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our vision

To create a significant increase in the post-secondary attainment rate of students in Arizona, particularly for those who otherwise would not be able to attend or graduate. By doing so, we believe that we will improve the quality of life not just for those individuals and their families but also for the state as a whole.


College Success Arizona was started as the Arizona College Scholarship Foundation in 2005. Former Governor Janet Napolitano and several successful business leaders in the state created the original organization. Our founders included Bob Craves, a founder of Costco; Don Budinger, Arizona business leader and founder of the Rodel Foundation; Frank Brady, community leader and former audit partner with Ernst & Young. Paul Koehler of WestEd, served as an original board member and as education adviser to Governor Napolitano.

Who We Are

College Success Arizona is building public will for college completion and providing a unique combination of scholarships and mentoring that increase college graduation rates among low-income and first-generation students across the state.  We do this through; providing scholarships and mentoring support services, building partnerships with college access programs and scholarship programs, raising the awareness of the importance of college completion, and the support of more than 200 college access and success organizations throughout the state.

“College-educated citizenry are more employable, less likely to engage in high-risk health behaviors, which decreases your health costs, and are less likely to participate in any criminal activity, If you want to decrease health care costs, if you want to decrease the cost of incarceration, education is the ladder you should focus on."
Lorenzo Baber
University of Illinois

College Success Arizona Statistics, as of 9/1/17

  • Students Currently in Program: 840
  • Total Students Awarded to Date: 1,287
  • Value of Services Provided and Scholarship Dollars Distributed: $16.7 million
  • Graduates Produced: 381
  • 6 year Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Freshman Retention Rate: 89%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 72%
  • First Generation College Students:  70%

college success = arizona success

For Arizona’s students, getting into college is not enough. Earning a college degree is quickly becoming a necessity for future success, both for individuals and the welfare of the entire state.

By 2020, 64 percent of our state’s jobs will require a career certificate or a college degree. But even if a student gets into college and has the resources to afford it, the chance of graduating is not as high as most would think.

At Arizona’s public universities, just more than one-half of full-time students seeking bachelor’s degrees actually graduate within six years. If a student comes from a low-income background, is a first generation college student, is a minority or is a part-time student, their chances decline dramatically.

College Success Arizona specializes in helping students from all backgrounds stay on track and leave college with a degree in hand. More than 70 percent of our scholars graduate from college in six years, which is significantly better than rate for the average Arizona college student. About 70 percent of our scholars are first-generation college-goers, and 85 percent are minorities and all come from low-income families.

how we help

Learn more about College Success Arizona and locate our IRS 990 on GuideStar

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