CMC grant helps high school students purse bachelor’s degrees |

CMC grant helps high school students purse bachelor’s degrees

SUMMIT COUNTY – To help local high school students pursue bachelor’s degrees, Colorado Mountain College created the Richard C. Martin grant. Created by CMC’s Board of Trustees numerous years ago, it aids high school graduates from the CMC district achieve their educational goals on a budget.

“It’s a fantastic way for in-district students to get a solid start,” said CMC spokeswoman Debbie Crawford.

So, what’s the catch? There’s a few, the biggest being that students must first graduate from CMC with two-year associate’s degrees before receiving any funds. They also must sign up right away, even if they’re not sure they want a four-year degree.

“Financially it’s a huge advantage to the students because basically they get to come to CMC for free,” said Dr. Dawn Zoni, student development counselor for the Summit Campus. “In addition to financial advantages, CMC has small class sizes and excellent faculty. I’ve heard from lots of students and parents that students who come to CMC for the first two years and then transfer have an advantage. They’re able to improve their skills, get more self confidence, and they seem to do better in their junior and senior years than students who are there for all four years.”

Since the economy tanked two years ago, Zoni also noted that the grant’s popularity has increased a bit among Summit High School students. To some graduating seniors, it may make more sense to live at home for two years, get some school under their belts and save before heading off to a four-year university.

“To have something like this in your own backyard, it’s a huge advantage for the students,” she said.

So, how does it work? If a local student attends CMC right out of high school and signs up for the grant immediately, they’re then eligible to receive the cumulative amount paid for CMC’s tuition upon graduating with an associates degree.

Assistant vice president of CMC’s enrollment services Bill Sommers said that eligible students must then contact CMC for the grant money to be sent to the four-year university’s financial aid office. There’s currently no limit set for grant eligibility, but CMC students must apply by the end of their first semester.

For more information about Colorado Mountain College, visit

Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at

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