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Frequently Asked Questions

CU-Boulder does not prefer one application over the other and all students will be reviewed in the order their application file is completed (submitted application and required documents received and official) regardless of which application is used.  The most important thing is to choose ONLY ONE application and use ONLY that application all the way through to submission.  If you submit both applications, you will delay your admission decision.

Note:  The Common Application is only available for first time freshmen.  Transfer students can only complete the CU-Boulder Application.

You can access the online application for any open term through your MyCUBoulder account. Log in and navigate to the 'Apply' tab to start your application today.  The application for future terms becomes available each August.

Early action is for freshman applicants only. The benefit of applying by the non-binding, Early Action deadline is to give freshman applicants a guaranteed decision date. If you have chosen CU-Boulder as one of your top schools, and apply by the early action deadline, you will receive a decision of admission, postponement or denial by February 1.  Students may also receive a notification that we need additional information (1st semester grades, new test scores, etc.) by February 1 before making a final admission decision.

Yes. Because our decision is non-binding, you are still permitted to apply to other schools that use an early admissions program such as Early Action or Early Decision.  Early action is for freshman applicants only.

No. The non-binding early action decision allows you to apply to and enroll at another school if you so choose.  Early action is for freshman applicants only.

There are two required essay questions that must be submitted in order for your application to be considered complete.  Click here to view the essays >

If you apply with the intention of attending CU-Boulder directly after you graduate high school, we do not require transcripts for any college work completed while you were in high school in order to review your application for an admission decision. However, if you are admitted, you will be required to submit official transcripts for all college work completed while in high school so we may review the work and, if applicable, award you credit.

If you are applying as a transfer student, you will need to submit official transcripts for all completed college work, in order to complete your application for an admission decision, including college work completed during high school.

Yes.  If you graduated high school after 1988, the Office of Admissions needs your final, official transcript including your graduation date in order to complete your file and give you an admission decision.  Transcripts should be sent by mail or electronically to transcripts@colorado.edu by the issuing school.

The Office of Admissions does not host interviews but we would love to connect with you by phone or e-mail or during a visit program.  If there is something that you would like to explain in your application, we encourage you to use the essays to articulate that. Contact the Office of Admissions Call Center at 303-492-6301 to speak with one of our current students, contact your admission counselor, or come see us at one of our campus visit programs.

We do not have a preference between the ACT and SAT, but we do require that students take one of them. However, we often recommend that you attempt each test at least once. Used in combination with your grades and rigor of curriculum, both have proven equally reliable in predicting academic success at CU-Boulder.  The ACT and/or SAT are required for all domestic freshmen regardless of where their schooling has been done, international freshmen who wish to be considered for merit scholarships, and for transfer students who have completed fewer than 24 semester credit hours at the time of application.

It is really in your best interest to take the test a few times. We have found that students who take the test a second time are more familiar with what to expect and have a better opportunity to increase their score. If you do take the same test more than once, please make sure to send all of your scores to us. We will take your highest score from each section and combine them to give you a 'super' score. We will use that 'super' score in our admission decision. Test scores are also used in the scholarship process and when considering you for the College of Arts and Sciences' Honors Program.  The ACT and/or SAT are required for all domestic freshmen, international freshmen who wish to be considered for merit scholarships, and for transfer students who have completed fewer than 24 semester credit hours at the time of application.

If you have taken the ACT or SAT previously and are taking the test again in October, you must send in your previous scores to complete your application. Once your new test scores from the October exam are received, we will add that information to your application and consider that in the review process. When registering for the test, you must indicate that you want your scores sent to the University of Colorado Boulder so that we receive them as soon as the scores are available. If you are taking the ACT or SAT for the first time in October and still wish to be considered for the non-binding, Early Action deadline, you must complete the rest of your application by November 15 and we will begin the review of your application once your ACT or SAT test scores have arrived. On the day of the test you must indicate that you want your scores sent to the University of Colorado Boulder so that we receive them as soon as the scores are available.

CU-Boulder's CEEB school codes are:  SAT - 4841 and ACT - 0532.

If you have questions about how to complete CU-Boulder’s application, please refer to our Application FAQ page.  If you still have questions, please contact our office at 303-492-6301.

If you have questions about the Common Application, please follow the instructions on their website regarding how to receive support.

The non-binding Early Action deadlines and the Freshmen and Transfer Application deadlines are postmark deadlines.

The easiest and fastest way for your ACT and/or SAT scores to be received by CU-Boulder is to indicate that you want your scores sent to CU-Boulder on the day of the test. If you did not request your scores to be sent to CU-Boulder when you registered for the exam, you will need to request an additional score report from either ACT or SAT. Scores are also considered official if they are included on your high school transcript.

One letter of recommendation is required to complete your application.  Make sure you choose someone who can provide good insight into your character and your abilities as a student. If you choose to submit additional letters of recommendation, we suggest sending no more than two. Make sure you choose people who know you well and can talk about your strengths and how you will contribute to the CU-Boulder community.

Official transcripts can be sent to CU-Boulder from your school by mail or electronically to transcripts@colorado.edu. Mailed transcripts postmarked by October 1 will meet the spring application deadline; postmarked by November 15 will meet the freshman, non-binding, Early Action fall and summer deadline; postmarked by January 15 will meet the fall and summer freshman application deadline; and postmarked by March 1 will meet the fall and summer transfer application deadline.

Official transcripts are mailed or sent electronically directly to us by the issuing institution or by the student if the transcript is still in its original sealed envelope. Unofficial transcripts cannot be used to complete your file. All credentials written in languages other than English must be accompanies by a literal certified English translation.

If using the University of Colorado Boulder application

  • Domestic students:  Payable online at the time you submit your application or by check or money order (made payable to the University of Colorado) after you submit your application. If submitting a check or money order, include your full legal name and birth date. We recognize that some students may be faced with financial constraints in paying the application fee. Waivers can be granted for documented hardships if you submit an application fee waiver form.
  • International students:  The application fee can be paid online via credit card at the time you submit your application or in the form of an international money order or a check drawn from a U.S. bank and made payable to the University of Colorado after you submit your application (or if using a printed application). If submitting a check or money order, include your full name and birth date so that it can be properly credited to your application.

If using the Common Application:  Payable online at the time you submit your application.  We recognize that some students may be faced with financial constraints in paying the application fee. Waivers can be granted for documented hardships if you submit an application fee waiver form.

A completed application consists of:

  • Online application
  • $50 application fee ($70 for international students)
  • Official high school transcripts*
  • Official college transcripts from each institution attended (if you have taken college course work)*
  • ACT or SAT I scores**
  • Two personal essays
  • One letter of recommendation

*Official transcripts can be sent electronically by the issuing institution to transcripts@colorado.edu.  Transcripts written in a language other than English must be accompanied by a literal certified English translation.
**Required for all domestic freshmen, all international freshmen who wish to be considered for merit scholarships, and all transfer students who have completed fewer than 24 semester credit hours at the time of application.

Please give us at least 3 to 4 business days to update your portal so that it reflects your application.

You can check your application status through the 'Apply' tab in your MyCUBoulder account.

If you need to change your major or term, DO NOT submit a new application.  For these, and other changes, contact the Office of Admissions at apply@colorado.edu.

Freshmen: You can check your application status as well as what we have and have not received, through the 'Apply' tab in your MyCUBoulder account.  If you submit a required credential electronically, please give us at least two weeks to receive, process and update your checklist.  If you submit a required credential by mail, please give us at least four weeks to receive, process, and update your checklist.

Transfers: We begin processing transfer applications for the spring term on October 1 and for summer and fall terms on March 1.  After these dates, please give us 6 to 8 weeks to receive, process and begin to evaluate your application and required credentials.  If you have questions about what we have and have not received after this amount of time has passed, please contact our office at 303-492-6301 or at apply@colorado.edu.

In order for us to populate your checklist, we need at least four business days after you submit your application to review our systems and properly connect your documents with your application.  If it has been more than four business days since you have applied, more than two weeks since you submitted a required credential electronically, or more than four weeks since you submitted a required credential by mail, please contact our office at 303-492-6301 or at apply@colorado.edu.

If you submitted more than one application, you will see one checklist for each application.  However, you can only have one application on our system per term.  We will delete your most recently submitted application within a week of the submission date. While there are two applications on our system, one or more of your checklists may not be accurate.  Once you have only one application on our system, you will only see one checklist.  If you need to change your major, or have questions, please contact the Office of Admissions at 303-492-6301 or at apply@colorado.edu.

If you submit a required credential electronically, please give us at least two weeks to receive, process, and update your checklist.  If you submit a required credential by mail, please give us at least four weeks to receive, process, and update your checklist.

We accept official test scores through the testing agency or we can receive them from the official high school transcript. If your test scores are received as part of the high school transcript, they will not be reflected on your checklist until your application is processed internally.  Please allow at least 6 weeks for this internal process to be completed.  The University of Colorado Boulder requires at least one ACT or SAT to complete your application. We do not prefer one test over the other. If you have submitted either the ACT or SAT, your status will be updated.

The checklist only displays the credentials required to complete your application so only one of your letters of recommendation will show completed.  Supplemental information such as resumes and additional letters of recommendation are packaged in your file once all other required documents are received. This complete package is what the admissions committee receives to review and make an admission decision.

If you did not list a high school on your application you will not see a high school on your checklist.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  If you have requested that your transcript be sent to us, please give us 4 to 6 weeks to process and begin to evaluate your application and required credentials.  If you have questions about what has been received after the amount of time has passed, please contact our office at 303-492-6301 or apply@colorado.edu.

If you attended a high school in another country, we are currently unable to show the high school transcript for internationally located high schools in your checklist.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  If you have requested that your transcript be sent to us, please give us 4 to 6 weeks to process and begin to evaluate your application and required credentials.  If you have questions about what has been received after the amount of time has passed, please contact our office at 303-492-6301 or at apply@colorado.edu.

We do not require first-time freshmen to submit a college transcript in order for us to make an admission decision.  If you are admitted and confirm your intent to enroll, you must submit your official, final college transcript by July 1.  Once you are admitted and confirm your intent to enroll, your transcript will be evaluated for transfer credit within 4 weeks of your transcript being received.

Once we process your required credentials, it may be determined that your transcript is either incomplete (not all grade levels are on the transcript) or it is not official.  Please request that an official transcript be sent from your school.  We can only accept transcripts as official if they are received directly from your school or issuing institution.  If you submit a required credential electronically, please give us at least two weeks to receive, process and update your checklist.  If you submit a required credential by mail, please give us at least four weeks to receive, process and update your checklist.

Freshmen:

  • Fall & Summer:  If you applied and all of your required materials were received in our office by November 15, you will receive notification by February 1. If you applied and all of your required materials were received in our office after November 15, you will receive notification by April 1. 
  • Spring:  We begin processing applications for the spring term on October 1. After this date, please give us 6 to 8 weeks to receive, process and begin to evaluate your application and required credentials. 

Transfers: We begin processing applications for the spring term on October 1 and for summer and fall terms on March 1.  After these dates, please give us 6 to 8 weeks to receive, process and begin to evaluate your application and required credentials.

Please note that we process applications in the order in which they are completed and received by our office. They are processed first-come first-served. We release decisions daily and encourage you to check your MyCUBoulder account.

Once we process your application and required credentials, we may find that additional credentials are needed in order to consider you for admission.  Please submit these credentials as soon as possible so we may review your application and provide you with an admission decision. If you submit a required credential electronically, please give us at least two weeks to receive, process and update your checklist.  If you submit a required credential by mail, please give us at least four weeks to receive, process and update your checklist.

You will see the first semester senior year grades item completed on your checklist once we have received and processed your first semester senior year grades.  We can only accept transcripts as official if they are received directly from your high school or issuing institution.  If you submit a required credential electronically, please give us at least two weeks to receive, process and update your checklist.  If you submit a required credential by mail, please give us at least four weeks to receive, process and update your checklist. You will receive your admission decision no later than April 1.

You will see the midterm grades item completed on your checklist once we have received and processed your midterm grades.  If you submit a required credential electronically, please give us at least two weeks to receive, process and update your checklist.  If you submit a required credential by mail, please give us at least four weeks to receive, process and update your checklist. You will receive your admission decision in 2 to 4 weeks after this item completes on your checklist.

It means that your decision letter is still in the mail or that your completed application and required materials were not postmarked by November 15. We mail official decisions via the U.S. Postal Service under a first-class rate and delivery time varies. Your admission decision is also posted online. Applicants can check their status in their MyCUBoulder account.

It means that your decision letter is still in the mail or that your completed application and required materials were not postmarked by January 15. We mail official decisions via the U.S. Postal Service under a first-class rate and delivery time varies. Your admission decision is also posted online. Applicants can check their status in their MyCUBoulder account.

While we encourage students to apply early, if you are unable to complete your application by the non-binding, Early Action deadline of November 15, you should apply by the January 15 freshman application deadline.  All students who complete their application by the January 15 freshman application deadline will receive an admission decision on or before April 1.

We will begin releasing admission decisions (admission, postponement, denial or a request for additional information) for students who meet the freshman, non-binding, Early Action deadline beginning November 15.  All students who complete their admission file by November 15 will receive a decision by February 1.  Please note that we process applications in the order in which they are completed and received by our office. They are processed first-come first-served.  The earlier you apply and complete your application, the more likely you are to receive a decision around November 15.

No. All applications are reviewed using the same admission criteria. Applicants who apply by the November 15 non-binding, Early Action deadline are not only guaranteed an early decision, but are also given the opportunity to strengthen their application if the Office of Admissions requests additional information. Visit our admissions criteria page for more information regarding how applications are reviewed.

Freshmen: 

  • Fall and Summer: CU-Boulder will begin releasing admission decisions to freshman applicants who met the non-binding, Early Action deadline on November 15. All students who complete their admission file by November 15 will receive a decision by February 1.  Please note that we process applications in the order in which they are completed and received by our office. They are processed first-come first-served.  The earlier you apply and complete your application, the more likely you are to receive a decision around November 15.  Students who apply by the January 15 freshman application deadline will receive an admission decision on or before April 1.
  • Spring:  Decisions for spring term will be released on a rolling basis beginning in October.

Transfers:  Decisions for spring term will be released on a rolling basis beginning in October and decisions for fall and summer will be released on a rolling basis beginning in March.

If you are student with a disability and would like to request services from Disability Services submit documentation of your disability and request an intake and a Disability Specialist. Disability Services is located in the Center for Community, Suite 200. Phone: 303-492-8671. For more information visit the Disability Services homepage.

Begin by applying for scholarships between November and the March 1 CU-Boulder scholarship deadline.  You do not have to be an admitted student to apply for scholarships. Once you have submitted your admission application you are eligible to apply for CU-Boulder scholarships. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (including school code 001370) before our March 1 priority date. You do not need to be admitted to CU-Boulder to apply for financial aid.

CU-Boulder participates in the Advanced Placement (AP) program of the College Board. More than one-third of Boulder's entering freshmen submit AP test scores each year. Official scores must be sent to the admissions office directly from the College Board. CU-Boulder's CEEB/ETS code is 004841.

International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations, whether leading to a full IB diploma or to an IB certificate, often qualify students for advanced standing at CU-Boulder. In general, credit is granted for approved IB examinations at the higher level with a score of 4 or better. Students admitted to the University of Colorado Boulder, who have graduated from high school having successfully completed an IB Diploma program shall be granted 24 semester hours of college credit. This credit will be considered applicable toward degree requirements ONLY if approved by the college or school. Depending on the student’s degree program, some of the 24 credits may not be applicable towards degree requirements.  No CU-Boulder tuition will be charged for these credits and the 24 credits will only be granted if the student receives a score of 4 or better on an examination administered as part of the IB Diploma program. If the student scores less than 4 on each IB subject test, the credit hours granted shall be reduced accordingly. Official scores must be sent to the admissions office directly from the IB organization.

Note:  Scores should be sent once all tests are completed and scores are reported--usually at the end of the senior year and not in between your junior and senior year.

Visit www.colorado.edu/admissions/undergraduate/apply/freshman/credit for more information.

You can confirm your intent to enroll through the 'Confirm' tab in your MyCUBoulder account.

Once you have been admitted you will no longer see a checklist in your MyCUBoulder account because you’ve done everything required of you up to this point for admission.  Upon confirming your intent to enroll, you will need to submit your official, final high school transcript as well as official transcripts for any college work completed.

If you are admitted and confirm your intent to enroll, your AP, IB, or previous college course work will be evaluated to determine what credits will transfer to CU-Boulder and how this will be applied to your degree. This process can take several weeks after you have confirmed your intent to enroll. All students who are awarded transfer credit will receive notification when their Transfer Credit Report is ready to be viewed.

Students who have had their decision postponed should try to strengthen their academic record with additional test scores and midyear grades. Students who are postponed will receive a final admission decision by April 1.