Colorado Student Loans

Colorado StudentWith its vast expanses of mountains, forests, lakes, and rivers, Colorado has some of the most spectacular scenery in the United States. But skiing, camping, and hiking aren’t all that this Rocky Mountain state has to offer. There are over 470 postsecondary programs in Colorado’s higher education system, including private and public four-year colleges, universities, religious institutions, technical schools, and vocational programs. Denver, the state’s capital, is home to state schools such as the University of Colorado at Denver, the Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, as well as private institutions like Regis University and the Iliff School of Theology.

State universities outside of Denver include Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado State University at Pueblo, and the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley, among others. Private schools like Colorado College in Colorado Springs and Naropa University in Boulder are known throughout their country for their unique and prestigious academic programs. In addition, Colorado has a broad network of community colleges, specialty career programs, technical schools, and occupational schools. Along with its opportunities for outdoor recreation, Colorado gives its students access to numerous cultural venues, sporting events, and historical sites to enrich their educational experience.

Financial Aid From the U.S. Government

Many Colorado residents dream of earning a postsecondary degree so they can establish themselves in a rewarding career. However, a disturbing number of Colorado students end up with overwhelming student loan debt that hampers their dreams of a better life.  According to the Denver Post, over 10 percent of college grads in Colorado (approximately 8,800 students) were in default on their student loans as of 2010 — a rate that exceeds the national average. Many of them failed to find jobs that could sustain large student loan payments in a shaky economy.

Free forms of aid, like grants and scholarships, are preferable to loans, because they do not have to be paid back. By completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, you are automatically considered for all federal loans, as well as “gift aid.” Free forms of federal assistance include Pell Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).

Student loans should not be your primary source of financial aid; however, most Colorado students will need at least one loan to achieve their goals. Federal loans are the most affordable way to borrow, with low fixed interest rates and low origination fees.

Colorado Student Loans

pink piggy bank and moneyThe state of Colorado does not sponsor student loans. However, student loans are available via private financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions. Because private loans (also known as alternative loans) have higher interest rates, higher fees, and poorer repayment terms than federal loans, they should only be used to make up for gaps in your funding. With private loans, it’s especially important to borrow only what you need in order to avoid high interest rates and penalties for late repayment.

How do private loans compare with federal loans? Here are a few of the most significant differences to watch for:

Your financial aid pool should include a number of different sources, with an emphasis on “free” aid like scholarships, grants, or student employment. Work-study programs enable Colorado students to earn an income at career-related jobs while they’re still in school, so they can cover their educational expenses while learning more about their chosen profession.  

CO Grants and Scholarships

The state of Colorado assists its students through several grant and scholarship programs. State financial aid is usually limited to applicants who can meet the requirements for state residency, such as living in Colorado for a certain period of time, or having a parent or guardian who lives in Colorado. Your school’s admissions department can provide details on the necessary qualifications for state residency.

Some of the most popular forms of state-based aid in Colorado are:

There are many merit-based and need-based scholarships in the state of Colorado, including the Green and Gold Scholarship, the First Generation Award, the Creative and Performing Arts Award, the Honors Scholarship, and the Ram Recognition Award. Students who attend state schools in Colorado are considered for many of these scholarships when they apply. In addition to academic performance and financial need, the following factors may be taken into consideration:

The time and effort that you spend on your college application and your applications for financial aid can really pay off when it comes to qualifying for scholarships or grants. These awards are very competitive and funds are limited, so the sooner you submit your application, the greater your chances of getting financial support.

Getting the help you need to reach your academic goals can be challenging but it’s far from impossible. Take advantage of our free Student Loan Comparison Tool to find out which types of federal and state financial aid are right for you.

Pay for University of Colorado Boulder*

Total Avg. Cost $46,729
Tuition $26,700
Room & Board $11,280
Financial Aid Information
Students Receiving Fin Aid 52%
Typical Grant Amounts
State/Local $1,490
Federal $5,745
%Receiving Loans 33%
Avg. Other Stud. Loans $16,754
%Receiving Other Loans 5%

Get into University of Colorado Boulder

Admission Rate 83%
Total Enrollment 20,844
Men 53%
Women 47%
Graduation Rate 67%
Application Fee $50

Contact University of Colorado Boulder

Regent Drive at Broadway
Boulder, CO 80309-0017(303) 492-1411
Financial Aid Office URL
Admissions Office URL

*Data source is the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) the data collection program for the National Center for Education Statistics

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