Cu Boulder Financial Aid Office


University Of Colorado Boulder Net Cost

Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan at CU Boulder

The net price of college is the actual cost of attending a school for one year. Net cost is calculated by subtracting any scholarships, grants or other aid that does not need to be paid back from the total cost. Student loans are not part of the calculation, because they need to be repaid.

Now that we have a sense of the total estimated costs for CU Boulder students, we can subtract the average financial aid package to find the estimated net cost. Net cost can vary depending on a studentsâ need and the financial aid award received.

When considering whether a school fits your budget, it is important to consider the estimated net cost, not just the sticker price of tuition. Often, schools with the highest tuition also offer the most generous aid packages, so estimate your net cost before eliminating a school because it does fit your budget.

The average amount of financial aid received by a full-time first year student with demonstrated need at CU Boulder was $17,004 in 2021. By substracting the average financial aid package from the estimated costs, we get a number that may make the cost of CU Boulder seem more manageable.

Estimated Net Cost for Full-Time Students
Out-of-State, On-Campus $39,668

What will attending CU Boulder really cost you? The answer depends on several factors.

Does Cu Boulder Offer In

University of Colorado Boulder is a public, state institution, so it offers a reduced tuition rate of $10,728 for in-state students who attend full-time. For students who are not considered Colorado-residents, out-of-state tuition is $36,546 a year.

Public schools receive funds from the state to help them cover costs. Public, state schools can offer lower tuition for students who meet the requirements for in-state residency..

Choosing a college where you qualify for in-state status can cut the cost of college tuition. Don’t forget to verify your state’s rules for in-state tuition. Every state has its own rules about what makes someone eligible for in-state tuition. In many states, students must have lived in the state for 12 months before starting school to qualify for in-state tuition. There may be other criteria as well, depending on the state you and your parents currently reside in.

Planes Trains And Automobiles: Transportation Costs At Cu Boulder

The total cost of getting around in college can really vary. Will you take a subway, car or an airplane to get to school?. Is on-campus parking free, or will you need to budget for parking? Is the campus walkable? Do you own a car, or will you need to use busses, subways, or other modes of transportation? All of these factors can drastically impact your transportation budget. At CU Boulder, freshman are allowed to park on campus.

A school’s location can impact your transportation budget. Small, rural schools may be easier to get around, but the cost of getting to campus may be higher. On the flip side, transportation in an urban area is usually costly, but there may be more buses, trains and affordable flights to actually get to school. The University of Colorado Boulder campus is in a suburban setting in Colorado, not far from Denver.

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Student Employee Work Hours Policy

Undergraduate student employees are limited to working a maximum of 25 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters and 40 hours per week during the summer, per the Student Hourly Employee Work Hours Policy. The policy does not affect students working in non-university off-campus jobs, though we encourage students to prioritize their academics first when considering outside work commitments. View more information about this policy and other student employment policies on the Student Employment policy webpage.

Calculate How Much You Need

Financial Aid &  Scholarships

Before accepting any loans, figure out how much you will need for the academic year.

Estimated Cost

  • Add your estimated indirect costs from the budget examples
  • Subtract grant & scholarship amounts
  • The remaining amount is what you will need to cover with loans, personal savings or payments throughout the year

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Types Of Financial Aid

  • Work-Study
  • Financial aid offers begin as early as March for the upcoming fall semester, but aid is continually offered as long as funds are available. First-year and transfer students applying for aid for the 202223 school year are encouraged to submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid and any additional documentation requested as soon as possible, as some funding is limited. In previous years, some funding has run out as early as April before the fall semester.

    Types of financial aid available to CU Boulder students are listed below.

    University Of Colorado Boulder Financial Aid

    In 2021, 8,935 of the 30,300 undergrads enrolled received financial aid. CU Boulder meets 74% of the demonstrated financial need for undergraduates.

    The average financial aid package for a full-time, first-year student is around $17,004 a year. Around 38% of CU Boulder undergrads take out student loans to cover any remaining costs. CU Boulder graduates who have student loans graduate with an average of $27,425 of student loan debt.

    The average debt for each loan type varies.

    Average Debt By Loan Type
    Federal Loans
    Private loans 9%

    Most students take out institutional or government loans, because they tend to have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options than private loans. Loans from the federal government can be subsidized or unsubsidized. Subsidized loans do not accrue interest during school, while unsubsidized loans begin accruing interest at the time the loan is issued. If students do no qualify for enough federal loans to cover the cost of tuition, some take out private loans. Parents can also take out ParentPLUS loans, which are government loans for parents who are helping their children pay for college.

    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid helps colleges determine how much financial need students and their familes have, so they can offer a financial aid package that meets, or come close to meeting, their need. For more information on CU Boulder financial aid, keep reading, or visit their financial aid website.

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    Cu Boulder Scholarship Application

    Students may apply for scholarships offered by the Office of Financial Aid each year. For scholarships with a financial need requirement, applicants must have submitted a FAFSA before the scholarship deadline in order to be considered. The scholarship application is open November 1March 25, with some scholarship opportunities closing as early as February 15.

    Prospective students don’t need to wait to be accepted to CU Boulder before applying for financial aid or scholarships.

    Scholarships are highly competitive at CU Boulder. The selection committee considers academic achievement, honors, leadership, school activities and service to the community. Students should also search for scholarship opportunities within their academic program, college, club or campus organization.

    How Much Aid Is Offered That I Don’t Have To Repay

    Using IRS Data Retrieval

    The numbers below apply to grants and scholarships mainly offered by the college itself.

    51.0% of first year students were offered scholarships at University of Colorado Boulder, averaging $7,642 per person. This puts it in the top 40th percentile of all schools in the nation.

    941 first year students also received a grant. A total of 14.0% of CU – Boulder first years obtained grants with an average of $4,764 per person.

    View the average amount of grants and scholarships first years receive by looking at the chart below.

    What’s the Difference Between Scholarships & Grants?

    Scholarships are merit-based, while grants are need based.

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    Assistance In Obtaining Institutional Or Financial Aid Information

    HEA Sec. 485- -). Not changed by HEOA. 34 CFR 668.43, 34 CFR 668.44. October 28, 2009 FR notice

    Each institution must make available to prospective and enrolled students information regarding how and where to contact individuals designated to assist enrolled or prospective students in obtaining the institutional or financial aid information required to be disclosed under HEA Sec. 485 . This information is posted on Purchase Colleges website via the links set forth below. Paper copies are available upon request from the individuals and offices listed in the relevant sections below.

    • Director of Student Financial Services: Jay Estiva, 251-7000 opt. 2,
    • Provost: Earnest Lamb, 251-6020
    • Associate Director of Admissions: Anna Valinoti, 251-6300
    • Registrar: 251-6361,

    Enrollment Services Hours & Contact Info

    The Offices of the Bursar, Registrar, Financial Aid, and Admissions are offering services remotely at this time.

    Office Hours:

    Please complete online or by phone:

    • View and pay the bill online
  • Information about billing processes, payment methods and refunds
  • In-person services:

    Please complete online or by phone:

    • Speak with a financial aid counselor
    • View status of financial aid, to-do items, and complete forms in Buff Portal
    • Send forms or tax documents using our file upload

    Scholarship Checks:

    • Submit scholarship check envelopes to the payment drop box outside the south doors of Regent.

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    Scholarships At University Of Colorado Boulder

    Some students may receive grants and scholarships to help pay for college. Unlike loans, scholarships and grants do not have to be paid back.

    In 2021, CU Boulder awarded 7,071 need-based scholarships to students, giving away total of $89 million to help students with financial need cover the cost of school. An additional $46.09 million in merit-based scholarship money was awarded to students without demonstrated financial need.

    Value Of A College Degree

    Friday, Sept. 9, deadline for schedule changes, financial aid

    Compared to high school graduates, college graduates earn more than $1.5 million over their lifetime, experience lower unemployment and better health. Around half of CU bachelors degree recipients graduate with no debt.

    Graduate Lifetime Earnings

    On average, college graduates earn $1.5 million more than those with only a high school diploma.


    College graduates experience lower unemployment than those with only a high school diploma.

    CU Alumni Earnings

    CU graduates find jobs and pay back student loans at a higher rate than others in Colorado and across the U.S. While income varies by field of study, in the first ten years after graduation, average loan repayments are only a fraction of annual earnings.

    On average, annual student loan payment is 6% of annual earnings.

    Alumni earnings are based on a survey of CU alumni. Average undergraduate loans are based on analysis by the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

    Student Loan Default Rates

    Students who earn a credential are least likely to default on student loans. At CU, the majority of students repay their loans. In the chart below, CU student loan default rates are compared to Colorado and national averages. CU rates are well below the national average.

    Graduation Rates

    Student Loan Debt

    Loan Amounts of Bachelors Degree Recipients in Colorado

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    Cu Boulder Tuition Waivers

    Schools sometimes offer tuition waivers to certain groups, to offset the cost of attending. Some colleges offer tuition waivers for faculty, staff, and their families , underrepresented students, or military students. Even with a tuition waiver, other expenses and fees are the responsibility of the student.

    Check the financial aid website for more information on payment plans and tuition waivers.

    School/institution Specific Grants And Scholarships

    Amount: $500-$2,500

    California Polytechnic State University

    The Cal Poly/SAS Merit Grants are awarded by the Study Abroad Office at Cal Poly. Students must demonstrate a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher to qualify. Contact the Study Abroad Office at for application and deadline details.

    Amount: $7,500

    Chapman University Scholarships

    These scholarships are awarded by the Center for Global Education, for more information please email . Students must be an undergraduate at Chapman to qualify.

    Amount: Varies

    Colorado State University

    The CSU/SAS need based grant is awarded, by Student Financial Services, based on your Estimated Family Contribution through your CSU institutional aid application. This is awarded on a first come, first served basis. The CSU Education Abroad office nominates students for the CSU/SAS merit grant. Need and Merit Applications will not be reviewed in the SAS office.

    Amount: $3,500

    Morehouse College Scholarships

    These scholarships are awarded by the Study Abroad Office. Please contact Julius Coles at for more information. Students must be an undergraduate at Morehouse to qualify.

    Amount: $5,000 10,000

    NSCS Scholarship Scholar at Sea

    Members of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars are eligible to apply for this award. Two $10,000 awards, three $5,000 awards and one $5,000 award for a CSU NSCS member is available per voyage. Requirements and application are available online.

    Amount: $10,000

    The Society of Torch and Laurel Scholarship

    Amount: Varies

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    Find Your Bill & /or Financial Aid

    Tuition & Fee Bill

    You will receive an email from the Bursar’s Office when your official bill is ready. Bills are only available online. View how to access the bill.

    Watch a video to see how aid appears on the bill.

    Financial Aid

    Your financial aid will display in Buff Portal in one of two forms: estimated aid or accepted/offered financial aid, depending on the time of year and where you are in the application process.

    Estimated aid is available for incoming students and is based on the assumption that you will enroll as a full-time student. If you enroll less than full-time your financial aid will likely be adjusted.

    Applying For Financial Aid

    Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

    Students apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid . Once the student lists CU Boulder on the FAFSA , the Office of Financial Aid receives results digitally and uses them to help determine a student’s eligibility for grants, work-study and loans, as well as some scholarships.

    The FAFSA is school-year specific. Submit the 202223 FAFSA to be considered for financial aid for Fall 2022, Spring 2023, and Summer 2023. Students should apply as soon as possible after it opens October 1 each year, as some funds are limited and eventually run out. Students must do the FAFSA every year to be considered for aid.

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    Reducing Or Cancelling A Loan Amount

    * Be sure to include loan origination fees in the amount you choose to borrow if you accept less.

    To see a list of your estimated expenses :

    View Financial Aid Online

  • Log in to Buff Portal.
  • Navigate to the Financial Aid card.
  • Select the appropriate aid year from the year drop-down near the top of the card
  • Click View Financial Aid. At the bottom of the card, click Accept or Decline Aid.
    • Grants, work-study and admissions-based scholarships are automatically accepted.
    • Loans will need to be accepted if you wish to receive them.
    • Students awarded other CU Boulder Scholarshipmay need to accept those awards to receive them. Recipients will be emailed with specific instructions.

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    House And Food Costs At Cu Boulder

    Room and board at CU Boulder costs $15,676 a year. This covers the cost of living in dorms or other on-campus housing, plus a dining plan that enables you to eat all or some of your meals the school dining facilities.

    Board costs may vary depending on how many meals are included in the plan you choose.

    Aid For Graduate & Professional Students

    Board of Regents hears budget and financial aid update, approves new ...

    The first step in applying for financial aid is to submit theFree Application for Federal Student Aid each academic year. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for grants, loans, work-study, and need-based scholarships. For full financial aid consideration your FAFSA must be on file in our office by February 15. Get details about the financial aid process.

    Graduate students are primarily offered student loans, but there may be additional funding available through specific graduate departments.

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    Tuition For International Students At Cu Boulder

    CU Boulder has the same tuition for international students as for those from out of state.

    International students at University of Colorado Boulder can expect to pay around $38,336 per year, before any scholarships or financial aid.

    International students are not eligible for federal financial aid, but should research private or school-specific grants, scholarships, and other funding opportunities..

    International students without financial need may be eligible for merit-based institutional scholarships and athletic awards.

    Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

    CU Boulder has a rich culture for cultivating undergraduates as emerging scholars, artists and practicing researchers. UROP provides consultation services, informational workshops and grants to promote undergraduate research as a high-impact learning practice for student success.

    Each year UROP funds hundreds of students who produce new knowledge and creative work in partnership with CU’s world-class faculty. We serve students and faculty whose learning and teaching goals include outside-the-classroom enrichment.

    In a UROP project, students:

    • Explore academic interests beyond the classroom
    • Get hands-on experience with research or creative production
    • Develop student-faculty relationships for professional references
    • Acquire academic and professional skills and credentials
    • Demonstrate successful grant-writing skills
    • Refine their academic and career goals

    From development of a research interest or question to completion of an application takes some time. UROP deadlines precede the academic year in which the research or creative work will be undertaken and students apply in partnership with the faculty mentor. Visit the UROP website for more information.

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    Affordability & Student Financial Aid

    Even in times of uncertainty, a college education continues to be an investment worth making. On average, people with bachelors degrees earn $1.5 million dollars more over their working lives, experience lower unemployment and are healthier than those who do not graduate from college. The following information outlines CUs commitment to affordability, including how we keep tuition in check, continue to fund student aid, reduce out-of-pocket costs, and other factors that affect your investment in your future.

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