Colorado universities to waive admission application fees

Public universities in Colorado will waive admission application fees for state residents on Oct. 15 as part of an effort to promote access to higher education.

“We want to open our doors to students who are eager to learn and succeed in college and in life,” said Clark Brigger, executive director of admissions at the University of Colorado at Boulder. “Fee waivers can help lower barriers and create greater access to our academic programs, which are among the finest in the country.”

All 32 public universities in Colorado will waive fees on Colorado Free Application Day.

The Colorado Department of Higher Education leads the initiative to help more Coloradans pursue post-secondary educational opportunities.

Last year, Colorado colleges received 23,000 applications, which was 12 percent higher than the same period in 2017. Students of color submitted half the applications and first-generation students submitted a third, according to the CDHE.

Free Application Day will cap off Colorado Applies Month, a four-week statewide campaign that encourages high school seniors to submit an application to a higher education program and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid — or FAFSA.

According to the 2018 legislative report on the postsecondary progress and success of high school graduates, only 56 percent of Colorado high school graduates were enrolled in a postsecondary institution in Colorado or another state the fall after high school graduation. Of the 2016 high school graduates, 42.9 percent were enrolled at a Colorado college or university and 12 percent attended college out of state.

About 33 percent of first-year Colorado college students received a federal Pell Grant in 2016, which implies that free college application days could encourage students to explore more colleges.