The University of Colorado Boulder recognizes the history and significance of how the plains and mountain tribes and cultures have shaped our state. We foster and support native culture through scholarships, academic programs, research, events and celebration of native contributions.

CU Boulder offers a limited number of scholarships to academically promising new first-year students who are members of a federally recognized tribe. For those who are a member of one of the 48 tribes with historical and present ties to Colorado, we also offer in-state tuition rates whether you are a resident of Colorado or not.

Scholarship Amount

Newly admitted students will be considered for the following based on their residency:

  • Resident students: $5,000 per year (renewable for four years, totaling $20,000)
  • Nonresident students: $15,000 per year* (renewable for four years, totaling $60,000)

*A nonresident student who receives in-state residency for tuition purposes will receive the resident scholarship amount.


New students are considered for scholarships based on a comprehensive review of admission materials. You must also meet the following:

  • Undergraduate Colorado resident or nonresident entering CU Boulder as a first-year student
  • Submit a completed application for admission no later than Jan. 15
  • Provide one of the following documents proving tribal affiliation in a federally recognized tribe to the Office of Financial Aid (upon request) prior to scholarship offer being finalized: a copy of your tribal citizenship card (front and back) or a copy of your Certificate of Indian Blood (CDIB), which must contain a tribal seal or be on tribal letterhead, and must include your official identification number (e.g., census number, tribal citizenship number, enrollment number, certified tribal council number)

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

More Details

  • 4 years (8 semesters) for fall and spring based on renewal requirements for each academic year.
  • You are limited to receiving a single semester’s scholarship amount at a time.
  • If you graduate in fewer than 8 semesters, the remainder of the benefit is forfeited. 

Students selected for this scholarship will receive an email shortly after being admitted. Proof of tribal affiliation in a federally recognized tribe must be provided prior to the scholarship being finalized. 

The scholarship is paid on a semester basis, and the funds for each semester will be credited towards your university bill, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. This scholarship can pay toward all charges on the bill and isn't limited to paying just tuition and fees. 

  • Enroll full time each fall and spring semester at CU Boulder (12+ credit hours).
    • If you're not enrolled in at least 12 credit hours at CU Boulder by the third Friday of the semester, the scholarship will be canceled immediately 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 don't count toward the minimum credit hours.
  • Meet program requirements
    • In your first year, you're required to participate in a campus program providing academic and community support.
    • In years two, three and four you must meet once per semester with a designated program advisor.
  • Meet the Office of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.
  • Nonresidents must remain nonresident for tuition purposes to continue to receive the nonresident scholarship amount. 

Your eligibility to renew this scholarship next year will be reviewed at the end of spring semester.

  • Enroll full time each fall and spring semester (12+ credit hours)
  • Fulfill program participation or advising requirements based on grade level
    • In your first year, you're required to participate in a campus program providing academic and community support. Program participation is optional after that.
    • In years two, three and four you must meet once per semester with a designated program advisor.
  • Meet the Office of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. 

  • You'll be notified if you don't meet the renewal requirements at the end of a semester.
  • 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.

How to Appeal:

  • You may submit an appeal for reconsideration if you have extenuating circumstances (examples: serious illness, accident, death of a loved one, house fire, etc.) that contributed to your inability to meet the standards for renewal. The appeal information will be provided with the nonrenewal notification.
  • 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.
  • Appeals should be submitted no later than the third Friday of the term you become ineligible for the scholarship (typically the fall semester).
  • 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 can choose not to respond.

You may defer your admission to CU Boulder for up to one year and retain your scholarship. You must contact the Office of Admissions to formally request a deferral. 

This scholarship cannot be used to help pay for Summer School. 

  • You may use the scholarship for semesters in CU Boulder-sponsored Education 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 to 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 financial aid 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 year/scholarship period. 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 this scholarship, cannot exceed your COA. If it does, you may have aid adjusted and/or canceled, depending on your individual circumstances.

We honor and acknowledge that the University of Colorado’s four campuses are on the traditional territories and ancestral homelands of the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Ute, Apache, Comanche, Kiowa, Lakota, Pueblo and Shoshone Nations. Further, we acknowledge the 48 contemporary tribal nations historically tied to the lands that comprise what is now called Colorado. View CU Boulder's Lands Recognition Statement.