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First Generation Grant FAQs

What are the qualifications for the Grant?

The First Generation Grant is awarded to Colorado residents whose parents do not have any education or technical training beyond high school. Certificate programs, real estate certification, technical training, vocational training, and corporate training programs are considered education beyond high school. Recipients must be admitted into an undergraduate degree program and demonstrate financial need.

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How do I apply for the Grant?

You are automatically considered for the First Generation Grant upon completion of an admissions application to CU-Boulder. Financial need is determined by your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which must be submitted each year.

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When and how would I be notified if I am eligible?

If eligible, you will receive a notification from CU-Boulder's Office of Financial Aid in the form of an official First Generation Grant letter. Notification will depend on when you are admitted to CU-Boulder, complete the FAFSA, and submit supporting financial documentation as requested by the Office of Financial Aid. Provided you have completed the above steps, an award letter will be sent beginning in April of your freshman/transfer year.

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How much is the grant?

The First Generation Grant may be awarded for a maximum of 10 semesters (excluding summer terms) starting from when your first admitted provided that you have met the renewal criteria. If you were admitted as a transfer student, you will receive a prorated number of eligible semesters based on class standing when admitted.

Example:

Number of Transfer Credits at admissionsTotal number of semesters of eligibility
0-14 9
15-29 8
30-44 7
45-59 6
60-74 5
75-89 4
90-104 3
105-119 2

You will be notified as to the number of semesters of eligibility you have on your official First Generation Grant letter.

Because the combination of the First Generation Grant with other grant and scholarship aid cannot exceed your total financial need, award amounts vary from $100 to $1,000 a semester. Your award amount is listed on your financial aid award each academic year.

Your First Generation Grant amount is subject to change if you receive additional financial aid or if there are subsequent changes to financial aid eligibility. All awards are based on available funds.

CU-Boulder has the right to revise or cancel awards if funds are unavailable; a student's admissions application contains incorrect data; or his/her financial situation or enrollment status changes.

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How do I receive the funds?

The funds for each year will be equally divided between the fall and spring semesters and will be paid towards your CU-Boulder bill.

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What are the renewal criteria?

In order to renew the grant, you must:

  • maintain a minimum 2.00 cumulative CU-Boulder grade point average,
  • enroll in a minimum of six credit hours each semester,
  • maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress,
  • demonstrate financial need by submitting the FAFSA by March 1st and all requested documentation 45 days after it is first requested every year, and
  • participate in the First Generation Scholars Program through the Center for Multicultural Affairs. Participation in a CU-LEAD Alliance Program will count towards the participation requirements. (You will be contacted by the Center for Multicultural Affairs each academic year regarding program requirements.)

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If I graduate from CU-Boulder in fewer than ten semesters, can I still get the full amount of the grant?

Since the grant is provided on a semester by semester basis, you are limited to receiving a single semester's award amount at a time. If you graduate in fewer than ten semesters (or the prorated number of semesters if you are transfer student), the remainder of the grant is forfeited.

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If I attend summer school at CU-Boulder, can I get the grant?

No, unfortunately the grant cannot be applied to a summer term.

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Can I receive the funds if I go on Study Abroad?

Yes, if you are participating in a CU-Boulder sponsored Study Abroad program, you can still receive the First Generation Grant.

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If I am not enrolled full-time, what happens?

If you enroll in less than 12 credit hours in a semester, your First Generation Grant will be prorated based on your enrollment status as of the university's census date (the third Friday of the semester). The semester in which the grant was prorated will count against your maximum semesters of eligibility. If you enroll in less than six credit hours, you will not be eligible to receive the grant for that particular semester and it will count against your maximum semesters of eligibility. Courses taken for no-credit through Continuing Education and Professional Studies do not count toward the minimum credit hours.

Example:

Enrollment at Census for a single semesterFirst Generation Grant Award
12 credit hours100%
11-9 credit hours75%
8-6 credit hours50%
5 or fewer credit hours0%

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If I am not meeting the renewal criteria of the grant, when will it be cancelled?

Your academic progress and enrollment (see above) will be reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid at the beginning of and at the completion of each fall and spring semester:

  • At the end of the fall semester, you must meet the Office of Financial Aid's Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy or your grant will be cancelled effective with the spring semester and the remainder of the grant will be forfeited. Students will be responsible for paying the full amount of their undergraduate tuition beginning in the spring semester.
  • At the end of the spring semester if you are not meeting the renewal criteria, you will not be eligible for the following semester.

Failure to fulfill the First Generation Scholars Program participation requirements will result in a hold placed on your account to prevent disbursement of your First Generation grant.

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If the award is cancelled due to failure to meet the renewal criteria, can it be reinstated in the future (i.e. if the student's grade point average is 2.00 or higher after a future semester)?

Should you meet the renewal criteria after losing the grant, reinstatement is neither automatic nor guaranteed. However, please contact Elena McSwiggen at 303-492-1009 or Elena.McSwiggen@colorado.edu for more information.

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I am receiving other scholarships and/or financial aid. How does that affect the grant?

The aid that you receive, including the First Generation Grant, cannot exceed your Cost of Attendance. For information on Cost of Attendance see: www.colorado.edu/finaid/atoz.html.

In addition, because the First Generation Grant is a need-based award, any need-based aid that you receive cannot exceed your financial need. Financial need is calculated by subtracting your Expected Family Contribution index number from your estimated Cost of Attendance. If your need-based aid exceeds your financial need, the First Generation Grant may be adjusted and/or cancelled.

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If I am participating in the First Generation Scholars Program through the Center for Multicultural Affairs, am I eligible to receive the grant?

The Office of Financial Aid awards the First Generation Grant to students who meet the award qualifications in question one. However, if after reading the eligibility criteria you believe you qualify for the First Generation Grant, please contact Elena McSwiggen in the Office of Financial Aid.

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I wasn't awarded the First Generation Grant because I did not complete my FAFSA and submit the documentation requested by the Office of Financial Aid in a timely fashion. Can I still receive the grant?

Because the First Generation Grant is awarded until funds are depleted, if you do not secure funding you will not be awarded for the current academic year nor will your First Generation grant be renewed for future years. To ensure your grant is renewed for the upcoming academic year, you must renew the FAFSA by March 1st every year and submit all requested information within 45 days of being requested.

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If I plan to take a semester off, can I receive the First Generation Grant when I return to CU-Boulder?

If you will be absent from CU or withdraw during a semester and wish to continue receiving the grant upon your return, please notify the First Generation Grant liaison in the Office of Financial Aid, Elena McSwiggen. Elena McSwiggen must be notified prior to withdrawing and upon your return, otherwise reinstatement is not guaranteed.

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If I transfer to another University of Colorado campus can I still receive the First Generation Grant?

You must be enrolled at least half-time at the University of Colorado Boulder in order to receive the First Generation Grant. If you will transfer to another University of Colorado campus, you are advised to contact the respective Office of Financial Aid for grant and scholarship opportunities.

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Who may I contact with additional questions?

The First Generation Grant liaison in the Office of Financial Aid is Elena McSwiggen. She may be contacted at 303-492-1009 or Elena.McSwiggen@colorado.edu.

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