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June 16, 2022

There’s no better time than now to attend college for free

Education College

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Limited - CCP Catto 22 Community College of Philadelphia/for PhillyVoice

Earlier this year, Community College of Philadelphia announced the expansion of the Octavius Catto Scholarship⁠ — a pivotal anti-poverty initiative between the College and City of Philadelphia aimed at making college more accessible for every Philadelphia resident.

Catto Scholars are full-time College students who receive last-dollar funding to cover the cost of tuition, in addition to support to cover the cost of books, enhanced academic success and career coaching, academic advising, and connections to resources like housing assistance and child care.

While the scholarship was originally for first-time, full-time students, it has been expanded to now support the following:

• Students transferring from another institution who have earned up to 30 credits

• Returning Community College of Philadelphia students who have not been registered for classes for at least 12 months and meet all other eligibility requirements
• Students who have graduated from a high school outside of the City of Philadelphia

For many students, the Catto Scholarship has been nothing short of life changing. That’s exactly how Afshan Khan, a recent Catto graduate originally from Pakistan, describes it:

“In my country, women don’t get a lot of opportunities. Education for women is not the main goal.

“The scholarship pays for all your classes and helps alleviate stress with other finances. This is the main reason some students aren’t able to go to college. The Catto Scholarship was there for students who had those financial struggles and helped them overcome them. We also have success coaches to help you out every step of the way.”

“Overall, the Catto Scholarship is the whole package. I don’t know what I would have done without it.”

To be eligible for the Octavius Catto Scholarship, College students must:

• Have a high school diploma, Commonwealth Diploma or GED
• Attend Community College of Philadelphia full time (12+ credits per term)
• Have been a Philadelphia resident for at least 12 months
• Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year and document an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $8,000 or less
• Enter college-ready or one level below college-ready in English and/or Math

To date, the College has supported more than 500 Catto Scholars by providing them with access to a first-class education free of charge. The scholarship is currently recruiting students for its next cohort, starting this fall.

Best of all, there is no application for the Catto Scholarship. Students only have to submit an application to attend Community College of Philadelphia and complete their FAFSA. They will then be contacted by a representative from the Catto team to learn more about next steps.

To learn more about the Octavius Catto Scholarship, visit ccp.edu/catto.

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