WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Thanks to a new program at Post University, Waterbury students are a little closer to achieving their college dreams. 

Thalia Almeida and Anthony Barbieri are among six students receiving a scholarship of up to $20,000.  

They say the financial assistance is a huge relief.  

“College is not cheap, so [paying tuition] was a little bit of a burden. This scholarship definitely helps with that,” Almeida said. 

“With college being expensive, I’d have to take out loans and then those just build up and build interest, not being paid off until I’m in my 40s or 50s,” Barbieri said. 

The scholarship program is a partnership between Post University and Waterbury Promise, which provides financial assistance to promising students. Leaders says there are already 190 Waterbury Promise students in 12 colleges and universities across Connecticut. 

The new partnership with Post University provides more resources for success, including collaboration with Waterbury businesses for job shadowing and internships. 

“We want to be able to create that pipeline so that students graduate, be successful, and have careers here and be able to stay and give back to the workforce here in Waterbury,” said Kelonda Maull, executive director of Waterbury Promise. 

Almeida is double majoring in biology and psychology. She says she’s interested in enrolling in a PA school in the future.  

Barbieri is majoring in business administration. He says he’s undecided on his career, but the scholarship provides options for the future.  

“[It] really opens up a wide variety of everything,” Barbieri said. 

To qualify for the scholarship, recipients must be Waterbury residents who graduated from one of the city’s public high schools, Kaynor Technical or Holy Cross high schools. They must also have at least a 90% attendance rate and a 3.0 GPA.