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The Presidential Scholarship FAQs

What are the qualifications for the Presidential Scholarship at CU-Boulder?

The Presidential Scholarship at CU-Boulder is awarded to a select group of students who have qualified for the Chancellor's Achievement Scholarship. As part of our commitment to creating an intellectually and geographically diverse freshman class, around 10% of Chancellor's Achievement Scholars are selected to receive this award. Students will receive one award or the other, not both.

How do I apply for the scholarship?

Students are automatically considered for CU-Boulder's Presidential Scholarship upon submission of an admissions application to CU-Boulder. No additional application is required.

Do I have to apply to CU-Boulder by a certain date?

Students need to apply for admission to CU-Boulder no later than the January 15 freshman application decision deadline.

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When and how are students notified?

Students will receive a notification from the CU-Boulder Office of Admissions in their mailed admissions packet if they are awarded the Presidential Scholarship.

How much is the scholarship?

The Presidential Scholarship at CU-Boulder is $55,000, paid over 4 years ($7,500 per semester for the first 4 semesters; $6,250 per semester for the final 4 semesters).

What other benefits are provided to Presidential Scholar?

CU-Boulder's Presidential Scholars are part of a community designed to promote academic success and networking. Through a limited series of exclusive events, Scholars have the opportunity to get to know each other as well as to explore a particular topic in areas such as theater, dance, or music. Over dinner, Scholars hear from a CU faculty member who has expertise in the particular area, and then they attend the event itself.

Additionally, Scholars have access to an email hotline which they can use for any academic or campus life issues. The hotline is monitored by the office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education. Scholars also receive periodic emails which provide encouragement and helpful tips for academic and co-curricula success.

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What do I do to accept the offer?

The offer is automatically accepted once you have confirmed your intent to enroll at CU-Boulder. Your confirmation must be postmarked by the May 1 deadline.

How do I receive the funds?

The scholarship is paid on a semester basis, and the funds for each semester will be credited to your CU-Boulder tuition and fees bill provided that you meet the eligibility criteria.

What are the eligibility and renewal criteria?*

To be eligible to receive the award in a given semester, you must:

  • enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours each fall and spring semester at CU-Boulder;
  • remain a non-resident for tuition purposes;
  • meet the Office of Financial Aid's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.
To renew the award in subsequent years, you must:
  • maintain a minimum cumulative CU grade point average at the end of the designated academic year.
    • At the end of the freshman year (after the 2nd semester at CU), the requirement is a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA.
    • At the end of the sophomore and junior years (after the 4th and 6th semesters at CU), the requirement is a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA.
  • successfully complete a minimum of 12 credit hours each fall and spring semester at CU-Boulder;
  • remain a non-resident for tuition purposes;
  • meet the Office of Financial Aid's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.

*These apply to students admitted fall 2009 or later.

If I do not meet the eligibility requirements for renewal of the scholarship, can I appeal?

If you do not meet the renewal requirements at the end of a given year, you will be notified by postal mail around July 1. If you have extenuating circumstances (examples: serious illness, accident, death of a loved one, house fire, etc.) which contributed to your inability to meet the standards for renewal, you may submit a written appeal for reconsideration. The appeal should clearly explain what extenuating circumstances you experienced (inability to successfully pass a course(s) or difficulty adjusting to college life are not considered extenuating circumstances). Help us understand what happened, when it happened, and how it impacted your academic performance. Appeals are decided on a case-by-case basis and the outcome of any appeal will depend on: the nature of the circumstances; the quality of the documentation provided; your current academic progress; the nature of any violation of the university’s Student Conduct Code; and fund availability.

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If I defer admission to CU, can I retain the offer?

You may defer your admission to CU-Boulder for up to 1 year and still retain the Presidential Scholarship award. You must contact the Office of Admissions to formally request a deferral.

My ACT or SAT test scores have improved since being admitted. Can I send the updated scores and be reconsidered for the scholarship?

Yes, until the May 1st confirmation deadline, you may submit official copies of your scores to the Office of Admissions. Please contact your regional admissions counselor in the Office of Admissions to request reconsideration after you have submitted your updated test scores. Appeals must be submitted before May 1st.

My high school GPA changed since being admitted. Can I send an updated transcript and be reconsidered for the scholarship?

Typically, seventh semester grades alone do not change a student's eligibility for the scholarship. Scholarship eligibility is determined based on a combination of factors, including a student's GPA and test scores. Both sets of standards must have changed significantly in order to be meaningful for scholarship reconsideration. Please contact your regional admissions counselor in the Office of Admissions to request reconsideration after you have submitted your updated transcript. Appeals must be submitted before May 1st.

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If I graduate from CU-Boulder in fewer than four years, can I still get the full amount of the scholarship?

Since the scholarship 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 four years, the remainder of the benefit is forfeited. However, if you continue to be enrolled at CU-Boulder in a graduate program, the scholarship will be extended until you have graduated or until you have utilized the maximum 8 semesters of the award.

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

Summer school is not typically funded. However, if you will be enrolled in summer school at CU-Boulder in a minimum of 6 credit hours and meet the renewal criteria as of the end of the previous spring semester, you may request to receive a semester's scholarship award in the summer in lieu of receiving it in the fall or spring. You must contact Scholarship Services to make the request. You will not be automatically credited with the scholarship. (Effective summer 2012. Prior to summer 2012, the requirement was 12 credit hours.)

If I change to an in-state resident, how does that affect the scholarship?

The Presidential Scholarship is for non-resident students only. Therefore, if you become an in-state resident, the remainder of the scholarship is forfeited effective with the semester that your residency is changed.

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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 of at least 12 credits per semester, you are eligible to receive the funds (please see the question above regarding summer school, if applicable). If you will be participating in a non-CU sponsored Study Abroad program, you must sign up in Stay Connected to be eligible for reinstatement of your scholarship upon your return.

If I am not enrolled full-time at the start of the semester, what happens? Can I get the scholarship back the next semester when I am full-time?

If you are not enrolled in at least 12 credit hours at CU-Boulder at the start of a semester, as of the university's census date (the third Friday of the semester), the scholarship will be cancelled effective with that semester and the remainder of the scholarship will be forfeited. The cancellation is permanent and the scholarship cannot be reinstated. Courses taken for no-credit through Continuing Education and Professional Studies do not count toward the minimum credit hours.

If I am not meeting the academic terms of the scholarship, when will the award be cancelled?

Your academic progress and enrollment will be reviewed at the beginning of and at the completion of each fall and spring semester:

  • At the beginning of each fall and spring semester, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours at CU-Boulder by no later than the university's census date (the third Friday of the semester). Courses taken for no-credit through Continuing Education and Professional Studies do not count toward the minimum credit hours.
  • At the end of the fall semester, you must be meeting the Office of Financial Aid's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy or your scholarship will be cancelled effective with the spring semester and the remainder of the scholarship will be forfeited. You will be responsible for the full amount of non-resident undergraduate tuition beginning in the spring semester.
  • At the end of the spring semester, you must have successfully completed at least 12 credits in each the fall and spring semesters at CU-Boulder, have achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average based on your grade level (see the question above on renewal criteria) , and must be meeting the Office of Financial Aid's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy.

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If the scholarship is cancelled due to failure to meet the renewal conditions, can it be reinstated in the future (i.e. if the student's grade point average is above the minimum after a future semester)?

No, unfortunately the cancellation is permanent and the award will not be reinstated.

Are classes taken at CU-Boulder in the summer counted in determining if a student is eligible for renewal the next year (i.e. meeting the minimum 24 credit hour and cumulative GPA requirements)?

No, a student must meet the renewal conditions for the next year based on credit hours earned in the previous fall and spring semesters and on the cumulative GPA at the end of the spring semester. Summer course work at CU-Boulder does not count toward meeting the renewal standards. However, given that the grades from summer courses taken at CU are included in your cumulative GPA, the courses will impact your eligibility at the end of the following spring semester.

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If a student withdraws or is absent from CU, how does that affect the scholarship?

Undergraduate degree-seeking students are eligible to return to the University within 1-3 terms from their last graded semester without readmitting or reapplying for admission (more on the Registrar’s website). A student who withdraws or is absent from the university and returns within the allowable timeframe, will be eligible to reinstate the scholarship upon your return, assuming that the renewal conditions have been met. You will have the same number of semesters and dollars remaining as if you had not left. Please be aware of the impact that withdrawal grades have on your Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress.

It is your responsibility to contact Scholarship Services to request reinstatement. The scholarship will not be automatically reactivated upon your return. 

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

The cost of attendance (COA), also known as the cost of education or "budget", is the total amount it should cost a student to go to school. This amount includes tuition and fees, room and board, and allowances for books and supplies, transportation, and personal and incidental expenses. Any financial aid that you receive, including the Presidential Scholarship, cannot exceed your Cost of Attendance. If it does, you may have aid adjusted and/or cancelled, depending on your individual circumstances.

Who may I contact with additional questions?

You may contact Scholarship Services at 303-492-4533 or schlp@colorado.edu.

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