Dakota.jpg

Dakota Promise

If you're a student at a Harrison School District Two with a 2.5 GPA (junior and senior years), you get a free-ride at Pikes Peak Community College.

How it works

If you're a student at a Harrison School District 2 with a 2.5 GPA, you get a free-ride at Pikes Peak Community College.

Each qualifying student would get up to $5,000 to meet tuition gaps. The Dakota Promise pays secondary to Pell Funding.

In addition to financial assistance, students will receive intensive support from professional student success coaches. 

To be eligible for the program, students must complete high school with 2.5 or better GPA, enroll at PPCC within 12 months of graduation, complete a minimum of 24 credit hours per academic year, and complete a FAFSA and apply for Pell Scholarships.  The scholarships would pay the difference between the Pell grants and tuition and fees. Students must also maintain a 2.0 or better GPA to continue the scholarship.

The scholarship will start in the fall of 2020.

This pilot scholarship program was developed with the financial support of the Dakota Foundation.

"The idea behind this scholarship is to create new on-ramps, new ways for young people in some of our most underserved areas to reach their dreams," said PPCC President Lance Bolton. "We're tremendously grateful to the Dakota Foundation for sharing this vision with us, and if we can find more corporate support, we'd love to expand this to the entire Pikes Peak region."

The HS2 Dakota Promise Scholarship aims to double the number of students attending college within one year of high school graduation and get 80 percent of those students to complete a certificate or degree or transfer to a 4-year college or university.

Harrison School District 2 was chosen for this program because of its highly under-served population. It's also one of the most diverse districts:

  • 80% Graduation Rate
  • 78% Qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL)
  • 75% Identify as people of color (50% Hispanic, 15% African American)
  • State Average SAT Score 1014; Harrison D2 Average SAT Score 950

About the Dakota Foundation

For more than 20 years, the Dakota Foundation has sought to combine business discipline and charitable intentions to solve social problems. With grants and program-related investments, we take an investment approach: we want the total social return of our outlays to be higher than the cost.

In doing so, we hope to foster organizations and activities that are both economically and environmentally sustainable. We help people invest in themselves to improve their economic condition and those of their families and communities. This mission stems from our values: self-reliance, personal responsibility, human dignity, equal opportunity, and the preservation of life and beauty on our earth. More info is available on the Dakota Foundation website.

Dakota Promise Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is eligible for the scholarship?

To be eligible for the program, students must graduate high school in Harrison School District 2 with 2.5 or better GPA (junior and senior years), enroll at PPCC within 12 months of graduation, complete a minimum of 24 credit hours per academic year, and complete a FAFSA and apply for Pell Scholarships.  The scholarships would pay the difference between the Pell grants and tuition and fees. Students must enroll in, and successfully complete (with a 2.0 or better GPA), 24 credit hours per academic year to remain eligible for continued funding.

Do I need to fill out a FAFSA application?

Yes, if you're eligible to apply for federal student aid. ASSET students would fill out the Colorado Student Grant application instead.

How much does it pay?

Up to $5,000/year.

Does it pay before or after Pell?

After.

What does the scholarship cover?

Tuition, fees and books/supplies (up to the max of $5,000).

How soon after graduating high school must students enroll at PPCC to be eligible for the scholarship?

They must use it within 12 months of high school graduation.

Can you get the scholarship in my 2nd year, if you didn't qualify the first?

Yes, if you did not meet the 2.5 GPA requirement out of high school, you can become eligible for Dakota Promise after your first or second semester at PPCC if you enroll at PPCC within 12 months of graduating high school, complete at least 12 credit hours, and have at least a 2.0 GPA at PPCC.

How will Promise Coaches help students reach their goals?

Coaches develop one-on-one relationships with students for support and resource needs, ensure that students meet with an academic advisor at least once a semester to follow their degree plan and provide workshops on career and time management and financial literacy.

Who are the donors making this possible?

The Dakota and Legacy foundations (with more funders coming on board!)

Can the scholarship be transferred to another institution?

No.

Why is this being offered to Harrison School District 2 students?

This was not a random choice. Harrison is our neighbor, and in supporting their high school, we support our Southeast neighborhood, which is home to our largest campus, Centennial.

Harrison also happens to be a place where students face so many barriers for their success. We've looked at those barriers and our aim is to tear down every one of them. More about Harrison high schools:

  • 80% Graduation Rate
  • 78% Qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL)
  • 75% Identify as people of color (52% Hispanic, 14% African American, 10% other)
  • State Average SAT Score 1014; Harrison D2 Average SAT Score 950

Is study abroad covered?

Yes, but only up to the $5,000 annual limit.

Are online classes covered?

Yes, but, again, you'll burn through that $5,000 limit more quickly.

Are there any citizenship requirements to be eligible?
No, there are no citizenship requirements to be eligible for Dakota Promise.

How does a student apply?

You don't. There is no additional application process. If you're a graduate of a high school in D2 with a 2.5 or better GPA, you'll be automatically eligible for the Dakota Promise when you apply to PPCC.