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Colorado Scholarships and Financial Aid

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Colorado is home to 14 four-year universities and colleges, 14 two-year community colleges, four technical colleges, and a number of accredited private schools. Most approved public and private post-secondary institutions in Colorado support federal and state financial aid. Whether you decide to attend a four-year university, an accredited private school, or any of the other Colorado post-secondary institutions, there are Colorado financial aid packages available for you.

Colorado Scholarships and Financial Aid: What Best Fits You

There are Colorado scholarships and financial aid programs that fit students of all backgrounds and interests. Finding what fits you best may take a little research and reading. Here are the main types of scholarships and financial aid offered by Colorado:

  • Federal grants, loans, and work study
  • Colorado state grants and scholarships
  • Colorado university- and college-supported financial aid
  • Other scholarships offered by Colorado organizations, corporations, and individuals

Colorado Students Can Get Financial Aid from the Federal Government

The US government offers financial assistance to students who are low income and/or studying in specific fields such as teaching, math, or science. Colorado financial aid packages include federal grants and loans. To qualify for these programs, you must be a US citizen or permanent resident. You also need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. FAFSA applications are usually due on June 30 the year you are using the aid. Students are highly recommended to apply as early as possible. FAFSA applications open January 1 the year before. Colorado does not have a state FAFSA deadline, but each post-secondary institution in Colorado has its own FAFSA deadline. Check with your school to ensure you meet that deadline.

Whether you are offered federal grants and/or low-interest direct loans will depend on your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). This is calculated using yours and your parents’ income taxes. Once you’ve submitted your FAFSA, the EFC will be sent to your school. Your financial aid/scholarship office will decide what grants and loans to offer you and how much per grant and loan.

Grants and Scholarships Offered by Colorado

Colorado financial aid packages may also include Colorado state financial aid programs. Colorado Need-based Awards (Colorado Student Grant, Colorado Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership, Supplemental Leveraging Educational Assistance Program, Colorado Graduate Grant) are available to Colorado students who have financial need and have filed a FAFSA. The Colorado Undergraduate Merit Award and Colorado Graduate Fellowship are offered to students who have high scholastic achievement. Colorado Work Study is available to help students who have unmet needs.

Colorado offers two programs for dependents of state employees. The Dependent Tuition Assistance Program covers tuition and boarding for children and spouses of Colorado police officers, employees of Colorado fire departments and National Guard, and military POWs or veterans killed or disabled in action. For more information on this program, contact Margot Plotz (303-866-2723) at the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. The Colorado National Guard Assistance Program provides full tuition coverage for members of the Colorado National Guard. You can contact a local recruiter for further information on this program.

Financial Aid Offered by Colorado Universities and Colleges

Colorado universities and colleges offer different forms of financial aid to help their students continue to pursue degrees. University and college scholarships are offered to students depending on academic achievement, need, leadership/involvement, program of study, and special abilities. For example, the Colorado Northwestern Community College offers CNCC Athletic Grants to students who excel in athletics. The College of Natural and Health Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado offers the Florence M. Barnes Fund in Physics to women studying physics. The University of Colorado, Denver, offers the CU Promise Program to help students who are from very low-come families earn a degree. These are just a few examples of the number of scholarship programs offered by individual institutions. See your school’s financial aid/scholarship office for a list of available scholarship programs.

Most Colorado merit scholarships offered by universities and colleges are managed by the admissions office. Submit your application for admission on time and you will immediately be considered for merit scholarships. Other scholarships may require you to submit an application in addition to the FAFSA. For example, the University of Northern Colorado requires the UNC Universal Scholarship Application for most of its non-merit scholarships. Colorado universities and colleges usually have a “general” application for most scholarships. Certain scholarships offered through the institution by individuals, organizations, families, or corporations will most likely require their own application.

Other Scholarships: Support from Colorado Organizations, Corporations, and Individuals

Organizations, corporations, and individuals in Colorado offer scholarships to students attending or planning to attend a post-secondary institution. Here is a list of a just a few of them:

The Denver Foundation
Many scholarships are available to current college students and high school students who are planning to attend a degree-granting school. Some Denver Foundation scholarships are available to students from specific high schools. Click here to see if your high school is on the list.

Colorado Authors’ League (CAL) Scholarship
CAL is a professional organization of authors. CAL offers a $1,000 scholarship to a future Colorado writer. Applicants must be enrolled in accredited post-secondary institutions (4-year, 2-year, private, public, vocational, technical) and must prove financial need. Get a copy of the application here. Applications are usually due by April 1.

Colorado Nurses Association (CNF) Scholarships
CNF supports diversity in nursing through a large number of scholarships.
Click here for the application and specific requirements for each scholarship.

The ARCS Foundation
The ARCS Foundation supports students who will pursue degrees in technology and the sciences. The Colorado Chapter offers scholarships to students who attend the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado State University, University of Colorado School of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver (Denver Campus), and Colorado School of Mines. For more information, contact them at colorado@arcsfoundation.org.

Colorado Garden Show Scholarship
This full-ride scholarship is offered to a student studying a related field. An interview with the board and 20 volunteer hours is required. Application is usually due by March 15.

Keep In Mind These Three Things about Colorado Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • Colorado students attending private, technical, and career schools are also eligible to receive federal financial aid. Federal financial aid is dependent on your financial need. As long as your school is an accredited institution, you may be eligible to receive grants and/or loans from the federal government.
  • Colorado university and college scholarships may require applications separate from the FAFSA and general scholarship application. If you are applying for university and college scholarships, make sure you are aware of application requirements.
  • When searching for outside scholarships in Colorado, look locally to see if organizations in your area are offering scholarship. Local scholarships may be easier to win than state-wide or nation-wide scholarships.

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