Newly Admitted First-Year Students 2021-22
Incoming first-year students are considered for this scholarship based on a holistic review of their admissions application. For questions regarding your personal scholarship eligibility, contact your admissions counselor.

The CU Boulder Esteemed Scholars Program is awarded to a select group of Colorado resident students based on the strength of their admissions application. Scholarship eligibility is based on a holistic review of admission materials as outlined below. Recipients may also be eligible for a college/program specific add-on scholarship.

Scholarship Amount

Students will be considered for a $2,500 - $5,000 Esteemed Scholarship.


You must be a Colorado resident student entering CU Boulder as first-time first-year student. Scholarship eligibility is based on a holistic review of admission materials, taking the following factors into consideration:


  • Minimum 3.85 high school grade point average on 4.0 scale to be considered
    • Since applicants are reviewed holistically, a high GPA alone may not be enough to qualify for this type of scholarship.
  • Difficulty of coursework and grade trend through high school
  • Academic awards or recognition

Life Experiences & Background:

  • Extraordinary academic achievement relative to high school community as documented on transcript, teacher evaluation or counselor school report
  • Evidence of having overcome difficult social, economic, or physical obstacles to education and explained in an essay or letter of recommendation

Activities & Responsibilities:

  • Demonstrated leadership and engagement within community
  • Employment, extracurricular activities and duration of participation
  • Outstanding talents and accomplishments

  Scholarships are highly competitive and not all students who are considered will receive an automatic consideration scholarship.


  • Four years (eight semesters maximum) for fall and spring semesters based on renewal requirements for each academic year.
  • You are limited to receiving a single semester’s award amount at a time. If you graduate in fewer than four years, the remainder of the benefit is forfeited. However, if you continue to be enrolled at CU Boulder in a graduate program, the scholarship will be extended until you have graduated or until you have utilized the maximum eight semesters of the award.

Application and Deadlines

  • A completed CU Boulder Admissions Application serves as the scholarship application
  • Apply for admission no later than January 15

More Details

Students selected for this scholarship will receive an offer with their admission decision which is accessible through their admission application status page.

The scholarship 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. Recipients are required to complete an acknowledgement which our office requests by email prior to receiving scholarship funds.

  • Enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours each fall and spring semester at CU Boulder to receive the scholarship in that semester. Note: You need to take more than the required 12 credits in the fall and/or spring if you do not plan to take summer courses. See Renewal Criteria below for more.
  • If you are not enrolled in at least 12 credit hours at CU Boulder at the start of a semester as of the university’s census date (the third Friday of the semester), the scholarship will be cancelled effective with that semester and the remainder of the scholarship will be forfeited. The cancellation is permanent and the scholarship cannot be reinstated.
  • Courses taken for no-credit through Continuing Education and Professional Studies do not count toward the minimum credit hours.
  • Meet the Office of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.

  • Your eligibility to renew this scholarship next year will be reviewed at the completion of the spring semester.
  • Maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative CU Boulder grade point average (GPA).
  • Successfully complete a minimum of 27 credit hours at CU Boulder each academic year between the fall, spring and summer to renew the scholarship next year (does not include transfer or AP credit hours).
  • Meet the Office of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.

  • You will be notified by email around July 1 if you do not meet the renewal requirements at the end of a given spring semester.
  • You may submit a written appeal for reconsideration if you have extenuating circumstances (examples: serious illness, accident, death of a loved one, house fire, etc.) which contributed to your inability to meet the standards for renewal.
  • Appeals are decided on a case-by-case basis and the outcome of any appeal will depend on: the nature of the circumstances; the quality of the documentation provided; your current academic progress; the nature of any violation of the university’s Student Conduct Code; and fund availability.
  • CU Boulder has a responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment. Please be aware that if your appeal references sexual misconduct or protected class discrimination or harassment, the Office of Financial Aid is obligated to report allegations of this nature to the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) in addition to considering your appeal on these grounds. OIEC may contact you in this case, but you are not required to respond if you so choose.
  • If you have not achieved the minimum GPA or completed the minimum number of credits at the end of the spring semester, you may enroll in summer courses at CU Boulder to regain your eligibility. You do not need to submit a formal appeal in this case. Students who did not meet the GPA or minimum credit hour renewal requirements at the end of the spring semester will be reevaluated at the end of the summer.
  • If the scholarship is cancelled due to failure to meet the renewal requirements, the cancellation is permanent and it will not be reinstated (i.e. even if GPA is above the minimum in a future semester), other than through appeal.
  • Appeals should be submitted no later than the third Friday of the term you become ineligible for the scholarship (typically the fall semester).

You may defer your admission to CU Boulder for up to one year and retain your award. You must contact the Office of Admissions to formally request a deferral, and be sure to first review the outcomes of deferring

Summer school is not typically funded. However, if you will be enrolled in summer school at CU Boulder in a minimum of six credit hours and meet the renewal criteria as of the end of the previous spring semester, you may request to receive a semester’s scholarship award in the summer in lieu of receiving it in the fall or spring. You must contact Scholarship Services to make the request. You will not be automatically credited with the scholarship.

  • You may use the scholarship for semesters in CU Boulder sponsored Education Abroad (study abroad) programs of at least 12 credit hours per semester.
  • The scholarship is not available for other Education 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 withdraw or are absent from the university and return within the allowable timeframe, you will be eligible to reinstate the scholarship upon your return assuming that the renewal conditions have been met.
  • Withdrawal grades may impact your Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  • It is your responsibility to contact Scholarship Services to request reinstatement. The scholarship will not be automatically reactivated upon your return.

  • The Cost of Attendance (COA), also known as the cost of education or "budget," is the total amount it should cost a student to go to school for one school year. This amount includes tuition and fees, housing and meals, and allowances for books and supplies, transportation, and personal and incidental expenses.
  • The total of any financial aid that you receive, including the CU Boulder Esteemed Scholars award, cannot exceed your Cost of Attendance. If it does, you may have aid adjusted and/or cancelled, depending on your individual circumstances.