CU Boulder is committed to addressing affordability and increasing access to higher education through its CU Promise program, which provides free tuition and fees for Colorado resident students with the greatest financial need.

Since 2006, the program has supported access to Colorado’s flagship university for students who might not otherwise have viewed higher education as an option due to financial reasons. The CU Promise program was expanded for the 2023-24 school year, substantially increasing the number of eligible students.

About the Program

The CU Promise is a combination of grants that cover tuition and fees for students with significant financial need. Grants in the program may include the Federal Pell Grant, Colorado Student Grant, and other CU Boulder-funded grants.

Students with a negative Student Aid Index (SAI) may receive an additional $5,000 to help cover other education expenses beyond their tuition and fees. The SAI is calculated by the FAFSA and helps schools determine financial aid eligibility. The additional $5,000 will be added to the combination of grants that make-up CU Promise.

How to Apply

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year to be considered. Undocumented students can complete the ASSET financial aid application for consideration.

Eligibility

Starting with the 2024-25 school year, we anticipate that students who are Pell Grant eligible with an SAI below 6,657 will qualify for CU Promise. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is being replaced by the Student Aid Index (SAI) beginning Fall 2024 as a result of the FAFSA Simplification Act.

  • Colorado resident
  • U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Federal Pell Grant eligible (or eligible undocumented Colorado students with an SAI below 6,657)
    • Families who are eligible typically have an adjusted gross income of $65,000 or less
  • SAI below 6,657 (beginning Fall 2024)
  • Undergraduate working on first bachelor's degree
  • Enroll full time (12+ credit hours) in main campus courses

Receiving CU Promise

To receive CU Promise, you must enroll full time (12+ credit hours) and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress each semester. Generally students who take 15 credits each fall and spring can graduate in four years.

  • If you enroll less than full time, your grants will be reduced and may not match your tuition and fees.
  • If you enroll less than half time (6+ credit hours), your grants will be canceled for the semester.

You will see tuition and fees on your bill each semester. The grants included in CU Promise will pay toward your balance.

 Tuition for courses through Continuing Education, Summer Session, and Professional Studies is not covered by CU Promise.

Still have questions?

Check out the CU Promise FAQs for additional information.