Financial Aid and Student Loans in Colorado

If you’ve decided to head to college in Colorado, you’re in good company. The average cost of attendance at a 4 year school in Colorado is $30,670, so with your course chosen, how do you feel about your funding options?

You will need to plan your finances ahead of time. You will need to factor in tuition fees and rent along with the cash you’ll need for living expenses, books, and study materials. How much will it all run you? 

In this article, we’ll go through some of your state-specific funding options. We’ll start with grants and scholarships in Colorado. Then we’ll move on to your student loan options.

What Scholarship Programs Does Colorado Have?

While many scholarships are based on financial need, this is not always the case. Scholarships come with a range of differing requirements. Some are targeted at certain ethnic groups, while others are specific to religion or course of subject.

As a rule, you’ll need to have made steady progress in your studies, and you’ll need to hit a minimum standard of grades.

Some scholarships are open only to students in Colorado. You can get valuable information about national scholarships on sites like,, and

You could also try approaching your college counselors and making inquiries at the college financial aid office.

We’ll now briefly highlight some of the primary scholarships offered to eligible candidates in Colorado.

Partner Foundation Scholarships

The Foundation’s scholarship program offers grant money to individuals to enable them to pursue a degree in the field of their choice at an accredited educational institution.

Each year the number and amount of scholarships depends on fundraising success. Minimum scholarships are $1,000.00 per recipient, per year. If students continue to meet qualification guidelines, they can apply for a renewal.

Applications are posted online each January and are due by March 31 of that same year.

Pinnacol Foundation College Scholarship Program

To apply for a Pinnacol Foundation College scholarship, you must:

  • Be aged between 16 and 25 when the application is due
  • Have a GPA of at least 2.0
  • Be the child or dependent of someone who died or was injured during a work-related accident in Colorado. The parent must have been eligible to receive payouts under the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act
  • Have graduated high school or be a senior in high school

Applications open on the 1st of November and close on the 15th of February. Students are awarded, on average, $4,700 per year, subject to approval by the board. The Foundation awards these scholarships on a first-come, first-serve basis, so get your application in early.

You can find more information regarding the requirements and how to apply here.

Cheryl D. Conkling Memorial Scholarship

This award is geared toward students with hearing impairments and those with physical disabilities. This grant was set up in memory of a talented music and education student who excelled despite living with hearing problems and gamma globulin anemia.

Applicants must:

  • Reside or attend school in Colorado
  • Enroll at an accredited college or university
  • Be full-time students

The scholarship covers eight semesters of college. The condition being that these must be taken consecutively.  Students are paid $1,500 for each semester. The overall award is thus $12,000.

Applications open on the 1st of January and close on the 2nd of July.

Celebrate the West High School Art Competition

Talented art students can win some free money in this art competition.

Submissions from high school students and inspired by the state of Colorado are judged by governors and their staff, U.S. Cabinet members, and WGA sponsors. Anyone may apply as long as they are still in high school.

The first-place prize is $1,200, second place $750, third place $500, and other finalists can win $200.

ExxonMobil Engineering Scholarship

The ExxonMobil Engineering scholarship is open to high-achieving Hispanic high school seniors that live in Colorado Springs. The student must go on to study engineering at an accredited institution.

A grant of $20,000 is available for one student, paid over a four-year term. 12 smaller $2,000 scholarships are also available. These scholarships must be applied to costs directly related to studying.

What Grant Programs Does Colorado Have?

To qualify for a grant, you’ll need to be enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or professional college course of study. You’ll also need to be a resident of Colorado. Some grants are based purely on financial need. Others are more niche offerings targeted at specific demographics, so you’ll need to determine whether you’re eligible.

Colorado Student Grant 

This grant is based on the information provided when you make a FAFSA application. An award of up to $5,000 to be used for tuition is available. You’ll apply through the college for your grant.

College Opportunity Fund

The College Opportunity Fund program provides a stipend for new and continuing in-state students going to college in Colorado. To receive the stipend, a student must apply for and authorize the use of the stipend at their respective institution. Students applying for the College Opportunity Fund can do so online. This process is available through College Assist. After applying for the COF stipends students will need to authorize the use of the stipend when registering for classes at their respective institutions. 

What Student Loan Programs Does Colorado Have?

Colorado does not have any state-specific loan programs, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t options for students in the state.

Federal student loans

Prospective Colorado students can receive federal financial aid assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA). 

Private co-signed student loans

There are many private student loan opportunities for those who need additional assistance on top of federal student loans. Many banks, credit unions, and dedicated lending companies offer private student loans, but almost all require a co-signer.

No co-signer student loans in Colorado

Funding U began because we identified thousands of students who were unable to qualify for a private student loan because they didn’t have an eligible co-signer. While we’re no longer the only provider of such loans, we offer no co-signer student loans to career-focused students currently enrolled full time in college. The requirements for receiving a loan are dependent upon the GPA of the student and the graduation rate of the institution they attend. To learn more about our no co-signer student loans click here.

What Schools Does Funding U Lend To In Colorado?

Generally speaking, Funding U’s no co-signer loans are offered to students at eligible four-year, non-profit, undergraduate degree-granting universities (which means we do not lend to for-profit schools, 2-year schools, graduate schools, or trade schools). Our eligibility requirements are based on models that aim to predict how likely a student is to graduate, and because of that we have minimum GPA requirements that students must meet and minimum 6-year graduation rates that schools must reach in order to be eligible. To find out more about how we determine our eligibility, click here.

Below is a table listing all of the schools in Colorado that Funding U is currently lending to, with additional details on which grades we are currently lending to, based on the school’s 6-year graduation rate. 

School NameFreshman
6 yr
Grad Rate
Adams State UniversityNoNoNoNo2762
Colorado Christian UniversityNoNoYesYes5277
Colorado CollegeNoYesYesYes8994
Colorado Mesa UniversityNoNoNoNo3673
Colorado School of MinesNoYesYesYes8093
Colorado State University-Fort CollinsNoYesYesYes7182
Colorado State University-PuebloNoNoNoNo3263
Fort Lewis CollegeNoNoNoNo4457
Metropolitan State University of DenverNoNoNoNo2863
Naropa UniversityNoNoNoNo4262
Nazarene Bible CollegeNoNoNoNo067
Regis UniversityNoNoYesYes6980
United States Air Force AcademyNoNoNoNo094
University of Colorado BoulderNoYesYesYes7187
University of Colorado Colorado SpringsNoNoNoNo4566
University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical CampusNoNoNoNo4867
University of DenverNoYesYesYes7787
University of Northern ColoradoNoNoNoNo4771
Western State Colorado UniversityNoNoNoNo4864
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