Published: Dec. 5, 2022 By

Colorado Gives Day on December 6 is the state’s largest 24-hour giving day, raising over $362 million for nonprofits since its inception. This year, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE) is joining in with two excellent opportunities to donate and support CU Boulder’s undocumented students.

As the costs associated with attending CU Boulder increase every year, the challenges undocumented students face in funding their college journey are at an all-time high. Undocumented students are typically unable to obtain federal financial aid, which includes Pell Grants, federal loans and federal work study. Limited financial aid packages and student job options also put them at risk for vulnerability during emergency situations.

The Trailblazer Scholarship and the CU Boulder Relief Fund both offer the foundation and security that these students are in need of.

a beautiful photo of the CU campus during the Spring, featuring the Boulder landscape and a vibrant cherry blossom tree

The scenic CU campus on a beautiful spring afternoon. (Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado)

Renewable and reliable scholarship funding, up to $4,000 per year, is available to a limited number of eligible students as a part of the Trailblazer Scholarship. Its goal is to increase affordability and access to higher education.

What was initially established as a fund in 2014 by Bill Barclay and Connie Hoon-Barclay has since grown into an innovative scholarship program. Thanks to their generosity, students are given the opportunity to create community, experience a sense of belonging here at CU Boulder and have access to a variety of resources across campus. 

At times, the scholarship has meant the difference for stress-ridden students between graduating and dropping out due to lack of funds, something the Barclays are extremely proud to see.

"We have been so impressed over the years by the drive and commitment to education exhibited by many of the students that we have met from the diverse student community at CU Boulder," they said. "The students have included those from under-represented socioeconomic backgrounds, DACA students, and other students who are undocumented and not eligible to receive Federal financial aid. We decided to act and set up the CU Boulder Trailblazer Student Support Fund to help provide financial support for these students."

Undocumented students also have access to the CU Boulder Student Relief Fund. This grant helps provide emergency support during times of economic hardship. Stephanie Roberts, Assistant Director of Intercultural Engagement at the Center for Inclusion and Social Change, says it can be really helpful during specific circumstances of vulnerability.

“The Student Relief Fund has been a key resource for students to get additional financial support, given the limitations on the financial aid they can qualify for,” she said. “Everything from helping pay tuition balances, to emergency housing cost support, to DACA Renewals have been ways this fund has helped support students.”

Roberts also says there are ways for the CU Boulder community to extend their support for undocumented students through donations. A gesture that goes beyond monetary value.

“This is a key example of the university showing students with actions not just words that we strive to be in their corner through their time here.”

Those interested in supporting undocumented students can visit the Trailblazer Scholarship and CU Boulder Relief Fund websites to donate. Every donation to Trailblazer Scholarship will be matched up to $100,000 as part of the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI).

The deadline to send a gift is December 8. Make a difference in the community, become an ally and help make CU Boulder more accessible and affordable for undocumented students.