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Need-Based Aid You Do Not Have to Pay Back

Need-based aid to help you continue your education

Grants are considered need-based aid because they are awarded when the expected family contribution (EFC) calculated in your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) indicates you cannot afford to go to college using only your own or your family's financial resources. Grants are also considered gift aid because they do not have to be paid back.

To apply for any federal or state grant you must complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid ( Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)) and it must be filed on time! A formula is used to analyze the information you enter on this form to determine how much you and your family can help contribute toward your education as well as how much more you may need in aid. Colleges use this information to determine if you are eligible to receive a grant. To have the best opportunity for all grants you may be eligible to receive at the college you plan to attend, it is important that you file the FAFSA by the school's priority date.

The federal government and state of Colorado offer several grants to those students who meet specific requirements.

  • Federal Grants

  • State of Colorado Aid

    • College Opportunity Fund
    • Colorado Student Grant (CSG)
    • Colorado Graduate Grant
    • Colorado Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Grant (CLEAP)
    • Supplemental Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Grant (SLEAP)
    • Dependent Tuition Assistance Program
    • Colorado National Guard Tuition Assistance Program

    Awards for these grants may range from $500 to $1,500. The amount you may be offered depends on the school's awarding policy, your enrollment status, and the amounts received by the college from the state each academic year.

    Colleges and universities, community colleges, vocational schools and career schools receive limited amounts of funds from the state of Colorado, and the amount may vary each academic year depending upon how much money the legislature appropriates for this purpose during a year.

    Not all grants are available at all institutions. Please contact your college for further details. Each school awards the funds based on their own policies and guidelines from the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE).

  • Institutional Grants

    Many colleges and universities as well as vocational and career schools have their own institutional grant programs. Larger colleges and universities often administer many donor and endowment fund accounts that usually include grants for students with financial need.

    Your college may require you to complete additional forms for institutional grants. Contact your college for details about the application process.