Arizona College Scholarship Foundation and Arizona College Access Network today announced that they have officially merged under an organization newly named College Success Arizona. College Success Arizona will serve as a statewide voice for college access and success, particularly for low-income and Latino students.
The organization will continue to provide scholarship and mentoring support to high-achieving, low-income students. The organization will also partner with other existing scholarship programs across the state to provide its proven student support services as a means of increasing college persistence and graduation rates.
The merger with AzCAN adds coordinated support to a network of more than 200 college access programs within a single organization. Arizona College Access Network, which provides standards, training, tools and learning opportunities for college access programs across the state, will become a program within College Success Arizona and will continue its efforts to expand partnerships with the state’s college access community.
Rich Nickel, current president and CEO of Arizona College Scholarship Foundation will serve as president and CEO of College Success Arizona. Linda Jensen has joined the College Success Arizona team and will continue to serve as director of AzCAN.
“The mission of College Success Arizona is to build public will for college completion and, at the same time, provide a unique combination of scholarships and mentoring services that are actually increasing college graduation rates across the state,” Nickel said. “College completion, particularly for low-income and Latino students, is not just advantageous to individual students and their families; it’s imperative to the economic success of our state.”
“As we think about the future of Arizona, there is nothing more important to our economic growth and development than ensuring more individuals complete a postsecondary degree or certificate,” said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO of Helios Education Foundation. “College Success Arizona will help propel our state forward as it provides critical supports to students who are working toward the goal of postsecondary completion.”
College Success Arizona helps students across the state overcome barriers to getting into and persisting in college. It provides four-year scholarships to promising high school seniors. Currently, 70 percent of those scholars are first-generation college students and 85 percent are minorities. In addition to providing access and financial supports to students, College Success Arizona ensures success through a tested mentoring and support process that keeps all scholars on track and focused on earning a college degree. This process is being expanded to include a comprehensive set of face-to-face, virtual and peer mentoring opportunities for every student and a series of targeted resources and interventions on financial aid, the transition from community colleges to four-year institutions and freshman retention.
“Increasing the number of college graduates in our state is more than an education issue; it’s an issue of economics,” said Vince Roig, board chair of College Success Arizona. “College Success Arizona provides a needed voice in the state for college completion; it also provides the strategies and services that can significantly increase postsecondary graduation rates.”
To learn more about College Success Arizona, go to www.collegesuccessarizona.org. College Success Arizona can also be followed on Twitter (@CollegeAZ) and on Facebook (College Success Arizona).
About College Success Arizona
College Success Arizona is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization working to significantly increase the post-secondary attainment rate of students in Arizona, particularly for those who otherwise would not be able to attend or graduate. Since its inception as the Arizona College Scholarship Foundation in 2005, the organization has helped more than 700 low-income, high-potential students gain access to college and persist to earn their college degrees. For more information about College Success Arizona and its partners, visit www.collegesuccessarizona.org.
For more information, please contact Julie Newport at (202) 266-4718 or firstname.lastname@example.org.