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June 26, 2023

Get a free education at Community College of Philadelphia this fall

Education College

Content sponsored by CCP-Native-062623-Catto2023

Limited - Catto Family Reunion 2023 Community College of Philadelphia/for PhillyVoice

The Octavius Catto Scholarship⁠ is a pivotal anti-poverty initiative between Community College of Philadelphia and the 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 Iraida Marie Sanchez Vergara, a 2023 Catto graduate born in Puerto Rico, but raised in Philadelphia, describes it:

“Being part of the Catto Scholarship has been one of the best things that has happened to me. It has really helped me and my future with school.

Everyone that I have met and talked to within the Catto community has been super friendly. My success coach… has helped me every semester, encouraged me to attend many of the workshops, and has motivated me to stay on top of everything.”

The monthly stipends have also been a significant help, whether it has been used for school supplies and books, or rides to campus."

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 1,100 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