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The Colorado Pledge

Beginning with the 2020 entering class, Colorado College is making a historic pledge to address affordability concerns in higher education. This new program is a pilot aimed at supporting Colorado families. Made possible by the generous contributions of a handful of donors, our strategic plan calls for additional fundraising to endow this program for future classes.

We will now offer the following support to all newly admitted students from Colorado:


In our commitment to making a Colorado College education more affordable to families from our home state with adjusted gross incomes below $200,000, our financial aid packages will no longer take into consideration the home equity on a family's primary residence. Every student in the 2021 entering cohort who demonstrates eligibility for their first year and subsequent years will receive this level of funding for all four years at Colorado College.

We strongly encourage every prospective student from Colorado to complete our Net Price Calculator to determine their eligibility for need based aid. Once you have received your calculation results, we encourage families with questions to schedule an appointment with a financial aid counselor to answer anything we can for your family.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Colorado Pledge

Is this only for Fall 2020 entering students from Colorado, or can returning Colorado students apply for this new program?

At this time, the Colorado Pledge is a program for Fall 2021 and Fall 2020 applicants only. Other returning students will continue to have their full eligibility met based on the financial aid application they complete each year.

How do I apply?

Through the standard financial aid application process; there is no additional paperwork.

How do I determine if I am eligible?

We encourage all Colorado families who question their eligibility to complete the full Net Price Calculator and submit the results to our office while scheduling an appointment to review the data. The Financial Aid Office will be able to determine your eligibility based on the information submitted.

Will Colorado College use home equity value in determining my eligibility for need-based aid if my parents have an adjusted gross income of less than $200,000?

No. Colorado College will not use home equity on your primary residence in our formula. In addition, the college does not consider retirement accounts when determining assets.

Can I talk to someone about the Colorado Pledge?

Absolutely. We encourage all Colorado families to complete the full Net Price Calculator and those with questions to schedule an appointment to talk about your potential eligibility. For general questions, we encourage you to call our office at (719) 389-6651 or (800) 260-6458. You may also email us at

Will I be eligible for the Colorado Pledge all four years?

Students must complete the financial aid application process each year. As long as the income and assets remain in the same range, Colorado families will continue to qualify for the Colorado Pledge.

Can I qualify for more aid beyond the Colorado Pledge?

Yes. Colorado College meets the full demonstrated need for all students. If your eligibility is higher than the Colorado Pledge, then your grant will be awarded at the higher level.

I've been awarded an outside scholarship. How does that impact the Colorado Pledge amount?

Colorado College allows students to use outside scholarships toward their family contribution, leaving grant funding unchanged until the cost of attendance is met. It is possible a student will lose eligibility for federal loans or work-study based on the federal formula when outside scholarships are included.

I noticed the "typical assets" notation on the printed materials and the website. What exactly does that mean?

Colorado families with significant assets above what is typical for their income level may not qualify for the Colorado Pledge, but Colorado College is still committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated eligibility. A family's assets may include cash and savings, investments, other real estate, and other assets. It will NOT include small businesses (under 100 employees), home equity on primary residence, or retirement accounts. Based on research, we expect more than 95% of applicants with incomes below $200K annually would qualify for the Colorado Pledge.

My parents are divorced/separated. How do I know if I am eligible for The Colorado Pledge?

Both parents will need to fill out the full Net Price Calculator independently. Once complete and submitted to the college by both parents, families are encouraged to schedule a phone or in-person appointment with the Financial Aid Office. While we will share overall eligibility information with the student and parent, we will not share specific parental income or asset information between households.

One of my parents is self-employed. How will Colorado College determine our eligibility?

In the case of self-employed parents, Colorado College also looks at cash flow, not simply taxable income. In such a case, a copy of the 2019 tax return may be necessary along with the Net Price Calculator to more accurately assess potential eligibility.

Are federal and state grants included in the Colorado Pledge?

Yes. Federal and state grants are used to meet the Colorado Pledge.

Can I be considered for both a merit scholarship and the Colorado Pledge?

Yes. You will be considered for both merit aid and the Colorado Pledge. You will receive the highest of the two, but not both.

If I don't meet the qualifications for the Colorado Pledge, will I still be eligible for need-based aid?

Absolutely. We remain committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated need for all students. Families with significant assets or income over the threshold may still qualify. All students seeking financial assistance must complete the full financial aid application.

What if I am not eligible in my first year at Colorado College but become eligible in future years?

If you enter in Fall 2021, your application will be considered for the Colorado Pledge in each year of your enrollment.

What income is counted in the limits for the Colorado Pledge?

Our income limitations are based on the adjusted gross income from the 2019 1040 tax return. Students whose parents report between $0 and $60,000 will have no parental contribution toward direct costs of tuition, fees, housing, and meals. Students whose parents report between $60,001 and $125,000 will have a parental contribution equal to room and board charges. Finally, families reporting between $125,001 and $200,000 will have a parental contribution equal to or less than the cost of attendance at the state flagship institution.

What will happen to my financial aid if my financial circumstances change?

Students must complete the financial aid application process each year. If income and assets fluctuate greatly, families will have their full demonstrated eligibility met each year, though the amount may differ based on the information submitted.

Is there a limit to the number of Colorado students who will receive the Colorado Pledge?

There are no limits to the number of students who can receive these awards but all students must meet the eligibility requirements and must be admitted to the college.

Does home equity count for anyone making over $200,000, even if they don't qualify for the Colorado Pledge?

Yes, this initiative is donor-funded and is intended to support only the families who are eligible for the Colorado Pledge initiative.

Does the Colorado Pledge mean Colorado College will match my out-of-pocket expenses for attending Colorado's flagship institution based on my financial aid award from that school?

The Colorado Pledge stipulates that the parental contribution will be equal to or less than the cost of attendance at the state flagship institution. We do not negotiate our awards based on non-need based or merit awards offered by another institution.

Where can I find my adjusted gross income so I know I am using the right number to determine my eligibility?

Adjusted gross income is a tax term and can be found on your 2019 tax return on line 8b. This reflects your income after allowable deductions to your income.

Report an issue - Last updated: 02/09/2021