July 9, 2021—Aurora, Colo.—In keeping with its designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution and its mission to help all students achieve their educational goals and reach their highest potential, the Community College of Aurora will provide an additional $19,500 in scholarships to 13 students who are Mexican nationals or of Mexican origin for the 2021-22 academic year. 

CCA received $9,000 of the scholarship total from the Consulate General of Mexico in Denver through the Mexican government’s IME-Becas program. A memorandum of understanding for the grant was signed on July 1 at the Consulate General’s Denver office. Through matching dollars, the Community College of Aurora Foundation—CCA’s fundraising arm—will provide an additional $10,500 in DREAM Scholarship money. Each of the 13 students will receive $750 for the fall 2021 semester and $750 for the spring 2022 semester, giving them financial support for the entire academic year. 

“The pandemic of this past year brought an extra layer of need and challenges for our students,” CCA Vice President of Student Affairs Angela Marquez said. “This year’s increased financial gift from the Mexican Consulate provides funding to support 13 of our students with their educational costs, which allows them to focus on their studies. We are grateful for the continued partnership with the Mexican Consulate and their investment in our students.” 

CCA’s designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution made it a logical choice for the IME-Becas award. To receive the HSI designation, higher-education institutions must have an undergraduate Hispanic full-time-equivalent enrollment of at least 25 percent. At CCA, which was designated as an HSI in 2016, 32 percent of students identify as Hispanic. Only 17 percent of all colleges and universities across the U.S. are HSIs.

The biggest needs for most college students are financial support and student support services. These needs are even greater for Mexican-national and Mexican-origin students who are undocumented or have DACA status because they don’t qualify for federal financial aid, federal loans, the first rounds of CARES Act federal funding or work-study opportunities. They’re also ineligible for most private loans. The goal of the IME-Becas funds and CCA’s DREAM Scholarship, as is the goal of the hundreds of thousands of dollars awarded by the CCA Foundation every year, is to provide students with the financial assistance and support services they need to not only start college but to earn a college credential. For the 2019-20 academic year, the Foundation awarded over $550,000 in scholarship money to more than 400 CCA students—over 70 percent of whom were first-generation students. 

“We continue to be grateful to the Consulate General of Mexico and the IME-Becas program for their generous support,” CCA President Betsy Oudenhoven said. “Along with the match from the CCA Foundation, the scholarships this funding makes possible will open doors for students to pursue their educational and career goals who might not otherwise have that opportunity. I know our students are especially appreciative of this support as they pursue their educational goals after this very difficult year.”