Community College of Philadelphia expands scholarship program

The expansion is designed to include students who have taken a break, and those who have graduated from a high school outside of Philadelphia, among others.

The exterior of a Community College Philadelphia building, with cherry blossoms in view.

The exterior of a Community College Philadelphia building. (Facebook)

Another 500 students could get help going to college through the expansion of the Community College of Philadelphia’s Octavius Catto Scholarship program.

The expansion will allow students who were originally not eligible to now apply. That includes 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, as well as other students who have graduated from a high school outside of Philadelphia.

“We’re really excited to provide opportunities to these students,” said CCP’s April Voltz. She says it could add another 500 to the number of students being helped by the scholarship that was created two years ago.

In order to qualify for the funding, which covers tuition, other expenses and academic support, students must have a high school diploma or GED, attend Community College full-time, and have been a Philadelphia resident for at least a year.

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The expansion will also give undocumented students an opportunity to receive the last-dollar scholarship money, says Voltz.

“They must complete the FAFSA so that we’re able to document an expected family contribution EFC of 8,000 or less. Now, what is great about this scholarship is that students who are undocumented can also qualify for the scholarship by completing the College Board EFC calculator,” said Volz.

The scholarship is named after local civil rights activist, baseball pioneer, and scholar Octavius Catto. In 2017, the city dedicated a statue to Catto in front of City Hall, the city’s first public statue of an African American person.

Earlier this year, Mayor Jim Kenney visited CCP to celebrate the achievements of hundreds of Catto scholarship students, as well as the first graduate of the program.

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Additional information on the Octavius Catto Scholarship can be found at

Broke in PhillyWHYY is one of over 20 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push towards economic justice. Follow us at @BrokeInPhilly.

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