Need-Based vs Merit
We remain committed to the philosophy that cost should not deter a student from considering Colorado College. The college administers a substantial financial aid program and uses financial need as the primary consideration in awarding aid. Additionally, merit-based aid is awarded to a select group of applicants.
The Colorado College Affordability Plan: A Four-Year Commitment
At Colorado College, we believe that one of the best investments is a good education, and its pursuit should not be compromised by financial concerns. Many families mistakenly assume they cannot afford a private liberal arts education. However, Colorado College seeks a highly qualified and diverse student body. For this reason, we offer a strong financial aid program that enables students from all economic backgrounds to enroll. We strongly urge you to explore the possibility of financial aid as you plan your college education. To assist in this endeavor, we recommend that you utilize our Net Price Calculator to help estimate the cost of attendance.
It is our goal to make Colorado College affordable to all admitted students who apply for assistance on time. We award Colorado College grant assistance based on your financial eligibility and admission credentials. Once we have determined your official eligibility for Colorado College grants and scholarships, we will make a four-year commitment to you and your family. For students who remain in good academic standing with the college, we will renew the Colorado College grants from the four-year award automatically each year at the same level as the official offer of financial aid. Consideration will be given to families with special circumstances such as unemployment, siblings in college, and medical expenses. For these individuals, a 1 year award would be offered.
There is also a limited amount of financial aid available for non-U.S. citizens and transfer students. A financial aid award usually includes a combination of grants, federal loans (for U.S. citizens and permanent residents only), and possible work-study earnings.
While the majority of financial aid is need-based, we do offer a limited number of merit-based scholarships. These include the Leadership, Trustee, Presidential, and Barnes. The Barnes Scholarship is the only scholarship that requires a separate application. Recipients for the Leadership, Trustee, and Presidential awards are selected by the Admission Committee based on academic talent and potential contributions to the campus community as demonstrated in their application for admission.
There are also scholarships available through our two NCAA Division I athletic programs — women’s soccer and men’s ice hockey.
All students applying for need-based financial aid should submit the following documents (please see the Financial Aid Priority Dates and Timeline page for detailed information):
U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- College Board CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE
- Noncustodial Parent PROFILE (if applicable)
- Signed copies of parents' and student's Federal Income Tax returns (include all pages, schedules, and forms)
- Parents' and student's W-2 forms
We encourage all students and parents to read the Financial Aid Policies Handbook This handbook includes the cost of attendance, an explanation of the methods used to determine your eligibility for aid, the steps necessary to apply for Stafford loans, information on alternative financing options and much more.