The First Generation Grant is awarded to Colorado residents who are eligible for the Federal Pell grant and 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. Students must be admitted into an undergraduate degree program and be eligible for the Federal Pell grant.

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.

Awards range from $100 - $2,000 per semester (up to $4,000 per academic year) depending on the student's financial need, housing, enrollment and year in school.

  • Up to 10 semesters for fall and spring semesters or 150 credit hours (whichever comes first) based on renewal requirements for each academic year.
  • Transfer students admitted prior to the 2015-2016 academic year receive a prorated number of eligible semesters based on class standing when admitted.
  • You are limited to receiving a single semester’s award amount at a time. If you graduate in fewer than 10 semesters or 150 credit hours, the remainder of the benefit is forfeited.

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 February 15 priority deadline.
  • Incoming students: Confirm intent to enroll by May 1.

For spring semester:

For fall semester:

  • As early as January, students will receive an estimated financial aid award via email. This esimated award will include the First Generation Grant if the student is eligible.
  • As early as late-February, students who have complete the FAFSA and any outstanding information requests from our office will receive their 2018-19 financial aid award, including the First Generation Grant.

For spring semester:

  • If eligible and if funding is available, students will receive First Generation Grant notification after their financial aid application and all outstanding information requests are complete.

Contact us if you believe you meet the eligibility criteria and did not receive the First Generation Grant.

  • 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 Amount

12 credit hours

9-11 credit hours

6-8 credit hours

0-5 credit hours

  • If enrollment at CU Boulder drops below half time (five or fewer credit hours), the grant will be cancelled. If it has already been paid toward the bill, you will receive a new bill.
  • Semesters where you have been awarded the grant and then had it cancelled count toward your semesters of eligibility.
  • Courses taken for no-credit through Continuing Education and Professional Studies do not count toward the minimum credit hours.
  • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.

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.

Academic progress and enrollment will be reviewed at the beginning of and at the completion of each fall and spring semester.

  • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.
  • Demonstrate financial need by submitting the FAFSA by February 15 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) during your first year receiving this grant.
    • Participation in a CU LEAD Alliance Program will count towards the participation requirements.

  • You will be notified by email 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 requirement during your first year 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 us. 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 us 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.

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

  • You may use the First Generation Grant for semesters in CU Boulder sponsored Education Abroad (study abroad) programs.
  • The grant is not available for other education abroad (study abroad) programs.

  • 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 us. The Office of Financial Aid must be notified prior to withdrawing and upon your return, otherwise reinstatement is not guaranteed.
  • If the student receives financial aid, but never begins attending classes, this is considered an unofficial withdrawal and the Office of Financial Aid must return all disbursed funds to the respective federal, state and institutional aid programs.
  • Withdrawal grades may impact your Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).