Do you know that the oldest college in Colorado is the University of Denver? It was founded in 1864. Since then, dozens of postsecondary institutions have opened, making Colorado a great place to get an education.

If you plan to attend a Colorado college or university, you might be looking for ways to pay for school. Below, we have a list of scholarships and grants offered by Colorado state. We also outline where you can find private scholarship awards that don’t require you to be a Colorado resident.

It’s important to know that when seeking government financial aid, you should always start by completing the FAFSA. While this is a federal program for student financial aid, pretty much every state requires you to submit an application in order to be eligible for state-level grants and scholarships. You can complete this step and get more information by visiting the Federal Student Aid Office of the U.S. Department of Education. This condition doesn’t exist for private scholarships (although, you may have to file a FAFSA for need-based prizes).

Since you’ve read this far, it’s obvious that you’re motivated to win scholarship money. So, here’s the next best thing you can do: apply! Apply for scholarships early and often. College scholarships aren’t always a sure thing, but you can position yourself for success by applying for multiple awards. Now, let’s look at state-level awards for Colorado students.

Colorado Scholarship Programs

Colorado offers several scholarships through the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI). Questions about how to apply should be directed to your specific institution. Here’s an example of how college students can access COSI opportunities at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges & PepsiCo Scholarships

The Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges offers several scholarship opportunities each year for students attending or planning to attend any of the 13 Colorado Community College System colleges. Contact your college’s financial aid office or foundation for information about these scholarship programs.

ECE Educator Stipends/Scholarships/Loan Forgiveness

In partnership with the Office of Early Childhood within the Colorado Department of Human Services, the Colorado Department of Higher Education is collaborating with the Colorado Community College System and public institutions of higher education starting in 2021 to provide funding opportunities to aspiring and in-service Early Childhood Educators.

Colorado Grant Programs

Colorado Application for State Financial Aid

The Colorado Application for State Financial Aid (CASFA) is the application by which students that meet the qualifications can apply for this aid. Students who do not have lawful immigration status and who do not meet the qualifications listed above are still encouraged to apply for institutional aid using the CASFA. Students who are eligible for Federal Title IV aid by completing the FAFSA should not complete the CAFSA.

The College Opportunity Fund

Are you planning on attending a private or public college in the state of Colorado? Here is your opportunity to receive this state benefit if you attend a participating college and meet the eligibility requirements.

The College Opportunity Fund (COF), created by the Colorado Legislature, provides a stipend to eligible undergraduate students. The stipend pays a portion of your total in-state tuition when you attend a participating college.

Behavioral Health Incentive

The Behavioral Health Incentive Program provides financial incentives to rural and low-income Colorado students to obtain a credential in certain behavioral health programs of study. The program covers an eligible student’s in-state tuition in approved programs at Colorado institutions of higher education. The state estimates the program will serve nearly 400 students in the first two years with the program lasting four years.

Path4Ward Program

The Path4Ward Program, allows students from low-income households who graduate early to receive funding for postsecondary education or training programs during what would have been their fourth year of high school. Postsecondary programs may be college enrollment or approved workplace learning programs like internships and apprenticeships. You can find local registered workplace learning programs at MyColoradoJourney.

Colorado Loan Forgiveness Programs

Temporary Educator Loan Forgiveness Program

During the 2022 legislative session, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 22-1220 to address Colorado’s educator shortages by helping remove barriers to educator preparation. The law authorizes CDHE to offer loan repayment assistance on qualified loans for licensed K-12 Colorado educators and counselors, mainly for those early in their careers who serve in rural and hard-to-fill positions in Colorado.

Those who qualify can receive up to $5,000 in loan forgiveness for a given year. The program is funded for two years. Individuals who continue to qualify may apply every year of the program for up to $5,000 in loan forgiveness annually. Applications are currently closed, but you can register to be contacted when applications re-open.

Find More Scholarships and Grants for Higher Education

To help pay for education costs, you can also use the BridgesEDU Scholarship Finder. It’s free and can help you get started on the road to paying for your education. The scholarship database matches you with thousands of scholarships from all over the country, which you can easily sort through on your dashboard. You can also use our blog as a resource to help you create great scholarship applications. We are constantly adding new resources to help you find and win prizes. College and university scholarships are awarded throughout the seasons so check back during the academic year for updates – you can likely qualify for over 1,000 scholarships every year based on your community service profile, GPA, financial need, where you attend college, etc.

Whether you’re a graduating high school student or current undergraduate, there are many scholarships available to Colorado students … and beyond. Don’t let opportunities pass you by. Apply now!