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University of Colorado Boulder
About 2011-2012 Tuition

This website provides general information about changes in tuition rates and major features of 2011-2012 tuition and financial aid. Tuition rates for all campuses of the University of Colorado were approved in April 2011 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. 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 2010-11 with

  • an increase in the full-time rate of 9.3% or $654 per academic year
  • an increase of 6.9%, or $22 per credit hour, in the part-time or per credit-hour-rate, for students taking fewer than 12 hours

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 $62 per credit hour initially in FY12.

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.

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 transfer students. For these students, grants plus a work-study award will cover the cost of tuition, required fees, and estimated books. More than 100 new students are covered by the CU Promise each year.

For more information on finances, see

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 5.0% from 2010-11, with an increase in college differentials for 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 2011 through spring 2012 are 3.0% higher than those for students entering the prior year. Click here for details of the non-resident undergraduate tuition guarantee. See also the section By-college tuition differentials, below.

Beginning 2011-12, the Chancellor's Achievement Scholarship (introduced in 2005-06) now offers $20,000 over four years to the top 25% of out-of-state admitted new freshmen.

Presidential Scholars are a select group drawn from Chancellor's Achievement Scholars. 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.

Out of state graduate and professional students

Tuition rates for graduate students not classified as Colorado residents for tuition purposes increased 5.0% from 2010-11.

Financial aid for all undergraduates

The maximum Pell grant is $5,500 in 2011-12, unchanged from 2010-11. 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 2011-12 is $5,273, unchanged from 2010-11.

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 2011-12 tuition rates reflect greater percentage increases for in-state Law students.

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 decreased about 1% or $13 per year from 2010-11.

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.

A double room with full meal plan in campus residence halls increased 4.5% or $486 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 05/30/14

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