florida International University, she worked in health care as a Patient Advocate and Unit Secretary. When she is not working, you can typically find her at a coffee shop, hanging out with friends, or engaging in some type of outdoor activity.