Financial Aid

Colorado’s Scholarship Programs Provide A Wealth Of Resources For Students Pursuing Higher Education

The state of Colorado has a lot of things going for it. It’s the home of incredible landscapes, state-of-the-art technology, and a state-sponsored scholarship system that is doing all it can to keep its residents close to home.

For example, one plan is the Governor’s Opportunity Scholarship. It works both off of academic merit and financial need. Besides being a U.S. citizen and a high school graduate, one specific clause requires a full-time student to take on some form of work-study program. The student’s parents must also earn under $26,000 a year. If accepted, the student may receive as much as $5,665 a semester. Where the need aspect kicks in is that those deemed with the greatest need will get awarded first.

Less restrictive is the Undergraduate Merit program. It requires a student go to a Colorado college, and the amount does vary from year to year. On the plus side, it provides around $1,200 to more than 10,000 students a year and is renewable.

For the truly exceptional high school grad there is the Academic Scholarship. It is awarded to students who graduate in the top 16% to 25% of their high school class. Those eligible students who apply may receive $1,500 a year for their efforts. If they actually graduate as the valedictorian or salutatorian of their class, the award goes up to $2,000 a year plus on-campus room and board if the college campus is not located near the student’s hometown. Finally, if they maintain a 3.0 grade point average in college, the scholarship is automatically renewed.

The state also recognizes that scholarships aren’t rewarded just for academic excellence. There are also meritorious good citizenship awards. For this they set up the Colorado Council Volunteerism/Community Service Scholarship. As long as a student has a cumulative GPA of 2.5 and has earned recognition for community service, the program will reward these efforts with a $1,000 scholarship. It is given to eight students a year.

Colorado also has a scholarship for those pursuing their post-graduate degree(s). It is open to all college seniors and post-graduate students. Each year, the state nominates 500 Master’s and Doctoral candidates with a Graduate Scholarship, based in large part on academic excellence. The amount varies based on cost and need.

It should also be noted that Colorado is the home to a number of private scholarships not issued from the state. For example, Masons Benevolent Fund Scholarships awards up to $7,000 a year to 700 students a year. Another is the White Rose Scholarship, which was created by the Rocky Mountain Court System; it requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 and residency of the state for at least one year. The NDTA, Scott Air Force Base- St. Louis Area Chapter Scholarship is another general scholarship that awards $2,500 a year. The defense contractor gives out six of these awards to young Coloradans each year.

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