First Generation Grant

The First Generation Grant is awarded to Colorado residents whose parents do not have any education or technical training beyond high school. Certificate programs, real estate certification, technical training, vocational training, and corporate training programs are considered education beyond high school.  Recipients must be admitted into an undergraduate degree program and demonstrate financial need.

First Generation Scholars Program

The First Generation Scholars Program through the Cultural Unity & Engagement Center (CUE) is a holistic program that includes student development, advising and academic support, leadership, and community engagement opportunities.  Participation in the program is an essential part of receiving the First Generation Grant.

Award Amount

  • $100 - $1,000 per semester depending on financial need.


  • Up to 10 semesters for fall and spring semesters based on renewal requirements for each academic year.
  • Transfer students receive a prorated number of eligible semesters based on class standing when admitted.
Transfer Credits When Admitted Semesters of Eligibility
0-14 9
15-29 8
30-44 7
45-59 6
60-74 5
75-89 4
90-104 3
105-119 2
  • You are limited to receiving a single semester’s award amount at a time. If you graduate in fewer than10 semesters (or semesters of eligibility based on transfer credits), the remainder of the benefit is forfeited.

Application and Deadlines

For fall semester:

  • Apply for admission no later than January 15 for incoming freshmen; April 1 for transfer students.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Recommend filing the FAFSA by March 1 priority deadline.
  • Confirm intent to enroll by May 1 either through the MyCUBoulder student portal account or postmark by May 1.

For spring semester:

Award Notification

For fall semester:

  • Beginning mid-March, students receive an estimated Financial Aid Planning letter from the Office of Financial Aid.  You will receive an estimated First Generation Grant letter with the planning letter if you qualify.
  • Beginning in April, a final First Generation Grant notification is mailed to you once you have a completed financial aid application.  Check MyCUBoulder to see if you have any additional forms to turn in to complete your financial aid application.

For spring semester:

  • If eligible and if funding is available, you will receive First Generation Grant notification after your financial aid application is complete.

Reconsideration of Award

  • Contact Crystal Patrick, Office of Financial Aid, if you believe you meet the eligibility criteria and did not receive the First Generation Grant.

College Eligibility Requirements

  • We encourage First Generation Grant recipients to enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours each fall and spring semester at CU-Boulder.
  • The grant is prorated for students enrolled in 6 to 11 credit hours. Semesters that you receive a prorated grant will count towards your semesters of eligibility.
Semester Enrollment First Generation Grant Award
12 credit hours 100%
11-9 credit hours 75%
8-6 credit hours 50%
  • If enrolled in five or fewer 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 grant will be cancelled for the semester and the semester will count towards your semesters of eligibility.
  • Courses taken for no-credit through Continuing Education and Professional Studies do not count toward the minimum credit hours.
  • Meet the Office of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.

How the Grant is Paid

  • The grant 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.

Renewal Criteria

  • Academic progress and enrollment will be reviewed at the beginning of and at the completion of each fall and spring semester.
  • Maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative CU-Boulder grade point average (GPA).
  • Meet the Office of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.
  • Demonstrate financial need by submitting the FAFSA by March 1st and all requested documentation 45 days after it is first requested every year.
  • Participate in the First Generation Scholars Program through the Cultural Unity & Engagement Center (CUE). Participation in a CU-LEAD Alliance Program will count towards the participation requirements. You will be contacted by CUE each academic year regarding program requirements.

Cancellation and Reinstatement

  • You will be notified by postal mail if you do not meet the renewal requirements at the end of each semester:
    • Fall: Around January 1
    • Spring: Around July 1
  • Failure to fulfill the First Generation Scholars Program participation requirements will result in a hold placed on your account to prevent disbursement of your First Generation Grant.  Contact the First Generation Scholars Program for more information on reinstatement.
  • Should you complete the FAFSA and submit required documentation after the posted deadline, please contact Crystal Patrick at 303-492-1009.  Reinstatement is neither automatic nor guaranteed.
  • Should you meet the renewal criteria after losing the grant, reinstatement is neither automatic nor guaranteed. However, please contact Crystal Patrick at 303-492-1009 for more information.


  • You will be reconsidered for the First Generation Grant if you defer admission.  You may need to complete a new FAFSA depending on the academic year you start attending CU-Boulder. You must contact the Office of Admissions to formally request a deferral.

Summer School

  • The First Generation Grant cannot be applied to a summer term.

Study Abroad

  • You may use the scholarship for semesters in CU-Boulder sponsored Study Abroad programs. 
  • The scholarship is not available for other Study Abroad programs.

Withdrawal Policy

  • 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).
  • If you will be absent from CU or withdraw during a semester and wish to continue receiving the grant upon your return, please notify the First Generation Grant liaison in the Office of Financial Aid, Crystal Patrick. Crystal must be notified prior to withdrawing and upon your return, otherwise reinstatement is not guaranteed.
  • Withdrawal grades may impact your Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

Multiple Scholarship Awards and/or Other 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, housing and meals, and allowances for books and supplies, transportation, and personal and incidental expenses.
  • Financial need is calculated by subtracting your Expected Family Contribution index number as determined by the FAFSA from your estimated Cost of Attendance.
  • The total of any financial aid that you receive, including the First Generation, cannot exceed your Cost of Attendance or your financial need. If it does, you may have aid adjusted and/or cancelled, depending on your individual circumstances.

For more information contact the First Generation Grant liaison in the Office of Financial Aid at 303-492-1009 or Crystal Patrick.