First Year Academic Experience (FYE)

What is FYE?

An initiative that offers learning communities to all incoming residential and commuting first-year students. These residential communities will engage students through activities, academic support structures, and events that will help students build a strong connection to CU Boulder.


How will opportunities be made available to all incoming students?

A moratorium continues to exist for expansion of Residential Academic Programs (RAPs) due to the student fee associated with their structure. To continue to enhance the first-year academic experience and increase access for all students, CU Boulder will foster more Living Learning Communities (LLCs). Student Affairs and Undergraduate Education will work with schools/colleges to develop LLCs in their academic areas and will co-chair a FYE Advisory Board to streamline the application and approval process.

Are these opportunities available to incoming transfer students?

No, for the AY21 year, most transfer students will live off-campus, with ~100 transfer student beds anticipated in Bear Creek.

What will commuter opportunities look like?

The First Year Experience Advisory Board will make recommendations to the Office of Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs pertaining to future first year experiences for students who do not live in residence halls. Nothing new is planned for AY 21.

Residential Academic Programs (RAPs)

Are RAPs going to continue?

Both RAPs and LLCs in existence in the 19-20 academic year (pre-Covid) will once again be in existence in the 21-22 academic year and at regular staffing levels.

Is anything changing for RAPs?

Yes, the RAP fee will be reduced and we will begin a multi-year process of decoupling RAPs from fixed residence hall locations. This decoupling will ensure equity of location for existing RAPs, and will also ensure that more non-RAP beds are available on central campus than is currently the case.

As a first step toward the decoupling of RAPs from specific residence halls, any school/college with 1) more than one RAP, and 2) no RAP currently at Williams Village will now relocate at least one of its RAPs to Williams Village. In coming years, schools/colleges will further decouple RAPs from fixed residence hall locations. This may include space assignments based on each RAP/LLC’s enrollment numbers and corresponding space needs. This could also include a rotation schedule whereby each RAP and LLC would periodically be located at Williams Village for a fixed number of years and then rotate back to the central campus. Additional conversations with deans and others will occur to help develop recommendations.

Why is Farrand RAP moving to Williams Village?

Currently, comparatively few residential beds exist on the main campus for students not in a RAP. By moving the RAP previously referred to as the Farrand RAP (now called the Philosophy Arts & Culture RAP) to Williams Village, we will free up space for a new LLC for PES and A&S Open Option students. Moving some RAPs to Williams Village addresses campus concerns regarding equity of location by opening main campus beds that do not require a RAP fee. In addition, as part of the Campus Master Plan, we hope to further develop and invest in Williams Village residential academic spaces.

How will the campus fund a reduction in the RAP fee to $425 at a time of budget constraints? 

In conversation with deans and others, the campus has accounted for this decrease in the RAP fee as part of its budgeting for fiscal year 2021-22 and beyond. The proposed fee decrease follows from the recommendations of several campus committees to ensure greater access to first-year residential experiences.

Will the RAP fee continue to go down or be eliminated in subsequent years?

No determination has been made regarding the RAP fee for years beyond the academic year 2021-2022.

When will we know what other RAPs might be moving to a different location?

The First Year Experience Advisory Board has just begun its work, and it will take time for it to make recommendations pertaining to location, development of new LLCs, and related matters. Equity of access and location will guide decisions made by the Advisory Board.

Living Learning Communities (LLCs)

What’s the difference between a RAP and an LLC? 

See the housing website for the information shared with students and families. The FYE Advisory Board will be further developing these definitions, including similarities and differences across RAPs and LLCs.

Are there new LLCs for fall 2021?

Yes, there is one new LLC called Design Your Path. It is an exploratory LLC designed for students in the XXES and XXAS majors. As space is available, any student who is interested in academic exploration is welcome.

My school/college wants to develop a new LLC. How do we do this?

Proposals for new LLCs are welcome. Start by reviewing these proposal resources for detailed information.

Why is it that new LLCs will be developed instead of new RAPs?

The campus already has numerous RAPs, but only 4 LLCs. By building out LLCs while retaining RAPs, we will be able to offer students a robust and engaging menu of first year residential experiences. Creating additional LLCs addresses concerns regarding RAP equity and access by ensuring that all incoming FY students can participate in FYE programs without financial barriers.