Pueblo County pot-tax scholarship program grows to nearly $750,0 - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Pueblo County pot-tax scholarship program grows to nearly $750,000

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The world's first cannabis-tax funded scholarship is growing.

The scholarship continues to grow to nearly $750,000, along with the city of Pueblo's cannabis supply. Pueblo County says it hopes to award nearly 600 scholarships for the 2018/2019 academic year, nearly 200 more than in 2017. 

According to a release, the exact number of scholarships and the amount of money needed will be determined by the number of applicants. This year $75,000 will be available for merit and "need-specific scholarships." The majority of schools no longer require a specific GPA or a financial-need requirement for admission. 

 “Even if you’re not sure if you’re eligible, you should apply. We have $75,000 available for students who may not fall into the Pueblo County Scholarship’s defined criteria,” Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation Executive Director Beverly Duran said.

Every local high school senior is automatically eligible for the scholarship, graduating seniors do still have to apply to be awarded. Pueblo County says between 300 and 400 students that graduated from local high schools went to a Pueblo college. 

The majority of the Pueblo County Scholarship is funded from the marijuana excise tax, at around $700,000. The rest of funds are from a Colorado Department of Higher Education grant program, the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI). 

The Pueblo County Scholarship fund was developed through a ballot initiative in 2015, where a minimum of 50 percent of all the marijuana excise tax collected in Pueblo County is for the scholarship fund. 

Applications for the scholarships are available on the Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation website at: https://www.phef.net/.

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