Thanks to the Octavius ??Catto scholarship, hundreds of people study at Philadelphia Community College without tuition
More than a year ago, Mayor Jim Kenney announced his vision to make Philadelphia Community College free for countless Philadelphians.This vision is now called Octavian Cato Scholarship -The result of the college’s cooperation with Philadelphia.
Catto Scholars are full-time college students who are enrolled for the first time. They receive the last dollar of funding to cover tuition and fees, as well as up to $1,500 per semester for food, books, transportation and other expenses. Earlier this month, more than 130 Cato scholars finished their first semester of courses.
“In my first few weeks at CCP, I was able to receive monthly allowances and additional support services,” said Cato Scholar Chelsea Hammond. “I like the support provided by the scholarship so that I can spend more time focusing on my studies instead of worrying about how much money I have in my bank account.”
In addition to financial support, Cato Scholars also receive Wraparound service To ensure the success of students. These services include improving academic success rates and career guidance, professional seminars and programs, and links to important resources such as housing assistance and childcare.
Each scholar is assigned a Catto success coach who will assess their needs and provide support one-on-one to promote academic and personal success. Coaches are a bridge connecting scholars and colleges and departments, providing academic advice, career development resources and even four-year transfer opportunities.
They are ultimately committed to ensuring the retention of each Catto Scholar and graduation on time.
“At first, I knew that I would get additional financial aid, but I didn’t know much about all the opportunities that were coming soon,” Hammond said. “I met my successful coach who provided services to me based on my personal and educational needs. When you first started school, it was great to have someone in your corner asking for help, especially when we are now completely virtual when.”
The Octavius ??Catto Scholarship is designed for students like Hammond who need additional support to ensure success. The scholarship aims to promote our most disadvantaged residents by providing a fair opportunity to receive a high-quality university education.
Most importantly, students do not need to apply for scholarships.Once they Apply to college And complete their FAFSA application, if they meet the requirements, the Cato Scholarship team will contact them.
“After applying for the CCP for the first time, I was told that I was eligible for a scholarship,” Hammond said.
She added that the scholarship was obtained after some difficult personal experiences, including childhood emotional problems, drug use and homelessness.
“After years of hard work, I was finally able to afford my own apartment,” Hammond said. “Over the years, I have worked in a few places and found that sales are very valuable. The downside is that I can’t find anyone willing to pay me more than $12 an hour, which can barely pay my bills. I Knowing that if I go back to school, I can do what I really like, make more money, and find a more reliable job.”
Hammond is now on the path of pursuing a career as a paralegal and is enrolled in the college’s paralegal studies course. She just wants to help others, and hopes that one day she can connect those in need with resources to help them succeed.
More information about the Octavius ??Catto Scholarship, including complete eligibility requirements, can be found online ccp.edu/catto.