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CMC participates in college prep program

Cassandra Beuttenmuller has worked as a waitress at a truck stop for three years but knows she wants to do more with her life.Beuttenmuller wants to go to Adams State College in Alamosa to get her degree in community counseling.Before Adams State considers Beuttenmuller, they need to see a résumé, essay, letter of recommendation, personal statement and test scores. That, believe it or not, is only the beginning. Funding her education will require many more hours of work. “I’ve always wanted to go to college,” Beuttenmuller said. “My mom is a single mother with three kids. She manages the truck stop and hates her job. She never got the chance to go to college.”Beuttenmuller and 20 other high school seniors from the Western Slope and southeastern Colorado, were chosen to participate in the Daniels Fund Western Slope College Preparatory Program at Colorado Mountain College, Spring Valley.The program teaches students how to apply for college, scholarships and federal aid. Daniels students will have application packages put together before their senior year which is when students usually apply for college.For a week students will live in dorm rooms, eat in the cafeteria and listen to guest speakers.To apply for the program, students have to qualify for a Pell Grant, which is a government grant awarded to low-income families. Students with household incomes less than $40,000 qualify for Pell Grants, said Miguel In Suk Lorato, manager of the Daniel Fund College Preparatory Scholarship.Lorato hopes all of the students will receive a scholarship from the Daniels Fund but wants them to be capable of applying to all types of financial aid.”People are starting to realize that college is attainable for every one because there’s lots of funding,” director Johann Aberger said. “A lot of people without funding used to look at college as Shangri La. It’s important to break down all the barriers.”Lorato and four student mentors also spend one-on-one time with each student to answer questions and concerns about receiving aid.”Miguel’s been great,” said Beuttenmuller. “He will have a one-on-one talk with me even when he’s at lunch.”During the school year, Lorato and the mentors will meet with students and their parents to make sure they’re meeting application deadlines.”Without this program I wouldn’t be as prepared for senior year,” Beuttenmuller said. “I’m way ahead of my friends. Most of them will probably put this off until the end of the year.”Contact Ivy Vogel: 945-8515, ext. 534ivogel@postindependent.comBy the Numbers:$105 billionFinancial aid available 2002-2003$231 – $1,114 Amount tuition has increased since 2003$337 – $338 Increase of room and board costs since 2003$1 million How much more money a college graduate will earn during their career than a high school graduateNumbers provided by the College Board


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