Published: Aug. 10, 2023

The CU Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science has announced a new program to provide debt-free education along with academic and mentoring support for all incoming first-generation, Pell-eligible students from Colorado.

The new Lattice Scholars Program will launch this fall with the first cohort of first-year students, all of whom are the first in their families to earn a college degree.

“As a first-generation college student myself, and a proud CU Boulder alum, this program is near and dear to my heart,” said Keith Molenaar, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

“I believe that every one of our students, regardless of their background, has the potential to contribute to the world in significant ways. With the Lattice Scholars Program, we will help our students build networks that will carry them forward into their careers, and we will ensure that finances are no longer a determining factor for success.”

Lattice Scholars aims to expand access to a CU Boulder engineering education to all first-generation Colorado students who are Pell-eligible and face financial or other barriers that might hinder a promising engineering career. Lattice scholarships will close the total cost-of-attendance gap for these students across four full years of study—an estimated value that could range up to $64,000 over the course of four years.

The program was intentionally designed to provide the full breadth of support to help students define and shape their careers. In addition to financial support, the program will also include academic advising and mentoring so students develop the necessary skills and connections to thrive in their engineering studies, and beyond.

The program came to fruition thanks to a small group of donors who were catalyzed by another first-generation CU Boulder alumnus and donor, Marco Campos.

The Lattice Scholars Program builds on the campus’s commitment to ensure equitable access to higher education and to address the growing burden of student debt.

In April 2023, Chancellor Philip DiStefano announced an expansion of the CU Promise program, covering tuition and fees for all Colorado resident students who are eligible for the Pell Grant, making the Lattice Scholars Program possible.

“As a university focused on equity, inclusion, and the success of all of Colorado, CU Boulder is committed to creating opportunity through innovative student support programs like CU Engineering’s Lattice Scholars,” said Chancellor Philip DiStefano.

“As a first-generation student myself, I’m especially excited about the program’s comprehensive academic, career and mentoring support to help smooth the way for promising Colorado students. Bold actions like these are made possible when generous alumni and supporters like Marco Campos answer the call to support our next generation of scholars in achieving success.”