Student studying in the quad

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Winter break is here! And I know you’ve been looking forward to sleeping in, catching up on your Netflix episodes, baking cookies and just generally enjoying the cheer of the season. And I know you’re probably not looking forward to that one thing lurking in the back of your mind: finishing your college applications. But here’s one way to look at all of this: you’ve already done the hard work. You’ve finished most of the classes. You’ve taken the tests. You’ve joined the clubs. You’ve played the sports. And now, you just have to tell us about it in your application. Think of it that way and the application process will be a little easier. And here are some tips to help you out: 

  1. Don’t wait ‘til the last minute! Here’s what happens: you wait until the week before the deadline to submit your application. You log in to the Common App and you realize, “I totally forgot about the supplemental essay! And I haven’t even requested my letters of recommendation yet”! And now you’re scrambling. You’re spending the next week writing that essay and begging your teachers to write your letter of recommendation. And that’s just not good for anyone. So get started now! All materials must be submitted by the deadline. To be considered for admission, we need your application, your application fee or fee waiver request, your official high school transcripts, your ACT or SAT scores, two essays and at least one letter of recommendation. Keep in mind that one of your essays is the Common Application essay and one is the CU Boulder writing supplement; we need them both!
  2. Always apply to your top choice of major. You may have heard that certain colleges and majors at CU Boulder are more competitive than others. That’s true, but it shouldn’t discourage you from applying to the major that you really, really want. Keep in mind that our review process is holistic, which means that we are looking at you as a whole person with something unique to contribute. None of our programs have minimum GPA or test score requirements to get in, so it is always worth swinging the bat. If it turns out that you aren’t competitive for your top pick of major right now, we will review you for other programs at CU Boulder. A “no” to your top choice of major isn’t necessarily a “no” to CU—it just means that you may have to prove yourself a bit more academically your freshman year before you get into your first pick of major. And who knows? You may discover a new major that you never considered before!
  3. Check your email. When you submit your Common App to CU Boulder, you will get an email confirming submission. Check that email! Can’t find it? Check your junk mail. I promise it’s there somewhere. And if it’s not, give us a call and we will send it again. That email will have important information about how to access your application status page where you’ll be able to track the progress of your CU Boulder application.
  4. Start thinking about your next steps. Once you submit your application and supporting documents, take a deep breath and congratulate yourself. You’ve completed the first big step towards becoming a Buff! But don’t stop there. Once you’ve submitted your application for admission you can also apply for scholarships—even if you haven’t received your admission decision yet! The Scholarship Application can be accessed through your application status page and is due on February 15. You should also start thinking about where you might want to live on campus! Once you’re admitted and confirmed at CU Boulder you can fill out your housing application. Filling out the housing application will be much less stressful if you know your choices going into it, so explore some of your options at The housing application will open in February.
  5. Come spend some time with us! Spring is a great time to visit campus, and we have tons of options all semester. We offer short and sweet half day information sessions and tours, full day student experience visits, and even some Saturday programs! Not sure which visit is right for you? Check out your options sorted by student type, academic interest and time of year at

The bottom line is: you’ve done the hard work. And now, you just have to tell us about it. So now, take a break from working on those apps and go enjoy the holiday season for a bit. You deserve it! Happy holidays, Future Buffs!


Vanessa Roman

Vanessa Roman
Associate Director
Office of Admissions