Colorado is known for the Rocky Mountains, its amazing ski resorts, Denver—its capital—being one mile above sea level, and its many other amazing natural sights to behold. The Centennial State, which got its nickname because it became a state during the same year the U.S. celebrated its 100th birthday (1876), is also home to many great colleges and universities.

Along with those schools comes some equally as great financial aid programs. Some of the programs Colorado residents can apply for in order to help them afford to attend in-state schools include the College Opportunity Fund, the Colorado Student Grant and the Bradley D. Gendron Memorial Scholarship.

College Opportunity Fund

The College Opportunity Fund (COF) is a need-based stipend created by the Colorado Legislature given to undergraduate students attending eligible Colorado colleges to help them pay for tuition.

Eligibility for the COF all depends on what type of school the student attends. To be eligible for the COF if a student attends a Colorado public postsecondary institution, a student must:

  • Be a Colorado resident
  • Be an undergraduate student
  • Be attending an eligible Colorado public college
  • Complete and submit the COF application

To be eligible for the COF if a student attends a Colorado private postsecondary institution, a student must:

  • Be a Colorado resident
  • Be an undergraduate student
  • Be attending an eligible Colorado private college
  • Have graduated from a Colorado high school or successfully completed a non-public, home-based educational program in Colorado
  • Complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Demonstrate a financial need for funding
  • Complete and submit the COF application
  • Not be pursuing a degree in theology
  • Meet any other requirements set by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE)

It is only necessary to apply once for the COF, despite it being a renewable award for undergraduate classes only. The application can be submitted online or with physical papers via the mail. The student’s college will then keep track of funding and awards from the stipend for the future. A student can see how much funding they received from the COF by looking at their college bill. The bill will reflect the amount of tuition the stipend paid for them.

The stipend a student receives is all on a per credit hour basis. The amount will never exceed a student’s in-state tuition and the per credit hour amount is the same for every public college student. Private college students will receive 50% of the amount per credit hour that the public college students receive.

During the 2021-2022 academic year, public college students received $94 per semester credit hour and private college students received $47 per semester credit hour. Lifetime funding for the award caps out at 145 credit hours.

Colorado Student Grant

The Colorado Student Grant is a need-based award funded by the state for its college-bound students.

To be eligible for the grant, a student must:

  • Be a Colorado resident
  • Be enrolled in an eligible program at an eligible Colorado postsecondary institution
  • Complete and file FAFSA
  • Demonstrate a financial need for funding
  • Complete the grant’s application through the student’s college
  • Make satisfactory academic progress each academic year towards the student’s degree
  • Not have defaulted on educational loans and/or grants

The maximum amount of funding a student can receive from the grant is $5,000. The funds can be used to cover tuition, books, fees, room and board, and supplies.

Bradley D. Gendron Memorial Scholarship

The Bradley D. Gendron Memorial Scholarship is a merit-based award given to one Colorado student annually by the Diabetes Scholars Foundation.

To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must:

  • Be a Colorado resident
  • Be a current, college-bound high school senior
  • Have been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and have successfully managed living with it
    • For clarification: Type 1 Diabetes is a chronic condition where the pancreas produces little or no insulin; this is not a diet-related condition.
      • Type 2 Diabetes is the diet-related condition.
    • Most Type 1 Diabetics are diagnosed with the condition during childhood.
    • Only 5% to 10% of all diabetes cases are Type 1, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Be enrolled to become a full-time incoming freshman in the upcoming fall semester
  • Show active involvement in the diabetes community
  • Complete and submit the scholarship’s application by April 15

A recipient of the scholarship can use the award at any accredited four-year university or technical school in the country.

There is only one award handed out every year and that award is worth $1,000.

Major Colorado Colleges and Universities

There are many high-quality, prestigious colleges and universities in the Centennial State. Some of those schools include:

  • Adams State University in Alamosa (public)
  • Colorado College in Colorado Springs (private)
  • Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction (public)
  • Colorado State University in Fort Collins (main campus) (public)
  • Colorado State University-Pueblo in Pueblo (public)
  • Colorado Technical University in Colorado Springs (private, for-profit)
  • Fort Lewis College in Durango (public)
  • University of Colorado-Boulder in Boulder (main campus) (public)
  • University of Denver in Denver (private)
  • University of Northern Colorado in Greeley (public)
  • Western State Colorado University in Gunnison (public)

There are over 5.7 million residents living in Colorado’s 104,094 sq. miles of land and those who are college-bound can rest easy knowing they have ample college financial aid programs available for them to utilize.