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Evaluation of the Catto Scholarship in Philadelphia

Began in December 2023

Through a lens of advancing racial equity in postsecondary experiences and outcomes, RFA is conducting an evaluation of the Catto Scholarship that addresses the following three aims:

  1. Contextualize the Catto Scholarship viz-a-viz comparable initiatives in Pennsylvania and the United States, both with respect to design and measures of success.
  2. Document early academic successes of the Catto Scholarship in terms of enrollment, retention, projected completion, or transfer.
  3. Identify opportunities for continued growth and partnership.

In 2021, the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) launched the Octavius Catto Scholarship as a last-dollar scholarship with wrap-around support services. Framed as an anti-poverty initiative, the scholarship aims to address material and financial obstacles like tuition and fees as well as costs associated with food, transportation and books. Additionally, scholars receive career coaching and advising as well as support connecting to additional existing resources like affordable housing and childcare. After two years of operating, with more than 1,000 active scholars, and in the context of changes in City of Philadelphia leadership with a new mayor this summer, there is a need to assess the value of the Catto Scholarship for Philadelphia as well as its role in shaping equitable postsecondary opportunities for racially minoritized students.

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“For the Good of the City” An Early Evaluation of the Catto Scholarship

The Octavius V. Catto Scholarship launched in spring 2021 at Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) to help Philadelphians achieve college success. Inspired by 19th-century civil rights leader Octavius Catto’s belief in education for all, the…
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