Financial Aid in Colorado
College Costing You a Bundle?
Colorado is well known for its natural wonders, healthy lifestyles and rugged individualism. It is also a state that is equally well known for its investment in education. Resident students of the Centennial State have access to some of the best colleges and universities in the nation. They also have access to one of the best resources for financial aid in the College In Colorado initiative.
Supported by Colorado’s Department of Education, the College in Colorado website provides resident students with vital information on the state’s universities, colleges and vocational schools. The organization also helps students with college preparation during high school, career planning, and tips on creating and managing a successful college fund. Most importantly, the site provides vital information on state supported scholarship and grant programs that are designed to make college more accessible to Colorado’s students.
General Scholarships and Grants
Students planning to attend one of Colorado’s many colleges and universities will want to begin their search for scholarships and grants by filling out and submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is required for all federal and state sponsored student aid, and should be priority number one for all college-bound students. Once the FAFSA is submitted, and students have received their Student Aid Report, it’s time to start considering financial aid possibilities.
Students in Colorado will find a wide range of available financial aid programs designed to target state residents. The state of Colorado itself supports a number of grants and scholarships for students attending one of their in-state colleges or universities. The following examples will provide an overview of what is available to Colorado students looking to finance their college education.
- The CollegeInvest Opportunity Scholarship is a lottery scholarship open to all residents of Colorado. Applicants must be undergraduate students attending an accredited Colorado college or university. Awards are chosen at random, and 38 $1000 scholarships are given out annually.
- The CCHS/CR Volunteerism/Community Service Scholarship awards $1250 dollars to eligible high school graduates who will be attending an undergraduate program at an in-state college or university. Fourteen scholarships are awarded annually, and emphasis is placed on community service.
- The CollegeInvest Service Scholarship offers $6000 scholarships to undergraduate students who commit to 40 hours or more of community service involving at risk children. Applicants must demonstrate the requisite level of financial need, and must be enrolled in an accredited Colorado college or university. Annual awards are drawn randomly from the pool of eligible applicants.
- The Boettcher Scholarship is one of the most prestigious scholarships in the country. Available to Colorado high school graduates who are attending a participating in-state college or university, this full tuition scholarship is entirely merit-based. The award includes full tuition coverage, as well as stipends for room and board, books, lab fees and other education related expenses. Applicants must be at the top of their high school graduating class for consideration.
- The Denver Scholarship Foundation offers need-based scholarships to eligible graduates of the Denver Public School System. The award can be used at any one of 39 community colleges, universities or vocational schools in Colorado. Maximum award allowance is $5000 per academic year.
- The College Access Challenge Grant is open to undergraduate students who have qualified for the Pell Grant, but still require financial assistance. Students must complete the Education Cents financial education course to be eligible for the award
Career Specific Grants and Scholarships
Resident students in Colorado will find a number of career specific scholarships and grants designed to encourage and develop new talent in various profession arenas. These awards run the gamut from full tuition grants to partial scholarships, and are sponsored by both the state and by private funding.
Some examples of career specific grants and scholarships for Colorado residents include:
- The Gordon Scheer Accounting Scholarship offers scholarships for accounting students who have maintained a 3.5 GPA. Awards range from $1000 – $2500. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. Students must be enrolled in an accredited Colorado college or university.
- The Bureau of Health Professional’s Nursing Scholarship is available to full or part-time students enrolled in an accredited nursing program at one of Colorado’s colleges or universities. Students must be studying to become a licensed registered nurse, and must commit to 2 years of service in an under-served medical facility or community to be eligible for funding.
Scholarship and Grants for Minority Students
Minority students of all backgrounds will find a plethora of financial aid opportunities designed to help them take their place in Colorado’s institutes of higher learning. These grants and scholarships are designed to help redress any imbalances in the student population, and to help minority students find the resources they need to achieve their educational goals.
The following few examples will give students a good idea of the financial aid opportunities available to minority students in Colorado.
- The Dr. Julianne Malveaux Scholarship is offered to female African-American sophomores and juniors enrolled in one of Colorado’s accredited colleges or universities. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and must submit an essay for consideration.
- The A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship is awarded to student members of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. The award is offered to American Indian and Native Alaskan students who are pursing their studies in engineering, medicine or mathematics.
- The Alexander Foundation offers scholarships and grants to students who identify themselves as gay, lesbian or transgendered. Applicants must demonstrate the requisite level of financial need, and be enrolled in an accredited college or university in Colorado.
This overview of grants and scholarships available to resident students of the state of Colorado is just a small sampling of what is available. Students are encouraged to visit the College In Colorado website for further information on financial aid opportunities applicable to Colorado residents.