The First Generation Grant is awarded to undergraduate Colorado residents admitted before 2020-21 who have financial need and whose parent(s) or legal guardians do not have a bachelor's degree.

New First Generation Students

Beginning with the 2020-21 school year, newly admitted resident and nonresident students can apply for the First Generation Scholarship through the CU Boulder Scholarship Application. Students who previously received the First Generation Grant will continue to receive the grant if they meet the renewal requirements. New students are not eligible for the First Generation Grant.

First Generation Scholarship

Students who received the First Generation Grant before 2020-21 will continue to receive the grant if they meet the renewal criteria. Grants recipients are not eligible for the First Generation Scholarship.


The First Generation Grant is awarded first-come, first served.

Students Awarded in 2018-19 or 2019-20

  • Awards up to $2,000 for students living off-campus or up to $4,000 for students living on-campus.

Students Awarded Prior to 2018

  • Awards up to $2,000 annually.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Undergraduate, Colorado resident
  • 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.
  • Completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and any additional information requested by our office.
    • We strongly recommend submitting the FAFSA by February 15 and submitting any additional information requested by April 1. Awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis so there is no guarantee that students otherwise eligible will receive the grant every year.
  • New students: Eligibility will be based on qualifying for the Federal Pell Grant and an evaluation of family assets.
  • Continuing students: Eligibility will be based on demonstrated financial need.

Renewal Criteria

  • Continue to meet eligibility requirements (i.e. undergraduate, Colorado resident, demonstrated financial need).
  • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. Academic progress will be reviewed at the completion of each semester.
  • Must have received the award in a previous year.
  • This grant may be renewed up to 10 semesters or 150 credit hours (whichever comes first).
    • Semesters where you have been awarded the grant, but it was canceled count toward your semesters of eligibility.
    • Transfer credits accepted by the University are included in the 150 credit hour limit.
    • Courses taken for no-credit through Continuing Education and Professional Studies do not count toward the minimum credit hours.
  • Students receiving the grant for the 2018-19 school year and on: Meet the First Buffs Program requirements provided through the Center for Inclusion & Social Change.

Minimum Enrollment to Receive Grant

  • Each semester you remain eligible, the grant will be credited to your CU Boulder tuition and fee bill.
  • We encourage First Generation Grant recipients to enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours at CU Boulder for each fall and spring semester, but the awards will be pro-rated for part-time students as follows:

Credit Hours Enrolled In
Percentage of Grant Eligibility

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 canceled. If it has already been paid toward the bill, you will receive a new bill.

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 on 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 (if eligible), 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).

Summer School or Education Abroad (Study Abroad)

  • The First Generation Grant cannot be used for summer courses.
  • 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.