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University of Colorado Boulder
About 2009-2010 Tuition

This website provides general information about changes in tuition rates and major features of 2009-2010 tuition and financial aid.  Tuition rates for all campuses of the University of Colorado were approved in May 2009 by Board of Regent action. 

Detailed tables of tuition and required fees are at the Bursar's Office website.

We are committed to offering a quality education to all students. The tuition we collect will be invested in these efforts. Besides substantial increases in financial aid to maintain accessibility for Colorado students, new revenues will be used to cover ongoing operating costs and increases in those costs.Tuition revenues pay for recruiting and retaining an outstanding faculty, library materials and resources, academic advisors, writing and other courses, undergraduate research opportunities, classrooms, buildings and campus infrastructure, and more.

Colorado resident undergraduates

Tuition rates for Colorado resident (in-state) undergraduates changed from 2008-09 with

  • an increase in the full-time rate of 8.8% or $524 per academic year
  • an increase of 3.9% (equal to inflation), or $33 per credit hour, in the part-time or per credit-hour-rate, for students taking fewer than 11 hours
  • a .5 credit hour adjustment so the full-time rate is now 11 (instead of 10.5) times the per credit hour rate
The full-time rate increase of 8.8% reflects both the per-hour increase and the change in its multiplier from 10.5 to 11.

The above information reflects the student share of tuition. In addition to the student share of tuition, the state of Colorado provides state tax dollar support for higher education at the undergraduate level through the "College Opportunity Fund" or "COF." COF is neither a loan nor financial aid. It is reflected as tuition on the student's bill. The COF voucher amount is worth $68 per credit hour initially in FY10.

To maintain accessibility, CU-Boulder has several financial aid programs for resident undergraduates. These programs are for Boulder campus degree-seeking and teacher licensure students. They are based on credits taken on the main campus only; continuing education hours are not included. All aid applicants who demonstrate at least $200 of need are awarded an institutional grant to ensure that the effective tuition increase from 2008-09 is no more than 5%.

Programs include the UCB Tuition Grant and the CU Promise, part of CU's performance contract with the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. The CU Promise covers Colorado undergraduates from families at or below the federal poverty line who enter CU-Boulder as new freshmen or transfers from Colorado community colleges. For these students, grants plus a work-study award will cover the cost of tuition, required fees, and estimated books. About 60 new students are covered by the CU Promise each year.

For more information on financial aid, see http://www.colorado.edu/prospective/counselors/finances/index.html.

More than 20% of revenues from increased tuition rates (over inflation) will be used for need-based grants.

Colorado resident graduate and professional students

Resident graduate tuition rates increased 8.1% from 2008-09, with an increase in college differentials for Engineering and Law. See the section By-college tuition differentials, below.

Out of state undergraduates

Tuition rates for undergraduates not classified as Colorado residents for tuition purposes have been covered by the non-resident undergraduate tuition guarantee program since 2005-06. Rates for students entering summer 2009 through spring 2010 are 5.1% higher than those for students entering the prior year, with an increase in the differential for Engineering. Click here for details of the non-resident undergraduate tuition guarantee. See also the section By-college tuition differentials, below.

The Chancellor's Achievement Scholarship offers $15,000 over four years to the top 25% of out-of-state admitted new freshmen. The program, started in 2005-06, awards $5,000 per year during the freshman and sophomore years and $2,500 per year during junior and senior years.

Presidential Scholars are a select group drawn from Chancellor's Achievement Scholars. Beginning in fall of 2009-10, Presidential Scholars receive $55,000 over four years. These select students are awarded $15,000 per year during their freshman and sophomore years and $12,500 per year during their junior and senior years. The Presidential Scholars program began in 2006-07.

For the 2009-10 academic year only, the UCB Buffalo Scholarship was awarded to over 2,000 incoming non-resident freshmen and transfer students in the amount of $800 ($400/semester) to help defray the first-year costs of books and supplies. This scholarship was awarded to all incoming students who did not receive a Presidential Scholars Scholarship or Chancellor's Achievement Scholarship.

Out of state graduate and professional students

Tuition rates for graduate students not classified as Colorado residents for tuition purposes increased 2.5% from 2008-09, with an increase in the differential for Engineering. See the section By-college tuition differentials, below.

Financial aid for all undergraduates

The maximum Pell grant increased from $4,731 in 2008-09 to $5,350 in 2009-10, an increase of $619. The maximum expected family financial contribution for the student (EFC, from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA) to receive a Pell grant in 2008-09 was $4,041; this increased to $4,617 in 2009-10.

By-college tuition differentials

The by-college tuition differentials at CU-Boulder have been in place for many years. The revenue from the differentials supports the cost of education in the college -- faculty, student programs, and other expenses. The differentials reflect differences in the cost of education, the market worth of the degree, and the popularity of the college.

On all three counts, Law, Business, and Engineering top other colleges at CU-Boulder, and their differentials are accordingly higher.

  • The cost of education is higher because faculty salaries in these fields are higher at CU-Boulder and across the country because these faculty often have viable employment opportunities outside academia at higher pay.

  • The market worth of the degree is higher, with higher starting salaries for graduates.

  • The popularity is higher, with more applicants per entering-class slot than in other colleges.

The 2009-10 tuition rates reflect greater percentage increases for in-state graduate Engineering students and Law students; and for out-of-state Engineering students (undergraduate and graduate).

Note: In this text the term "college" refers to both colleges (e.g., College of Engineering) and schools (e.g., Leeds School of Business, Law School).

Fees and housing

Individual fees are detailed at the Bursar's Office website. All fees follow the Institutional Plan for Student Fees. Fees covered by this plan include administrative, student activity, course-specific, program (instructional), and academic facilities capital construction fees. Mandatory student and administrative fees for full-time students increased 9.6% or $130 per year from 2008-09.

The New Student Fee (formerly known as the "matriculation fee") is a one-time, nonrefundable fee assessed at time of first registration. This fee varies depending upon degree and international status. It covers services such as the Buff OneCard (the student's official university identification card), immunization reporting management, registration/transcript services, and undergraduate orientation program. In 2009-10 this fee was increased by $70 to include lifetime Forever Buffs Alumni Membership.

A double room with full meal plan in campus residence halls increased 5.3% or $518 per year. For more information see Housing and Dining Services.


Tuition is set within the campus budget planning process and in conjunction with external entities including the Colorado Department of Higher Education (with its Colorado Commission on Higher Education or CCHE), the legislature and the University of Colorado Board of Regents.


Note: The terms "resident" and "in-state" are used interchangeably here, and mean "Colorado resident for tuition purposes."  "Non-resident" and "out-of-state" mean "not a Colorado resident for tuition purposes."

Last revision 05/04/16

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