Early applications are an advantage for financial consideration at many colleges.
Colorado Opportunity Fund (COF)
If you are a Colorado resident at least 13 years old, register for the Colorado College Opportunity Fund (COF).
The COF is a fund created by the Colorado Legislature to provide a stipend for resident undergraduate students attending participating public Colorado colleges or universities. There is no income qualification and the student is not required to be a full time student. You don’t need to know where you will go to college and you only apply once! The stipend is paid on a per credit hour basis for up to 145 credit hours. The student must apply in order to obtain the COF stipend, which is paid directly to the college or university. It’s FREE to apply!
In 2014-2015, for residents that attend a participating public Colorado College or University this is:
This money is already accounted for in the Net Price Calculator for estimated college costs, so apply! The amount of per credit hour funding is set annually by the Colorado legislature.
For example, if a student takes 15 credit hours per semester, that student will receive a stipend in the amount of $2,250 for the year (30 credit hours). Students that attend a Colorado participating private university receive half the amount per credit hour in stipend funding ($38.00 per credit hour for the 2014-2015 school year)
To find out more about these scholarships go to the college's website, in particular, the financial aid page. One resource is CU Boulder’s Scholarship tool which includes a huge database for private scholarships as well as CU Boulder specific scholarships.
Colorado Colleges and Universities
Boettcher Scholarship The Boettcher Foundation offers a merit-based scholarship that guarantees essentially a full-ride to any 4-year institution in Colorado. The student needs to contact their BHS counselor mid September of their Senior year to determine if eligible and their entire Scholarship application is due to their counselor by late October of their Senior year.
Other Merit-Based Scholarships
Merit-based scholarships may be awarded to a select group of entering Colorado resident freshman students based on a combination of grade point average and test scores. Students are automatically considered for these programs upon submission of an admissions application to the college and usually no additional application is required. Here are a few examples of these resident freshman scholarships:
CU-Boulder Esteemed Scholars Program
Colorado Mesa University Merit Scholarships
Colorado State University Resident Merit Scholarships
Fort Lewis College Freshmen Tuition Merit Scholarship
Scholarship Search Engines
Scholarship search engines online are a useful tool in searching for scholarships, however, keep in mind the following:
You should only sign up for one or two sites.
You should never have to pay for a scholarship search.
You may want to set up a secondary email address to use with these search engines because of the ads and spam you may receive.
Top Search Engines include:
The first step in receiving any grant is to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Just like scholarships, grant money does not need to be paid back.
The U.S. Department of Education offers a variety of federal grants to students. The four grants that may be available are: Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants. Information on Federal Grants
College-based and State-based Grants
While federal grant programs are typically for students with the lowest income, other grants may not be as strict with the family contribution. A number of state grant programs may more closely look at a student’s college major or career. Information on State-based Grants College-based grants are usually a supplement to federal and state grants. The best way to find college-based grants is to talk to your college’s financial aid office. Some of these grants are automatically awarded based on the FAFSA application and others may require an additional form. Information on College-based Grants