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The CU-Boulder Esteemed Scholars Program FAQ


What are the qualifications for the University of Colorado Boulder Esteemed Scholars Program?

The CU-Boulder Esteemed Scholars Program is awarded to a select group of entering Colorado resident freshman students based on a combination of grade point average and test scores. These levels were used for students applying for Fall 2013 admission and are subject to change.

Award GPA** Test Score Amount Renewal Criteria
President Joseph A. Sewall Award 4.0 33 ACT or 1440 SAT* $5,000 per year Renewable for a total of 4 years. Requires a minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA and completion of 28 credit hours per academic year.
President Horace M. Hale Award 4.0 31 ACT or 1350 SAT* $3,500 per year
President James H. Baker Award 3.9 28 ACT or 1240 SAT* $2,500 per year
3.8 30 ACT or 1310 SAT*

*SAT score includes Critical Reading and Mathematics tests only.
** Weighted GPA

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How do I apply for the scholarship?

Students are automatically considered for CU-Boulder's Esteemed Scholars Program 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?

For students beginning in fall of 2013, you will need to apply for admission to CU-Boulder no later than the January 15 freshman application decision deadline.

When and how are students notified?

Students will receive a notification from the CU-Boulder Office of Admissions as part of their mailed admission packet, if they are selected for the program.

How much is the scholarship?

There are three different scholarships that comprise the CU-Boulder Esteemed Scholars Program:

  • The President Joseph A. Sewall Award is $20,000, paid over 4 years ($5,000 per year).
  • The President Horace M. Hale Award is $14,000, paid over 4 years ($3,500 per year).
  • The President James H. Baker Award is $10,000, paid over 4 years ($2,500 per year).

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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 submitted through your MyCUBoulder account, or postmarked by May 1.

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
    • Please note: In order to renew the scholarship next year, you must successfully complete 28 credit hours (more than the minimum requirement per semester).
  • meet the Office of Financial Aid’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.

To renew the award in subsequent years, you must:

  • maintain a minimum 3.00 cumulative CU grade point average;
  • successfully complete a minimum of 28 credit hours each academic year at CU-Boulder;
  • meet the Office of Financial Aid’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.

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 spring semester, 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.

If you have not achieved the minimum GPA or completed the minimum number of credits at the end of the spring semester, you may enroll in summer courses at CU-Boulder to regain your eligibility. You do not need to submit a formal appeal in this case. Students who did not meet the GPA or minimum credit hour renewal requirements at the end of the spring semester will be reevaluated at the end of the summer.

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

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


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Can I send updated ACT or SAT test scores or updated transcripts and be reconsidered for the scholarship?

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

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’ve utilized the maximum 8 semesters of the award.

Can I use the scholarship for summer school at CU-Boulder?

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.

Can I use the scholarship if I 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-Boulder sponsored Study Abroad program, you must sign up in Stay Connected to be eligible for reinstatement of your scholarship upon your return.


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If I am not enrolled full-time at the start of the semester, what happens?

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 beginning of each semester, you must be meeting the Office of Financial Aid’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy or your scholarship will be cancelled effective with that semester and the remainder of the scholarship will be forfeited.
  • At the end of the spring semester, you must have successfully completed at least 28 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters at CU-Boulder, and have achieved a minimum 3.00 cumulative grade point average.
  • If you have not achieved the minimum grade point average or completed the minimum number of credits at the end of the spring semester, you may enroll in summer courses at CU-Boulder to regain your eligibility. Students who did not meet the renewal requirements at the end of the spring semester will be reevaluated at the end of the summer.

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 GPA 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 28 credit hour and cumulative GPA requirements)?

Yes, they can be. A student’s eligibility for renewal will be assessed at the end of the spring semester and if you have met the renewal criteria, the award will be renewed. However, if you have not achieved the minimum grade point average or completed the minimum number of credits at that time, you may enroll in summer courses at CU-Boulder to regain your eligibility. Students who did not meet the renewal requirements for these two reasons at the end of the spring semester will be reevaluated at the end of the summer.

If I withdraw or am absent from CU-Boulder, 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 (read more at 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.


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How does this scholarship work with or impact other scholarships or financial aid?

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 for one year/award period. This amount includes tuition and fees, room and board, and allowances for books and supplies, transportation, and personal and incidental expenses. The total of any financial aid that you receive, including the CU-Boulder Esteemed Scholars award, 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 at schlp@colorado.edu.


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