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New Initiative To Help Graduates Hindered By Pandemic Get Into College

The Helios Education Foundation, College Success Arizona and others have partnered in an effort to help students who deferred their college plans due to COVID-19 get back on track.

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. The partners have launched the Helios Adelante Scholarship Initiative to get these students back on track. 

“We can provide up to a 1,000 students with this $1,000 incentive scholarship will hopefully motivate them to work with the colleges and universities to figure out a more comprehensive financial aid package that will support them," said Paul Luna, Helios' president and CEO.

In addition to the scholarship awards, Helios is also working with Arizona public universities to offer these students financial aid assistance not normally offered to students who don’t start college right after high school.

"We’ve been working with all three universities in Arizona who have agreed to essentially modify those policies and treat them as if they had moved directly from high schools into the university environment," Luna said. 

The scholarships will be available until all the funds are distributed for the fall semester. 

Rocio Hernandez was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2022.