"Extra" scholarships thru U of CO Boulder?

Hi - I know U of CO offers application for additional scholarships. Just wondered if anyone had success with this? My daughter’s #1 school is U of CO and since we are out of state (NJ) with no need money coming, she was heartbroken to receive $6,250 on a $52,000 ticket price. We’ll need a lot of creative work (private scholarship apps, etc.) for her to have a chance to go there.

She’ll apply for the additional CO scholarships - just wondered if this was an incredible long shot or a possibility (trying to prepare her!).


What do you need the cost to be to be able to make it work?

Many of the available scholarships are relatively small dollar amounts and/or earmarked for certain majors and/or have a need based component. Of course still apply, but they will all be competitive.

It’s great that she received the $6,250 aid (assuming that is a grant and not loans?), as most OOS students with >$100K family income don’t receive grants at all, at least per the NPC.

Has your D applied to/been accepted to an affordable safety?

Hi - thanks for the reply! Yes, my daughter has a applied to a lot of schools and has a bunch of acceptances (for what that’s worth).

We are in NJ so our flagship (Rutgers) is $34k all in (ugh) and the other lowest cost instate (even with$5k & $10k scholarships) comes to about $25k.

So if we could get U of CO down to $30k (even $35k) it would be much more of a consideration. That’s only a $5-$10k difference (I know, actually $20k - $40k total!) from our instate safeties.

In fact most of the schools my daughter has applied to have ended up at $34k - $42k - no matter the sticker price and scholarship amt. Colorado State is $34k (including a $10k merit scholarship)

I’ve been told - no one is going to pay you to come live in paradise (Colorado). Just hoping to find a way for her if we can. :slight_smile:

1 Like

My son (we are OOS as well) is in same boat for Acceptance to engineering at CU Boulder; but sticker price and ROI is not good unless I can be creative on getting cost down as well. We have other schools that are more in the 40’s range which is fine and more doable, but the upper 50k range is too steep. Here to hoping!

Chazer - what do you think about Colorado State? It’s got many of the same perks of U of CO (great location, nature, booming economy) but is roughly $44k plus they give a bit more merit aid ($10k in our case and my daughter has decent but not amazing stats). That is bringing the school in the range of our instate flagship (Rutgers - thanks a lot, NJ! lol).

How much can you pay without borrowing? If your max is still $25k and you have to stretch to do that, I don’t think the Univ. of CO will be affordable. Most public colleges have enough challenges funding their state residents. They really can’t afford to fund OOS students. And there aren’t a lot of outside scholarship programs that will give students substantial amounts of money.

Did you run the Net Price Calculators for each school she’s interested in? We used those as a guideline for affordability. If the estimated net cost was more than we could pay the school came off the list.

If you can pay $25k and your daughter raises $3k by working summers you can get the budget up to ~$33k/year by letting her take the federal student loan. If CO State will give her a $10k/year grant you could probably make that work.

Good idea but my son wants Aerospace Engineering. He was accepted to Penn State already with CU Boulder. Did just get letter for receiving the Chancellor Achievement Scholarship so that helps with a 6250 per year reduction.

Thanks, austinmshauri - we have some saved (not a ton) and will be selling real estate so should have a decent amount to pay - along with loans (that we hope to not take out more than $10k a year if at all possible). Of course don’t want to dump thousands more than necessary for a good education for D - want her to enjoy and help launch her into the world (while still keeping some savings for our future!!).

Still trying to figure out that mix (as so many parents are!). Ran a bunch of net price calculators. The ridiculousness of our instate flagship cost ($34k) doesn’t give us a ton of ‘affordable’ options that are significantly cheaper than OOS.

Chazer - that’s good! My daughter got the Chancellor also but seems like a drop in the bucket when looking at $54k or whatever the ticket price is. They seem great for aerospace at U of CO though. We toured the ‘astronaut room’ w/all sorts of info about space when we visited.

U of Alabama gives a ton of merit & they have (I believe) a good aerospace program…?

1 Like

@Chazer My son is in the same exact position. He was accepted at Penn State Engineering (he decided on mechanical there but aerospace at CU Boulder; he is more so interested in aircraft and not space…a bit undecided which is okay) but only accepted into Exploratory Studies at CU Boulder. He wasn’t given any scholarship money at all which I was surprised about since his stats aren’t that bad. Penn State is our state school so the price tag there is really attractive. At this point with about $22k difference per year ($88k over 4 years), we cannot justify that difference, at least I don’t think so at this point. We are struggling with this since Denver’s aerospace/engineering industry is growing and we do have some money saved, that if need be, we could possibly do it, but at an expense. He does love PSU and we have yet to tour CU Boulder but have been on the campus/Boulder in 2018 for a visit. His sister also goes to CU Anschutz, so she is pushing for it!


Do a lot of research into the pathway from Exploratory Studies to the Engineering School. If it’s like Pre Engineering the odds are stacked against them. It still can be done, but it’s tough.


I did do a lot of reading on the pathway from ES and it looked to be guaranteed as long as the student has a 3.3gpa. If this isn’t the case, CU Boulder will come off the list. I’ll have my son contact the school.

The ES pathway is new, so I’m not sure of the ins and outs, but the problem with the Pre-Engineering path is how difficult it is to make the required GPA while taking the tough engineering requirements like Calc. IIRC Pre-Engineering requires a 2.7 but only about 25% make it into the Engineering School. For the 25% that get in it’s a great program, but for the 75% that don’t get in they’re in Arts and Sciences looking for a new major.

btw, maybe with the ES pathway they don’t have to take the hard weed out classes.

I take that back, I’m getting conflicting information about the pathway from ES to Engineering. This may be a big deal.

carrottopcurls2, My son got accepted to Engineering at both schools (Penn State UP, and CU Boulder) as both are OOS (We live in RI) for us, it boils down to money (what the schools are offering) and my sons comfort level at this point. My biggest concern for CU Boulder is the housing post freshman year as I heard there are challenges and living off campus is not cheap. From an academic evaluation its a win-win for CU and Penn State. From my sons perspective, CU is just further away is all; otherwise my DD (College Senior) is considering CU Boulder for PA school so that would be nice; but then again never know (moving parts). My son is also awaiting for U Michigan, and Ohio State decisions (both Aerospace). Good luck to you and your son

@“Jolynne Smyth” We are in the exact same boat. My kid’s first choice is Boulder, but they just don’t have the resources for a lot of merit scholarship $.
DU was a little more generous, but their tuition is off the charts high. Oregon offered some too. Arizona is extremely generous for out of state applicants.
We are re-focusing on in state options, which are all mostly excellent.
Not giving up on Boulder yet, but narrowing our thinking toward schools that are a better value.

1 Like

CU is expensive, no question. It is unlikely there will be more money from the school unless it is from a department (music is one that gives a lot of scholarships). Engineering is top notch and has a brand new building that is amazing.

Living in Boulder is expensive. Finding housing is not that hard, but it is all expensive.

Boulder is farther away from RI on a map, but I bet it doesn’t take longer to get to than Penn State. Direct from Boston or RI to DIA is about 4 hours, and then 45 minutes to Boulder. Penn State? Miles and miles from anywhere.

CSU? It is a good engineering school too, but CSU is the land grant college, so lots of focus on agriculture and animals, even in the engineering school. Instate engineering students choose between CU, CSU, and Mines, and it does depend on interest. Mines is best for petroleum and hard rock, CU for aero and general, and CSU for agri and industrial. Fort Collins is A LOT cheaper to live in than Boulder. Schools are about the same size. Instate and western US students also go to Colorado Mesa, and the engineering degree reads U of Colorado. Much cheaper. (but Boulder is best).

Some people prefer Ft Collins over Boulder. Ft. Collins is ‘western’ and the country mouse city while Boulder is urban and the city mouse city. Both have little downtown mall areas with bars and coffee houses and shops. Both have D1 sports (CSU has a new stadium), lots of recreation opportunities, easy to get to. I love CU but to save $10k a year, I’d go to CSU. If you really want to save money, go to Wyoming.

twoinanddone - this was a helpful assessment. Thanks!

We visited Colorado State and D liked it! $37k vs. abt $54k for U of CO Boulder. And they were very welcoming, telling D how many opportunities she’d have there, encouraging her to apply for honors etc. It was nice.

Still far (we’re in NJ)

Fort Collins is a really great college town. I love the downtown, Horsetooth Res, and Poudre Canyon.

Good to hear, AlwaysMoving!

We did like Fort Collins! Many cute restaurants and boutiques.

I’ve lived in CO 20+ years and went to CSU for grad school. Just want to chime to say this assessment by @twoinanddone of the schools/ towns is spot on.