Colorado, nicknamed the “Centennial State,” is known for its beautiful mountain ranges, forests, rivers, and deserts. As a student in Colorado, you could take advantage of these natural wonders by going on a ski trip over winter break or conducting field studies for a biology course.
Whether you are an in-state resident or out-of-state student who wants to go to school in Colorado, there are some great Colorado scholarships to apply for! Keep on reading to learn more about the eligibility, award amounts, and deadlines for these top Colorado scholarships!
How to win Colorado scholarships
Colorado is a unique state with a distinct cultural identity and a stunning landscape. Colorado is home to a diverse population, with a mix of urban and rural communities that house several prominent universities and colleges. These unique features of Colorado provide a wealth of opportunities for students looking into Colorado scholarships. Let’s look at what makes Colorado so unique:
Natural beauty and impressive mountain ranges
Colorado’s beautiful landscape provides a unique setting for many scholarship programs. For example, there are scholarships available for students interested in environmental studies or conservation, which are extremely relevant to Colorado’s commitment to keeping Colorado beautiful.
Thriving art and music scene
In addition to its beauty, Colorado has a rich cultural hub that is reflected in its art and music. Scholarships are available to support students pursuing degrees in the arts, humanities, and cultural studies, which allows students to explore Colorado’s unique cultural landscape.
Colorado is also a popular destination for entrepreneurship with a thriving startup scene. This creates scholarship opportunities for students interested in pursuing careers of their own making!
Resources for Colorado scholarship applicants
These Colorado scholarships may require you to write an essay about yourself. Perhaps you need to refresh yourself on how to write a 250 word essay or how to write a 500 word essay. Learning how to write an impressive scholarship resume will set you apart. Additionally, it is always helpful to review common scholarship essay prompts and learn how to start a scholarship essay to ensure that you win Colorado scholarships!
Overall, Colorado offers a diverse range of scholarship programs that can allow you to achieve goals while experiencing all the state has to offer.
Colorado student loan debt snapshot
According to the Department of Education, Colorado residents owe $28.5 billion in federal student loan debt, with student borrowers owing $36,822 on average (those numbers do not include private loans). Over 52.2% of loan borrowers are under the age of 35. As you are starting your higher education journey, remember that scholarships allow students to take less loans. Make sure that you apply to as many as you qualify for!
Merit scholarships at Colorado colleges and universities
- Eligibility: Incoming first-year students to University of Colorado Boulder who are Colorado residents. Must have a 3.85+ high school GPA. Other considerations may include life experiences, personal background, activities, and responsibilities. Decision is made based on admission application
- Amount: $4,000 per year
- Deadline: Apply to University of Colorado Boulder by January 15
- Eligibility: Incoming first-years at Colorado College. Decisions are based on admission application information
- Amount: $2,500 to $5,000 per semester
- Deadline: Considered upon admission to Colorado college
- Eligibility: All students pursuing a degree at Colorado Mountain College are eligible to apply
- Amount: Varies
- Deadline: March 1
- Eligibility: All incoming first-years are considered upon admission. Decision is made based on admission application
- Amount: $1,000 to $5,000 for Colorado residents and $9,000 to $14,000 for out-of-state students
- Deadline: Apply and be admitted to Colorado School of Mines by May 1
- Eligibility: All students who apply for admission are considered. Must enroll full-time. Decision is made based on admission application
- Amount: $10,000 up to $30,000
- Deadline: Considered upon admission to University of Denver
- Eligibility: All students who are admitted to Western Colorado University are considered. Must have a 3.35+ GPA
- Amount: $2,500 to $4,000 per year for Colorado residents, and $8,000 to $10,000 per year for out-of-state students
- Deadline: Considered upon admission to Western Colorado University
Consider in-state tuition and tuition reciprocity
In-state tuition is typically cheaper than out-of-state tuition for public colleges and universities because state governments provide funding to support these institutions. This funding comes from taxes paid by residents of the state, and as a result, in-state students are considered first since they are contributing to the cost of running these schools.
Here are a few well-known Colorado universities and their in-state vs out-of-state tuition costs:
- In-state tuition: $12,874
- Out-of-state tuition: $32,734
- In-state tuition: $30.452
- Out-of-state tuition: $57,702
To be eligible for in-state tuition in Colorado, students must be Colorado residents. In order to establish residency, students need to meet specific requirements. Students need to live in Colorado for 12 consecutive months, show intent to make Colorado a permanent home, and provide proof of financial independence.
Colorado is a member of a tuition reciprocity agreement called the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE). The WUE is an agreement between 16 Western states that allow students to attend public universities in participating states at a reduced tuition rate. The participating states in the WUE include:
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Through the WUE program, eligible students can attend participating universities in other states for 150% of the in-state tuition rate which is significantly lower than the out-of-state tuition rate. Therefore, this can be a significant cost-saving measure for students who want to attend a public university outside of their home state.
Colorado scholarship spotlight
- Eligibility: Full-time undergraduate student enrolled in a degree program in manufacturing engineering or technology, or other closely related engineering discipline. Preference given to students attending Colorado State University or any of the University of Colorado campuses. Must have a 3.0+ GPA. Must have completed 30+ college credit hours
- Amount: Varies
- Deadline: February 1 annually (Opens November 1 annually)
- Eligibility: Must be seeking an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering, industrial engineering, manufacturing technology, or a closely related field of study. Must have a 2.5+ GPA. First preference given to applicants who are residents of Colorado. Second preference given to applicants who are seeking their education from a college or university in Colorado
- Amount: Varies
- Deadline: February 1 annually (Opens November 1 annually)
- Eligibility: Natural children, adopted children, stepchildren, or full dependents of workers injured/killed in a compensable work-related accident who were entitled to receive benefits under the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act. Must be between the ages of 16 and 25. Must have a 2.0+ GPA
- Amount: Varies, averaging $4,700 per year
- Deadline: February 15 of each year (Opens November 1 of each year)
- Eligibility: US Citizens who reside in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, Utah or Wyoming entering their junior or senior year looking for work in the coal industry are eligible
- Amount: $1,000+
- Deadline: March 1 of each year
- Eligibility: Resident of Phillips, Sedgwick, Logan, Morgan, Washington, Yuma, Elbert, Lincoln, Cheyenne Wells, or Kit Carson County intent on completing at least a bachelor’s degree in a behavioral health-related field full-time
- Amount: $500 to $2,000 per year
- Deadline: Mid-March of each year
- Eligibility: Incoming first-years or transfer students to University of Colorado Boulder. Neither parent has a bachelor’s degree. Complete the FAFSA
- Amount: $4,000 for Colorado resident and $8,000 for out-of-state students
- Deadline: March 25 of each year (and FAFSA completed by deadline!)
- Eligibility: Students attending a college or university in Colorado with at least a half-time course load studying archeology or a cross-disciplinary field with an emphasis in archaeology
- Amount: $200 to $1,000
- Deadline: Late March of each year
- Eligibility: Must be a resident of Colorado and identify as LGBTQ+. Must be pursuing a degree at an institution in Colorado. Selection for awards is based on merit, need, and service to the LGBTQ+ community
- Amount: $300 to $3,000
- Deadline: Mid to late March of each year
- Eligibility: Permanent residents of Colorado aged 17-40 who reside principally in the state while attending school. Available to high school, college, and graduate students. Must enroll in at least 9 credit hours. Must maintain satisfactory academic progress
- Amount: Varies
- Deadline: April 30 of each year. Opens in January each year
- Eligibility: Attend a Denver Public Schools High School for all four consecutive years before graduation. Graduated high school with a 2.0+ GPA. Demonstrate financial need. Scholarship can be used at DSF’s College Partners in Colorado, including technical, community, and four-year colleges and universities
- Amount: $1,700 – $3,600
- Deadline: May 1 of each year. Opens in February annually
- Eligibility: Colorado graduating high school senior. Meet one of the following requirements: identify as a student of color, be a first generation student, and/or be a student with financial need. Enroll in at least 6 credit hours. Must have a 2.8+ GPA
- Amount: $1,000
- Deadline: June 1 of each year
- Eligibility: Hispanic high school students in Colorado Springs who plan to attend a full-time engineering program to get a bachelor’s degree. Must have a 3.5+ GPA. Must have a 29+ ACT score or 1350+ SAT score.
- Amount: $2,000 to $20,000
- Deadline: Opens in early summer and due the third week of July each year
- Eligibility: Graduating Colorado high school seniors who lived in Colorado for their full junior and senior years of high school. Selection based on scholastic ability and intellectual curiosity, leadership and involvement, service to community and school, and outstanding character
- Amount: $20,000 per year
- Deadline: November 1 of senior year of high school. Opens in early September of each year
Additional Colorado resources
The Colorado Department of Higher Education has a library of resources on financial aid for students. Materials include web tutorials on types of student aid and responsible borrowing, state funding, and FAQs about the cost of higher education.
The Colorado Women’s Education Foundation provides a list of scholarships for women that is a great starting point in your scholarship search!
The Colorado School of Public Health Latino Research & Policy Center has a library of resources to help Latino students find scholarships and submit strong applications.
On October 1st of every year, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens nationwide. Colorado students should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible to be eligible for federal student aid as well as some scholarships.
Scholarships can greatly lower the tuition costs of college. Students should consider applying for scholarships that are specifically designed for their demographic. Women, high school seniors and Black students can take advantage of specific scholarship opportunities. Some scholarships require essays and applications, but others are no-essay scholarships, making the application process easier. Overall, Scholarships360 is here for students to help provide valuable resources and access to scholarships.
Frequently asked questions about Colorado scholarships
Does Colorado offer free college?
How do you win the Boettcher Scholarship?
Does the University of Colorado at Boulder offer scholarships?
What are the eligibility requirements for Colorado scholarships?
Can I apply for multiple Colorado scholarships at the same time?
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